Take a quick peek inside your drinkware cabinet. What do you see? Orderly rows of chic glasses organized by type? Or an assortment of plastic stadium cups sporting logos that you probably received at various events? Tervis tumblers bearing a variety of logos? Mismatched coffee mugs from all the places you’ve visited? Cups are so easy to accumulate—it’s a mystery as to what is even nestled back in that cabinet (besides dust). If cups are stacked five-high and falling off the shelves every time you open the door, it is time to make a change—particularly before the holidays roll around and you’ll be filling those glasses for friends and family on more than one special occasion. Be party-ready while creating a little cabinet Zen with a fall tidy-up and restocking with the addition of a few simple glasses.
Purge and Organize
The first thing to do is to start with a clean slate. Remove each and every cup, mug, tumbler and glass from your cabinet. Once they are out, you will realize just how many you had jammed in there. Take advantage of the now-empty shelves and give them a good wipe down. Now, it’s time to say goodbye to the ones you don’t need. Grab an empty box and start ruthlessly tossing for donation or recycling. You don’t need 15 Tervis tumblers, you don’t need a coffee mug from every state, and you definitely don’t need an abundance of those flimsy plastic cups. Discard anything you haven’t used in a long time, and ditch anything that doesn’t make sense for your current living situation. Do you really still need to keep those sippy cups if your youngest child is 13? Once you have decided which ones to keep, place them back where it makes the most sense. Everyday drinkware should go on the bottom shelves for easiest access, with specialty glasses up top. If you have a glass-front cabinet or hutch in your kitchen, think about displaying some of the pretty, special ones here. Perhaps you now have some extra room to update your drinkware wardrobe and add some fun, stylish and versatile options to your collection.
Find the Most Versatile Drinkware
Nowadays, it seems more and more people are embracing cocktail culture at home. Going out can be expensive and crowded, and it’s much more intimate to host a small get-together at home. The trick to doing so, though, is to provide a variety of options for your guests. Some people prefer wine or champagne, some liquor, others non-alcoholic beverages. Getting your hands on these liquid goods is the easy part. But what do you serve everything in? Do you really need all those fancy, different-sized crystal glasses for whites, reds and champagne? Can you only drink margaritas out of margarita glasses? The answer is no.
There are many versatile sets of all-purpose wine glasses available that accommodate both white and red wine. Stemless wine glasses are popular because they are easy to handle and can fit on that top shelf of the dishwasher without breaking. They can also be used for drinks other than wine, such as margaritas or freshly squeezed lemonade, as they almost mimic a highball or old-fashioned glass in your hand without the stem. Many people are moving away from the fine, crystal stemware that our grandparents have locked up in their china cabinets; it is considered extravagant and frankly, too much fuss in this time-starved world. When it comes to champagne, many argue whether it’s best to use coupes or flutes. Coupes are wide-mouthed and swanky, and can be fun to bring out at a small party—but that wide mouth can lead to easy spillage and offers little space for the bubbles to rise. Tall, slender flutes accentuate the rising bubbles, but don’t allow the champagne to fully express its wonderful aroma. To get the most enjoyment out of your champagne, consider serving it in a simple wine glass. After all, isn’t champagne just wine with bubbles?
Old-fashioned glasses (rocks, whiskey glasses) are always “in” and are considered classic, timeless, casual and versatile. These short tumblers, or lowballs, can be used for serving almost any spirit or cocktail. The same goes for highball glasses, which are taller and feature a sleek, cylindrical shape. They can even be used as a dramatic way to serve juice or soda.
Another popular drinking vessel that can be used for a wide variety of beverages is the Mason jar. Perfect for enjoying your favorite cold drinks, smoothies or sweet tea, these adorable jars are easy to hold and even easier to care for. These days, there are Mason jars that come with handles, lids, straws, and even Mason jars with stems, just for fun. If one day you decide to no longer use these jars as drinking glasses, there are a million other uses for them.
Add in Some Fun Pieces
While it’s important to have glasses that can accommodate a wide variety of beverages, also think about adding some unique pieces to your collection. Moscow Mule mugs are a standout in their coppery beauty and are sure to act as a conversation starter. Chilled drinks in copper cups offer some extra coolness because the metal acts as an insulator. While these copper mugs are usually reserved for Moscow Mule cocktails (lime juice, simple syrup, ginger beer and vodka), that’s not to say they can’t be used for other drinks. Other vodka or gin-based drinks, or simply some refreshing, iced water garnished with lemon, can be served in these as well. Hot beverages such as coffee and hot chocolate can also be served in copper mugs, and the handle makes for easy sipping.
For craft beer lovers, you may not want to use the same type of glass for every variation. There are reasons why certain kinds go in certain shapes here, and when you have the right glass for unlocking the flavors of each style of beer, hosting a small craft beer or microbrew tasting can be tasty and fun. There are many sets that you can buy at your local home goods store that include glasses for a classic English pub, Belgian ale, pilsner, stout/porter, and wheat beer. If you don’t drink a lot of different styles of beer, just stock up on a set of pint glasses that are sure to do the trick.
The options for drinkware are endless, and you should mold your collection to fit your own needs. Give this some dedicated thought while cleaning, purging and restocking. If your family loves a glass of wine with dinner every night, make sure you have enough wine glasses to accommodate that. If you like a smoothie every morning with breakfast, stock up on large, basic glasses such as Mason jars. Simple pint glasses, which are great for water, soda and beer, also serve as great general-purpose glasses. If you have some of each in your drinkware collection, then you’ll have a glass for practically every type of drink. Choose clear glasses to keep it simple while also being able to appreciate the color of your drink, but don’t be afraid to branch out and gather a few with designs or colors that express your personality and accent your home.
Whether your drinkware cabinet is in need of a full-fledged cleaning out, or you just need to do a bit of reorganizing and restocking, the main goal is to be able to open your cabinet to a state of calm. Having just the right assortment of drinkware will allow you to have one more part of your home organized, party-ready and blissfully updated.