Glassware handling and storage for bartending

Glassware is an essential part of the presentation of a cocktail. It should be elegant, transparent, and sparkling clean. Glassware is an excellent insulator, which helps to maintain the preferred temperature of a drink (cold drinks cold and hot drinks hot). The glass is one of the most important elements in defining a drink’s style. Most recipes make a glassware suggestion in the recipe, but when you’re flying solo, make sure to take into account the total size of the drink as well as the capacity of the glass. You want your cocktail to fill the glass without needing to over dilute the beverage with extra mixers.

Glassware Handling

1) Avoid handling any part of the glass that might come into contact with a person’s mouth. Touching the rim or inside of the glass is a health code violation.

2) Never use the glass to scoop ice directly from the ice bin. If the glass breaks it will be impossible to find pieces of broken glass in the ice. If you do break a glass in or around the ice bin, empty the bin immediately and inform all other bartenders in the area. Next, pour buckets of hot water in the ice bin to accelerate the melting process. If you use this ice, then you’re putting your customers at risk. No matter how far behind this will put you, it is better than the alternative.

3) Inspect the glass before adding ice or ingredients. Always use sparkling clean glassware. Check for chips, cleanliness, or any other contaminant.

4) Use stemmed glassware for all cocktails that are to be served without ice. This is so that the heat of your customer’s hand does not warm their drink while they are drinking it.

Storing Glassware

Glassware must be stored properly in order to keep it clean…always use a clean, level surface to store glasses. Glasses should be inverted and stored on shelving that has proper NSF certified netting (which allows for proper air circulation). In addition, make sure to periodically rotate the glassware to keep it from getting dusty over time. Although the state laws have been changing, you may also want to consider storing your glassware away from smoky areas, as a film can develop on the glass. Finally, be mindful of the refrigerator you are using to store your drinks. Lingering odors can, and will, impact the taste of your drink!