Glassware : While most cocktails could be served in a standard wine glass, the proper glassware significantly enhances a drink's visual appeal and improves its flavor and fragrance. Most drinks traditionally call for a special glass. You just have to decide what kinds of drinks you most enjoy serving and what glass styles best match your lifestyle and taste. You can do this without investing in a hugely expensive collection of glasses.
Martini Glass or Cocktail Glass : This classic glass is cone-shaped with a long solid stem and comes in small or large sizes holding from 4 to 12 fluid ounces. In addition to martinis, these glasses are used for a wide range of straight-up (without ice) cocktails, including manhattans, cosmopolitans, and gimlets. The martini glass is always held by the stem so that the heat of the hand does not warm the drink.
Highball Glass : A tall glass with straight sides, holding anywhere from 6 to 12 fluid ounces. Highball glasses are generally used for any liquor drink that has a mixer, such as a whiskey and soda or a gin and tonic.
Tumbler, Old-fashioned or 'Rocks' Glass : A short round glass with a heavy bottom, holding between 8 and 12 fluid ounces. Tumblers used for some mixed drinks or straight liquor served on ice.
Champagne Flute or Flute : Tall and slim, the flute holds about 7 fluid ounces. In addition to Champagne and sparkling wine, this is the glass for the classic Champagne cocktail, Kir Royale, and Bellini.
Champagne Coupe or Champagne Saucer : The traditional Champagne Coupe is a wide rimmed glass with a shallow bowl.
Brandy Balloon or Goblet : A large, stemmed, bulbous wine glass, holding around 10 fluid ounces, this glass is for serving brandy, red wines as well as some fruit-based drinks. It is designed to be cupped, so the heat from the hands warms the liquor and releases its aroma.
Margarita Glass : Developed specifically for the popular Tequila drink, this generously sized coupe-style glass, holding about 10 to 12 fluid ounces, has a broad rim for holding salt. It may also be used for daiquiris and other fruit drinks.
Shot Glass : An elegant shot glass is perfect for enjoying premium vodkas, whiskeys, and liquors. Usually about 2 inches tall, it holds approximately 2 ounces.
Collins Glass : Developed for the tart, lemony drink of the same name, the Collins glass is shaped like a highball only taller, holding about 12 to 16 ounces.
Cordial Glass : Dainty and stemmed, these 2- to 3-ounce liquor glasses usually come in sets or four or more.
Red Wine Glass : This glass is a thin clear stemmed glass with a round or oval bowl tapering inward at the rim. A glass that holds at least 6 ounces when half full provides ample room to capture a wine's fragrance and showcase its colour.
White Wine Glass : This glass is a thin clear stemmed glass with elongated oval bowl tapering inward at the rim holding about 10 ounces. Like the red wine glass, only smaller and with a different bowl shape.
Sherry Glass : This glass is a thin clear stemmed glass with a round bowl tapering inward at the rim holding.
Port Glass : This glass is a thin clear stemmed glass with a round bowl tapering inward at the rim holding.
Beer Mug : These are large and sturdy beer, each holding about 16 ounces. These strapping glasses are perfect for thick, dark beer.
Pilsner Glass : The most elegant beer glass is the pilsner glass which is has a tall, smooth, clear, flute-shaped form showcasing the beer's golden color and allows a perfect head of foam to form on top, holding between 12 and 16 ounces.
Bar Set : A set containing some of the essential equipment for a bar.
Bar Spoon : This must be long, as its dual use includes measuring (it has the same capacity as a teaspoon) and stirring. It's also great for crushing mint and sugar.
Bar Towels : Ribbed terry-cloth dish cloths are highly absorbent and quickly soak up spilled liquids or blot condensation off glasses and cocktail shakers. They are more practical and attractive than a sponge.
Blender : Blenders are for mixing, blending, and puréeing drinks and fruit syrups. They are also useful for crushing ice - but be sure your blender is sturdy.
Books : Books of drink recipes allow you to mix your favorite cocktails, with those that open flat on the bar are best.
Bottle Opener : You need one to open crown-capped beer, water, and soda bottles.
Bowls : Your bowls should be stainless steel, to hold olives, pearl onions, and citrus slices.
Food Processor : A wonderful invention for pureeing and juicing fruits.
Cocktail Napkins : Paper or cloth, small napkins keep fingers from getting wet and cold, while catching drips and preventing drink stains.
Cocktail Shaker : A classic shaker is a necessity for the bar. Constructed in three parts, it has a base, strainer/top, and cap that also doubles as a measure. Used for martinis, margaritas and other "shaken-not-stirred" drinks.
Coffeemaker : At any party there will always be a need for coffee after the desert and later in the evening.
Corkscrew : There are many openers available, ranging from the classic T-shaped corkscrew to the lever screwpull. Choose the one that is easiest for you to use.
Cutting Board : Cutting boards protect the bar's surface when you are cutting fruit.
Grater : Grating of garnishes for cocktails.
Ice Bucket : Preferably made of a metal so that it keeps the ice icy longer, an ice bucket should come with ice tongs (or an ice scoop) and have a hinged lid to leave hands free to scoop ice and mix drinks.
Ice Crusher : Crushers ice cubes into crushed ice.
Ice Pick : Breaks up ice in the ice bucket.
Ice Scoop : To scoop ice from the ice bucket.
Ice Tongs : To pick ice from the ice bucket.
Ice Trays : To have ice cubes handy in your freezer.
Jiggers or Measures : Jiggers come in various sizes but, for maximum ease, opt for a four-jigger or double jigger, with capacities ranging from 3/4 ounce (1/2 jigger) to 1 ounce (a pony) to 1 1/2 ounces (1 jigger, the standard cocktail pour) to 2 ounces.
Kettle : At any party there will always be a need for coffee and tea after the desert and later in the evening.
Pitcher, Jug or Tall Mixing Glass : This must be large enough to measure and mix drinks. A molded lip will prevent the ice from falling into the drink glass. Otherwise, use a circular wire strainer.
Saucepan : Heating contents for hot drinks.
Scoop : A scoop for ice cream.
Strainer : Straining ice and pulp from the shaken cocktail before as it is poured into the cocktail glass.
Straws : Some cocktail drinks are served with straws.
Swizzle Sticks : Swizzle sticks are essential both when mixing drinks and when dressing them up.
Umbrellas : Adds panache to the cocktail.