Planning the Glassware for Your Event?
There are over ten different types of standard glassware commonly used at corporate and private events. From tumblers and champagne flutes to hi-balls and Martini glasses, our experts offer their insight on the different types of glassware and their uses, as well as how to choose the right type and quantity of glassware for your event.
What Are the Different Types of Glassware?
There are many types of specialist glassware perfectly suited for use at a private or professional function. Whether you opt for an Arnold & Walker glassware package or not, we’ll talk you through the hire equipment that’s available based on your needs and budget. Here’s a brief introduction to the different types of glassware available.
Wine Glasses: Classic, Cabernet, White Wine, Red Wine, Crystal, Burgundy and Bordeaux
Because wine comes in many different vintages, styles, flavour profiles and colours, it is natural that wine glasses should be diverse enough to suit the style of beverage they are holding. You should select the correct type of wine glass for the wine on your event menu. For example, if you are serving a white wine, then a classic crystal white wine glass will be perfect. Red wines often have complex flavour profiles and require lots of room to breathe, so choose the style of red wine glass that suits your drinks menu — a Burgundy will require a different shape of glass to a Bordeaux, for example. White wine glasses are typically taller and more open, while red wine glasses have a rounder and smaller bowl.
Have your bartender or caterer recommend the right wine glass shape and style based on your wine menu, and make sure that you invest in at least a red wine and white wine glass, as these are naturally different to allow your guests to fully enjoy the flavours of the wines you have available.
Champagne Glasses: Flutes, Coupes and Saucers
Champagne glasses are typically tall with a slender stem. The elongated shape of the glass with its curved edges allows the alcohol to breathe and the bubbles to rise to the surface. Selecting a classic crystal flute will provide an elegant and timeless air to your event, while a modern curved crystal champagne glass or rounded saucer will add a contemporary twist.
Champagne glasses are often made from crystal, as this material is unequalled in terms of clarity and brilliantly transparent to allow the full flavour, colour and vivacity of the champagne to be apparent. You can opt for a standard glass, a crystal glass or cut crystal, which is beautifully etched with unique patterns and shapes for added interest and flair.
If you’re only picking one type of champagne glass, opt for a classic champagne flute. If you decide to choose two, add a coupe saucer so that you can construct a champagne tower! Finally, if you opt for three different styles, wow with a cut crystal glass that’s distinctively elegant.
Cocktail Glasses: Martini, Margarita, Pina Colada, Hurricane, Sling and Speakeasy
With so many different varieties of tastebud-tingling cocktails available, it’s no surprise that there’s also a wide range of cocktail glasses to choose from. Each drink tastes best when it’s in a glass that allows the alcohol to breathe and provides the right length and shape for the cocktail’s components. A Margarita glass, for example, has a double-bowl shape that makes it easy to add a salt or sugar rim and a long stem, which will allow your guests to hold the glass without warming the drink and spoiling its flavour.
You should pick the styles of cocktail glass that suit your drinks menu — typically, it is best to select the cocktail menu and then have your bartender recommend the right glasses to match it. As well as cocktail glasses, you will also need equipment for cocktail making, such as shakers, strainers and cocktail sticks.
Shot glasses can come in many styles, shapes and sizes, but they are generally made of thicker glass so that they won’t shatter if slammed down onto the bar by the drinker after the shot is downed! A short shot glass is the typical style you’d expect to see stocked in a professional bar at a party. These are used for straight shots of liquor or shaken and strained shooters. Tall shot glasses are used to show off speciality shots with layers of alcohol, and there are a variety of specialist shot glasses available, including Tequila shot glasses, curved shot glasses and even disco shot glasses with colourful and fun styling.
As with cocktail glasses, it’s important that you allow your bartender to recommend the right type of shot glass for your drinks menu. You may only need a standard shot glass, or you may require additional types, depending on what you’re serving.
Hi-Balls, Collins Glasses and Tumblers
Hi-balls, tumblers and Collins glasses are tall glasses typically used for mixed drinks served over ice. Bloody Mary and Long Island Ice Tea are two popular examples of cocktails that are mixed in a hi-ball glass or Collins glass. You will only need to provide hi-ball glasses for your guests if you are serving cocktails that are best sipped from this type of glass — ask your bartender for their advice on whether or not a hi-ball is required.
If you are putting on a wine tasting event, you should hire ISO standard tasting glasses, which are the industry standard for wine tasting. You can also opt for crystal tasting glasses or treat your whisky fans to a Glencairn spirit tasting glass, which will let them slowly savour every drop of their tipple.
Polycarbonate (Plastic Glasses)
If you are putting on an outdoor event or require a safer type of glass for use by children, opting for a reusable polycarbonate glass is much better than choosing throwaway disposable ones. Polycarbonate glasses not only look stylish and elegant, but they are also reusable and dramatically cut down on wastage as they can be reused time and time again. Polycarbonate glasses come in a variety of styles, including hi-balls, champagne flutes and pint and wine glasses.
How Many Glasses Should I Hire?
While no event planner wants to anticipate breakage or loss, accidents can happen and glassware is particularly prone to damage. Arnold & Walker hires out glasses in crates of 20, 40 or 60, depending on the type of glass, and we recommend planning for five drinks ahead and having at least three extra crates than the number of guests attending your event to allow for all eventualities.