The 200-Year-Old Glassware Brand Hoteliers Swear By
Building a home bar can be intimidating. When having guests over for an evening of cocktails and conversation, we want to make sure our drinkware strikes a balance of fun, function, and good taste. So what's the best glassware for all occasions at home? To answer this question and more, we turned to hospitality group ASH NYC's Chief Creative Officer, Will Cooper.
As the design minds behind some of the country's most in-demand boutique hotels, including Hotel Peter & Paul in New Orleans, The Siren in Detroit, and The Dean in Providence, ASH NYC knows a thing or two about barware, especially amid the spirit-forward cities where each of its locations is set. "We typically use Libbey for commercial glassware," Cooper tells Food & Wine.
Libbey has been producing fine glassware for over 200 years and has understandably cracked the code for durable, well-designed products for both hotels and at home. Its stemware, tumblers, rocks glasses, margarita glasses, and beer mugs are carefully crafted out of expert manufacturing hubs in the U.S., Mexico, China, Portugal and the Netherlands — all locales known for their mastery of the material.
Libbey Miles 16-Piece Tumbler and Rocks Glass Set
To buy: $25 at amazon.com
To say Libbey's product lineup is extensive is an understatement. Hundreds if not thousands of unique styles have been produced over the years (there's even a market for vintage Libbey glasses), with more still lining shelves today. Vibrantly swirled tumbler and rocks glass bundles, modern stemless Champagne flutes, and party-ready margarita glass and pitcher sets make up just a small slice of the brand's assortment, all guaranteed to embody the brand's high quality and thoughtful design.
While hoteliers like Cooper celebrate the brand's reliability and attractiveness, they also no doubt appreciate the low cost of its products when stocking their popular watering holes, such as Hotel Peter & Paul's Elysium Bar. A 16-piece set of the brand's versatile high and low glasses are as low as $2 per unit, and wine glasses are as little as $7 each. (Libbey may have been founded in 1818, but its distribution practices have thankfully made their way into the 21st century — Amazon carries nearly 1,000 products under the query ″Libbey glasses.″)
While it doesn't get much better value than Libbey, for a splurge Cooper personally can't resist Lobmeyr, a brand made in Austria. "There are so many silhouettes, from extremely simple and modern to very ornate — something for everyone. The crystal is so thin and beautiful," he says. "You have to see it to believe it!"
With glassware taken care of, you don't need much more to round out your home bar. According to Cooper, all that's left is "a great tequila (we like Casamigos), some beautiful vintage silver barware, and a cocktail shaker for a great martini."
Libbey Stemless 12-Piece Wine Glass Party Set for Red and White Wines
To buy: $28 at amazon.com
Libbey Province 16-Piece Tumbler and Rocks Glass Set
To buy: $30 at amazon.com
Libbey Craft Spirits Whiskey Glasses, Set of 4
To buy: $15 at amazon.com
Libbey Signature Kentfield Classic White Wine Glasses, Set of 4
To buy: $29 at amazon.com