Your Guide To Buying the Best Drinkware

Choosing The Right Drinkware

Whether it's for everyday use or special occasions, having the right drinkware can make your refreshment taste and look so much better! From elegant champagne flutes and exotic cocktail glasses to rustic mugs and simple tumblers, you can find so many amazing glassware types here at Spotlight. The huge amount of drinkware you can find here is a little overwhelming, so let's go through everything you need to choose the right drinkware at home.

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Common Drinkware Materials

All reusable drinkware must be made from non-porous materials, so any liquids inside do not seep through and leak out of the vessel. Some of the most common drinkware materials include -

  • Glass - alcohol, cocktail and tumbler glasses are often made from thick glass which has been tinted or left clear. Glass should only be used for cold drinks, as hot liquids can cause the glass to heat up to dangerous levels and make it unsafe to handle. Glass drinkware can be hand washed or cleaned in a dishwasher, although cleaning in a dishwasher can cause many small scratches to appear and your glass drinkware to feel 'grippy'.
  • Porcelain - often used for hot drink mugs, porcelain is a pure white ceramic, although it can be painted to feature different colours. Porcelain is reasonably durable and can be safely washed in the dishwasher, although very fine porcelain drinkware should be hand washed, as protrusions like handles can snap off with little force.
  • Stoneware - more durable and heavier than porcelain, stoneware is a thick, opaque ceramic that naturally comes in attractive earth colours, although it can also easily be painted.
  • Hard plastic - perfect for kids, hard plastic glasses come in every colour of the rainbow and are super easy to wash. They are drop proof, but can still be broken through force, such as if they are stepped on.
  • Stainless steel - mostly reserved for thermoses and commemorative cups, stainless steel is durable, easy to clean and boasts an attractive silver shine. While it won't break, stainless steel can be scratched or bent, so it should be hand-washed and kept out of harm's way where possible.

Drinkware Sizes Guide

You'll be able to find most types of drinkware in a useful range of sizes suitable for both children and adults. Everyday use items like tumblers usually hold around 315-340ml, either as a tall 'highball' style glass or as a shorter, wider tumbler. A standard wine glass will hold around 350ml, with specialty red glasses holding around 500ml, specialty white glasses holding up to 300 ml and sparkling flutes holding up to 220ml. For hot drinkware, smaller cups for a ristretto or espresso will hold 118ml, your regular coffee cup size, like for a cappuccino or flat white, will hold 177ml, a mug will hold around 237ml and an iced coffee or smoothie glass will hold around 415ml. There will be small variations depending on the brand and thickness of your drinkware, as well as how much you fill your glass (did you know red wine is never filled to the top of the glass because it needs space to breathe and aerate?).

Drinkware approximate sizes explained:

Glass Type


Tumblers and highball glasses

315-340 ml

Standard wine glasses

350 ml

Specialty red wine glasses

500 ml

Specialty white wine glasses

300 ml

Sparkling flutes

220 ml

Espresso cup

118 ml

Regular coffee cup

177 ml

Regular mug

237 ml

Iced coffee or smoothie glass

415 ml

Types Of Coffee Cups

There are so many variations out there it can be hard to decide what makes a good coffee cup! Regular coffee cup size (what you'll get in a cafe when ordering a cappuccino, flat white or hot chocolate) is roughly 177ml, but you can also get a coffee mug that can hold around 350ml. Most coffee cups are made from a ceramic like porcelain or stoneware, which will hold the heat and keep your drink warm without burning your hands.

There are also glass coffee cups on the market, which look beautiful and are easy to clean - but make sure any glass coffee cups you want to own are double-walled and thick enough to safely absorb the heat without burning your hands at a touch. You should also never put hot coffee into a cold glass coffee cup, as it will shatter at the extreme temperature change. This is why ceramic is the most popular coffee cup material, as it can withstand changes in heat to a greater degree.

Types Of Wine Glasses

There are four types of wine glasses out there for you to choose from - red wine glasses, white wine glasses, flutes and universal wine glasses.

