You’ve got a wedding, party, or banquet around the corner, and you want favors for all the guests. Or maybe you’re just looking for something nice to decorate the tables at your bar or restaurant. Either way, personalized drinkware is the perfect choice for you!

If this is your first time customizing drinkware, you’re in luck! This buying guide is here to make your life easier. You’ll find all the design tips and tricks you need to get started. Cheers!

Why Do You Need Custom Drinkware?

Everybody needs a good drink from time to time! Serve your patrons or guests their favorite beverages in stylish custom drinkware. Glasses, bottles, mugs, and cups are incredible gifts, souvenirs, or favors for the following:

Weddings

The big day is almost here! You have the dinner menu picked out, now all you need is wedding favors for the reception. Nothing says “I do” quite like glass drinkware printed with your monogram, a cute message, or your names and wedding date.

Bars & Breweries

Serve your alcohol in a variety of bar glasses. You should use one glass for beer, one for whiskey, one for wine, and another for cocktails. The best bars and breweries will serve all of those drinks and many more in logo glasses.

Restaurants

Some restaurants use plain, boring drink glasses or cups branded with the Coca-Cola logo. Don’t you want to show some love to your restaurant instead? Pour all of those refills in custom cups that are printed with your restaurant’s name and/or logo.

Coffee Shops

All of your patrons will love mugs in your shop’s colors. Personalize each one with a funny coffee pun like “I love you a latte,” or “Pour some sugar in me.” These custom mugs will be too cute to resist, and your customers may even ask to buy them!

Food Trucks

Food trucks are becoming extremely popular, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Bring more attention to your unique menu with promotional plastic cups that your customers can bring home. They’re way better for the environment than Styrofoam cups and are also a great way to advertise your meals on wheels!

Parties & Banquets

Custom drinkware should get an RSVP to your birthday party, award ceremony, or fundraising banquet. Glasses and cups are handy for dinner, while mugs can be on the table for dessert. You can also customize this drinkware and put it inside of goodie bags for guests to take home later.

Family Reunions

Are you hosting a family reunion? The entire crew, from your second cousin’s new baby to Great Grandma Judith, will want something to drink at some point. Set up a lunch or snack table with cups, mugs, or water bottles personalized with each family member’s last name.

Concerts & Music Festivals

Your merch table is already full of t-shirts, hoodies, and baseball hats. Now take it to the next level with engraved glasses or insulated water bottles. Concessions stands at the venue can also offer this drinkware as souvenirs or as part of a promotional deal.

Gift Shops

Whether you’re a zoo, theme park, resort, museum, or local yoga studio, reusable drinkware belongs in your gift shop. It’s arguably more useful than cheap keychains and will be part of family dinners for years to come!

Schools

Do you need something new for your school’s bookstore? Water bottles, coffee mugs, and other drinkware is the perfect choice for your students! Channel school spirit by using your colors, or by printing your mascot on the front of each one.

Holidays

Happy holidays! Whether you need corporate gifts or gifts for family and friends, you’ll make everyone happy with engraved wine glasses, personalized travel mugs, or decorative mason jars. Everyone will get warm and fuzzy feelings every time they take a sip.

Tips for Customizing Drinkware

You probably have at least one piece of personalized drinkware in your kitchen cabinet at home. It could be a photo mug of your family, a promotional water bottle you got from the library, or a cool glass printed with your favorite band’s logo.

Are you customizing drinkware of your own? Follow these design tips:

  1. Choose the type of drinkware.
  2. Ask yourself if you need lids and/or straws.
  3. Be bold with the color, shape, or pattern.
  4. Decide between engraving or ink printing.

Tip #1: Choose the Type of Drinkware

What Type of Drinkware Can You Customize?

You can customize over 100 different types of drinkware including glasses, cups, bottles, and mugs. Some are insulated for hot drinks, while others are better suited for cold drinks. Below you’ll see a breakdown of all of your options!

