Shopping for the right crystal barware doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Crystal for the bar comes in many different shapes and sizes, and each has a particular purpose.
Knowing which pieces are right for your needs, and knowing how to care for your crystal properly, will help you acquire and maintain the perfect set of barware. Just follow these 7 simple steps.
Before you buy:
1. Select a variety of drinking glasses
As a rule I recommend buying enough glasses to match the number of your fine china and flatware settings. However,
if you want to save and buy fewer of the items you don’t expect to use as much, or if you think you’ll need more of another item, breaking this rule makes sense.
Know a lot of wine drinkers? You may want to concentrate on wine glasses and stemware and build a good collection of these. Are your friends more likely to drink a beer than have a shot? Concentrate on beer mugs, steins, and pilsner glasses and cut back on shot glasses.
Correctly anticipating your barware needs will enable you to spend more efficiently and have the right pieces on hand for any occasion.
2. Choose the right serving vessels
It will be important to have a variety of serving vessels to properly present all the drinks you want to serve. Carafes for wine, decanters for liquor, pitchers for non-alcoholic drinks, and water sets will look elegant in crystal. Impress your guests by serving from crystal containers rather than the bottle.
3. Don’t forget the ice bucket
When you’re entertaining, a crystal ice bucket placed on the bar adds an elegant touch to your presentation.
4. Personalize it
Want your barware to stand apart from the rest? Personalize it by etching your initials, monogram, or name on the crystal to make your collection truly unique. Personalize your entire set to make each piece special, or personalize just your serving vessels and ice bucket. (A personalized pitcher, ice bucket, or set of wine glasses will also make a great gift!)
After you’ve bought your barware:
5. Pay attention to temperature
Crystal is very sensitive to temperature changes. Always pour warm beverages into a glass that has been warmed, and put ice and cold beverages in glasses that have been chilled.
6. Clean it properly
Glassware is delicate and requires special care. Wash it with warm water and a small amount of detergent then rinse with cold water. Polish your glassware with a lint-free cloth, and be careful not to leave fingerprints when serving. If you have softened water don’t put your crystal in the dishwasher. The softened water will permanently etch the crystal with cloudy marks.
7. Store it right side up
Crystal’s delicate edges can be damaged if hung upside down. Always store your crystal barware right side up.