Are Plastic Cups Okay?
Glass barware feels more special than plastic, but it's really only doable for small gatherings. If you're set on glass, there are deals out there on basic styles, such as this set of 12 glasses for $10. For larger groups, though, Mark Oldman, a wine expert known for his unsnooty approach, is fine with plastic—so long as it's clear. (You want to avoid what Oldman calls "the lollygag-around-the-keg cup" as well as "the dentist-style Dixie cup.") He prefers the taller, narrower cups over the shorter, wider ones; they're less likely to spill and can hold more wine or mixed drinks, so party-goers won't have to elbow their way through the room as often for a refill. Put cups or glasses and a big stack of cocktail napkins on both ends of the bar.