As “Stock the Bar” showers have been gaining popularity, we thought we’d do a little research about what everyone is registering for in terms of barware. I was surprised to discover that even entertaining with barware isn’t impervious to trends. Think about it: a few years ago, thanks to Sex & the City, everyone had to have martini glasses. Today, the popularity of Mad Men has increased double old-fashioneds on registries. Aisledash.com had a great article explaining what each piece in a bar is used for. Keep in mind as you’re registering for barware or ANYTHING, to only register for something you would use. If you’re not a drinker or entertainer, a cocktail shaker would not be a necessity for your home!
Registering for Barware by Jorge Perez, www.aisledash.com
Some guys think that registering can be boring. Evidently, those guys have never registered for barware. When it comes to this category, it’s the perfect time for your groom to grab the scanner and take over. Watch his eyes light up as he begins to scan away.
Did you know that your barware does not have to match your stemware, since the two are never at the table at the same time? This is a great opportunity to showcase a different sense of your style and personality with an entirely different pattern for your bar. I love a classic-looking bar. My favorite barware pattern is Lismore by Waterford. It looks and feels great in your hand, and everything is guaranteed to taste better. It’s Waterford!
Wineglass A plain wineglass (no cut pattern) is best for your bar. Unlike your dressier crystal stemware pattern, your bar wineglasses should be plain. Check out Robert Mondavi by Waterford.
Martini Glass The iconic symbol of the cocktail, the martini has hadresurgence in popularity thanks to shows like Sex in the City and its frequent references to Cosmopolitans. You will find martini glasses in four-, six- and, my favorite, eight-ounce sizes. Have fun with the martini glass and you use it for serving olives, dips or condiments.
Double Old-Fashioned (aka Rocks Glass) The standard DOF holds 12 ounces and has a heavy bottom. This is a great glass for scotch or whisky on the rocks or for cocktails. It’s the largest of the bar glasses. It works well with cocktails like the Manhattan. (See recipes below.)
Highball Glass On average, a highball holds approximately 12 ounces and is used for your favorite mixed drinks like gin and tonics, screwdrivers or nonalcoholic beverages like iced tea, lemonade or water.
Pilsner Glass The tall, slender, tapered pilsner glass holds approximately 18 ounces and is used to serve many types of light beers. It is designed to showcase the color, effervescence, and clarity of the beer, as well as to maintain a nice head. Pilsners make great groomsmen’s gifts.
Beer Mug (aka Tankard) This sturdy vessel will generally hold up to 16 ounces. Keep some of your glass beer mugs in the freezer for a frosty brew on a hot summer day!
Champagne Flute A stem glass with a tall, slim bowl designed to hold champagne’s carbonation by reducing the surface at the top. It also has an older counterpart, known as a saucer or coupe, that has a wide opening. A flute’s capacity can vary, generally from four to eight ounces, depending on the height of the bowl. It’s perfect for any champagne or sparkling wine, or use it to serve mimosas and Bellinis.
>>>>Fun tip Place a few frozen raspberries in the champagne flute before pouring your champagne. The bubbles will surround the berries, creating a delicious, alluring drink, while the icy fruit will maintain your champagne’s chill.
Brandy Snifter They’re not just for men in smoking jackets by the fireplace! Only a small amount of brandy or cognac should be poured into the snifter. Its design is intended for the liquid to warm naturally from the hand’s heat when holding the snifter. Incidentally, “snifter” is a British vernacular for a small amount of alcohol in a glass. They come in many sizes, from six to 22 ounces. (This doesn’t give you license to fill it all the way!) Snifters are multifunctional: If you put a tea light in an empty glass, you’ll have the perfect footed votive.
No bar is complete without the following items:
Decanter This is a vessel, typically made of lead crystal, that has a stopper. Often cognac or single malt scotch whisky is served from decanters. There are different size and liquor-specific shapes. Decanters are an elegant alternative to bottles for your bar display, and may also be used to serve water at the table.
Carafes Red wines are often poured into carafes to allow them to breathe. Size may vary, but they will usually hold an entire bottle of wine. Register for several, because they are perfect for OJ, cranberry juice, water and milk. Or fill it with fresh flowers and your carafe becomes a vase! Not just for the breakfast table, carafes can be used at your next buffet to serve salad dressing.
Pitcher A must-have item for your registry. As a multipurpose item, it is something you’ll probably want a couple of.. In addition to water, juice, milk, iced tea, lemonade and sangria, you can also use it in a pinch as a beautiful substitute vase.
A cocktail shaker is the quintessential item for your bar. I love the look and feel of stainless. Choose one that is big enough to mix two or three drinks at once and comes with a strainer for pouring drinks with or without. This is also one of my top picks for groomsmen’s gifts. Think about having them engraved.
Ice buckets are a real essential for your bar. They’re available in an endless variety of materials, like stainless steel, glass, crystal, plastic, copper, and even wood (with a plastic liner). You’ll need tongs or an ice scooper, but don’t assume the ice bucket comes with either of them, so add them to your registry too.
Register for a good blender for mixing drinks and crushing ice. I use my Cuisinart Power Edge blender all the time to make smoothies and mixed drinks. If you party like a rock star, get this 700-watt powerhouse. It’s the workhorse of any bar. Or check out Macy’s for a great selection of others.
Assorted bowls and trays are worth their weight in gold. Available in all shapes, patterns and sizes, they are always in demand for serving appetizers, hors d’oeuvres, dips and snacks.
Coasters are a great way to add a splash of color when entertaining and they safeguard your fine surfaces. Something you never thought you would want becomes essential when you have furniture that needs protection from a wet glass or a beer bottle. Make your mother happy and register for coasters!
Bar tool sets typically have an assortment of gadgets like jiggers, bar knives, strainers and bottle openers that will come in handy when you prepare drinks for your guests. To make opening a bottle of wine a breeze, try the clever Metrokane Rabbit wine opener.
Wine racks are available in countless styles and sizes and are made of everything from wrought iron to wood to chrome to Lucite … you name it! Register for a wine rack that best fits your decor and fits comfortably in your bar area — or put it on display in your living room.
Don’t know where to set up your bar? Then think about registering for a bar cart. It will solve the space dilemma and they are all the rage! Their ’50s feel adds swank to a party and they’re perfect for storage when not used for entertaining. Check out Pottery Barn for some neat ones.
Take Along This Quick List
First the drinkware:
- Red and White Wineglasses, or an All-Purpose Glass
- Martini Glasses
- Double Old-Fashioned Glasses
- Highball Glasses
- Beer Mugs and Pilsner Glasses
- Champagne Flutes
- Brandy Snifters
You’ll also need:
- Cocktail Shaker
- Ice Bucket
- Trays and Bowls
- Bar-Tool Set
- Wine Rack
- Bar Cart