  • Universal wine glass - no matter your wine preferences, the versatile universal wine glass and its attractive tulip-like shape ensures every sip is a tasty one. There is enough room in this glass for red wine to breathe, but it is not so wide that all the subtle scent from your white wine will fly past your nose. This is the best wine glass to have if you enjoy a variety of wines but don't want to have a huge amount of specialty wine glasses clogging up your cabinet.
  • Red wine glass - with its rich flavour and heady aromas, red wines require a wide, deep glass to taste their absolute best. The wider the glass, the more of the aroma you will smell - plus the extra space (plus a few elegant swirls in your hand) will help aerate the wine, which will release more flavour.
  • White wine glass - white wine tends to have a lighter and more subtle flavour, so their glasses are narrower to help direct their delightful scent up towards your nose. This narrow build also helps expose less of the white wine to the air, which helps keep it cooler for longer - it's the best wine glass for a hot day!
  • Sparkling wine flute - keep your bubbly… well, bubbly, in a proper flute glass! The less of your drink that is exposed to the air, the longer your bubbles will stick around, which is why a tall, narrow flute glass is the best choice for sparkling wine. They are also very attractive, showing off the bubbles in your sparkling wine as they rise to the top of the glass.

What about a stemless wine glass?

Modern and stylish, stemless wine glasses are perfect for casual get-togethers and events. Their only downside is because you are holding the glass directly, heat from your hand will cause your wine to heat up - so if you've got white or sparkling wine in your stemless glass, you'd better drink it fast!

Stylish Glassware

Types Of Cocktail Glasses

Colourful and delicious, there's a cocktail for everyone out there - and every cocktail has a preferred cocktail glass. Here are some of the most popular ones you'll need for your next event:

  • Highball glass - tall, straight and narrow, highball glasses are designed for cocktails that require a lot of ice cubes and only a few small garnishes like leaves or flowers. Use for drinks like the Mojito, Tequila Sunrise or the Dark and Stormy.
  • Rocks/lowball glass - short and wide, a lowball glass is designed for mixed drinks without ice and large amounts of spirits (although an exemption can be made for a large, single sphere of ice). Think a Negroni, Old Fashioned or even a Mai Tai.
  • Hurricane glass - tall and curvy with a short stem, the hurricane glass is designed for fruity cocktails like the Hurricane (obviously), the Pina Colada and the Blue Hawaii. The flared lip and wide lower body leave plenty of room for delicious fruity garnishes.
  • Coupe glass - shallow and wide, a coupe glass is used for strained cocktails that are served without ice, like the Cosmopolitan, Manhattan and Daiquiri.
  • Margarita glass - this iconic glass has a narrow bottom and two flared 'levels' on the top. This allows for plenty of room for garnishes, as well as letting the aromas of your cocktail fly free. Finally, the wide rim is perfect for a sugar or salt coating to add to each sip. Use for a Margarita, Daiquiri or even versions of the Martini.
  • Martini glass - whether you like them shaken or stirred, the sight of a Martini in the classic V-shaped glass is enough to set anyone's mouth watering. You can also use it for cocktails like the Sidecar or the Cosmopolitan.

Types Of Tumblers

When it comes to glass tumblers, you have two variations - tall and short. Both can be used whenever you need a quick drink of water, juice, milk or soft drink, and are ideal for putting ice in. Many glass tumblers come with designs or patterns etched into the sides, making them perfect for formal occasions as well. This drinkware often comes in sets, as everyone will need a decent amount for their home - which also makes a set of this glassware type an excellent housewarming present!

Other Glassware Types

  • Shot glass - this small glass typically holds between 50 and 60 ml and is used for shots of straight liquor or tasty mixed shots, such as a jam doughnut shot or an apple pie shot.
  • Drink dispenser - ideal for parties, a glass drink dispenser can hold around 10L of liquid and is ideal for dispensing water to your guests. Add mint leaves, sliced citrus fruits or berries to add some healthy flavour to the water.
  • Decanter - decanting your wine allows it to breathe and aerate, as well as separating it from any old sediment in the bottle. Plus, serving wine from a decanter is a lovely way to formally pour drinks, rather than straight from the bottle!
  • Sake drinkware - sake glasses are short like a shot glass, but rounder and wider like an informal tea cup. Sake drinkware is often made from stoneware or porcelain - porcelain and glass for cold sake, and stoneware for sake served hot.
  • Coffee plunger - perfect your morning coffee with a glass coffee plunger, one of the best ways to make high-quality coffee at home.
Coffee Cups

Discover Beautiful Glassware At Spotlight

No matter your drinking needs, you can find the right drinkware at Spotlight online or at your nearest Spotlight store! With a great variety of payment options and home delivery available, there's no excuse to not have the perfect glassware type for your next drink. Having friends over? Choose the right cookware, dining ware and more by checking out our cooking and dining buying guides, and browse our celebrate blog for fun party ideas for every occasion!



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