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1. For Everyday Use: Juice Glasses
For your morning glass of OJ or milk, juice glasses are a household essential. If you are tight on storage, these wine punt-shaped glasses (right) can double as your wine glasses, too — very European.
If you’re looking for something that will multitask for you, try these classic glasses (left). They come with lids, which makes them useful for transporting hot fudge to a friend or for storing your own homemade pickled vegetables.
2. For Everyday Use: Tall Glasses/High Balls
These modern glasses (left) are great to use when you want to bring a big glass of water to your bedside, or when chilled to serve up a frosty beer or float. While we do love their clean lines and the ultra-thin glass, they're not the best for heavy-handed people. These thicker-walled glasses are a sturdier option.
3. For Everyday Use: Wine Glasses
Unless you are a serious connoisseur, can’t fathom drinking a Merlot out of a Cabernet glass, or have tons of storage, we recommend registering for one all-purpose goblet (left) for both white and red wine. Otherwise, go for both!
If you have a casual household or virtually no storage, opt for stemless (right). It can also double as a regular drinking glass.
4. For Special Occasions: Decorative Glasses
5. For Special Occasions: Champagne Flutes
A couple of flutes are essential to have on hand for toasting all of those special occasions. We like these decorative, stemless glasses, but something classic works, too.
6. For Special Occasions: Martini Glasses
If you like your martinis and gimlets, this is a must. If your look is more casual, opt for stemless glasses. Whatever you choose, the great thing is that these double as decorative ice cream dishes, are great for serving ceviche, or can be used to hold cocktail nuts.
Looking to explore the world of craft cocktails in greater depth? Be sure to know what kind of glass to use with our cocktail glass primer.
7. For Special Occasions: Large Drink Dispenser
If you’re always making big batches of sangria, or are constantly entertaining guests in your outdoor kitchen, a drink dispenser (right) is a must. It works for cocktails and punches, but also for plain ice water, flavored with a variety of lemon, lime, and orange slices. If you’ve got young kids running around, a more casual, non-glass dispenser (left) is best.
8. For Special Occasions: Liquor Decanter
You’ve seen these in Mad Men. So, if you like your bourbon and whisky, display your liquor in classy crystal decanters just like Don Draper.
9. Bar Essentials: Glass Pitcher
Now that you've got the basics and added some specialized glassware for every entertaining need, it's time to focus on stocking the bar.
For serving water at the table, for making a batch of sun tea, or for mixing some lemonade to serve the kids along with their after-school snack, a simple yet elegant pitcher is a must. We love this pitcher’s clean lines — plus, it holds just enough liquid for four lemonades or tall glasses of iced tea for two.
12. Bar Essentials: Rabbit Wine Opener
Do we need to explain this one? Even if you don’t drink wine, everyone should have a bottle opener of some sort on hand regardless of what kind of party you like to throw. This is our favorite (it makes opening a bottle easy, with no broken or cracked corks) — plus it's packable and just right for a picnic.
Be sure to have a basic beer opener, as well, so guests can pop open their bottles as the party gets going.
13. Bar Essentials: Ice Bucket
When setting up a spread at the bar, you want to have a stash of ice readily accessible by your guests. We’d put cubed ice in something that is pretty to look at. (Plus, if you’re in a no-drinking phase, it doubles as a vase in a pinch.)
If you find yourself regularly chilling multiple bottles on ice (because you’ve left — er, forgotten — too many bottles chilling in the freezer), you might think about investing in this oversized, silver-plated bucket (left) — it’ll hold five bottles at once.
14. Bar Essentials: Wine Decanter
For true wine connoisseurs, a wine decanter is a must for aerating that old French red or filtering out the sediment from that ’74 Fonseca Port. We think this one is pretty cool.
10. Bar Essentials: Basic Tools
Hosting a party? Regardless of whether it’s for two or ten, everyone should have an ice scoop or a pair of tongs (and a bucket).
If you're a cocktail connoisseur, you might want to register for some of these tools, as well.