  1. Reusable Plastic Cups
  2. Disposable Cups
  3. Sippy Cups
  4. Coffee Mugs
  5. Travel Mugs
  6. Copper Mugs
  7. Water Bottles
  8. Shaker Bottles
  9. Drink Tumblers
  10. Pint Glasses
  11. Growlers
  12. Flasks
  13. Cocktail Glasses
  14. Wine Glasses
  15. Champagne Flutes
  16. Shot Glasses
  17. Mason Jars
  18. Goblets

Your custom drinkware should be suitable to the beverages you plan on serving, whether it’s iced tea, piping hot coffee, or fruity cocktails! Think about why you’re ordering drinkware in bulk before settling on the right drinkware for you!

Tip #2: Do You Need Lids or Straws?

What Cups Come With Lids & Straws?

Are kids or clumsy adults using your personalized drinkware? If so, you’d do well to order cups and glasses that come with lids and/or straws.

Lids and straws are available with the following promotional drinkware:

  • Tumblers
  • Mason jars
  • Stadium cups
  • Sippy cups
  • Water bottles

Tumblers

Tumblers are amazing! You can get something high-end like Thermos or YETI tumblers, or cheap plastic tumblers in a rainbow of colors. This drinkware works best for cold drinks and can even come with infusers if you want to add pieces of fruit!

Mason Jars

Who wants to deal with a mess at a picnic or barbecue? Serve lemonade, juice, and water in custom mason jars with lids and straws. These glasses look classy, and as a bonus, will keep the drinks colder in the hot summer sun!

Stadium Cups

Plastic stadium cups with lids and straws are awesome for restaurants. Make them part of your kid’s meals, and the families who dine with you can bring them home afterward. With any luck, your customers will remember how much they loved your restaurant every time they reuse their cup at home.

Sippy Cups

Sippy cups are designed to be dropped, tipped over, or left sideways on the couch without any spillage. Kids can start using this drinkware at 9 months old, but no judgment if you’re a 30-year-old that wants to use one, too!

Water Bottles

Not all water bottles have lids and straws, but you can definitely find some that do! CamelBak offers water bottles with no-spill lids and flip-up straws. These bottles work particularly well for biking, hiking, and hitting the treadmill at the gym.

Tip #3: Be Bold With Color, Shape, or Pattern

How Do You Make Cups Look Cool?

Now that you know which drinkware you want to customize, the next step is to make sure your glasses, cups, bottles, or mugs look amazing. Be creative and have fun!

Do you need super cool personalized drinkware? Give any of these looks a try!

Color Changing Cups

Are you having a hard time deciding on one color? Go with color changing cups! This fun novelty drinkware changes hues like magic when you pour in cold drinks. Use these custom cups to serve lemonade, juice, soda, or water!

Speckled Campfire Mugs

Host a bonfire even if it’s in your kitchen by drinking from speckled camping mugs. You can make the most of this look by using these personalized coffee mugs to serve hot chocolate or s’mores flavored coffee! They also make great promotional gifts or souvenirs in a gift shop.

Colored-Bottom Drinking Glasses

If you want trendy gifts, you can’t go wrong with colored bottom drinkware. You can achieve this look with wine glasses, beer mugs, and shot glasses. Customers at your bar or brewery will love sipping from this stylish drinkware!

Tie Dye Cups

People will go nuts over this colorful drinkware! Tie dye is very trendy, and the flexible silicone material makes these cups easy to pack up and bring on the go. They’re the ultimate conversation starters and are sure to get a ton of social media shares!

Mini Mason Jars

Mason jars can be anywhere from 12 ounces to 30 ounces, but it’s time to visit tiny town! These mini mason jars are cute as a button and are particularly fun as party or wedding favors. Use them for shots, wine tastings, or drink samples.

Bright Travel Mugs

Travel mugs often come in neutral colors like silver, black, navy, or gray. Why not be bold and add some personality instead? Colorful travel mugs in neon orange, lime green, or a pretty blue will be a cheerful start to everyone’s morning. Hand them out as gifts at a morning fundraiser, or sell them at your restaurant if you’re known for serving delicious breakfast.

Metallic Stemless Wine Glasses

Bring your wine on the go by pouring it into metallic stemless wine glasses. Unlike traditional wine glasses, these insulated tumblers come with a lid, which keeps the wine cold and prevents spills. Anyone would appreciate this trendy drinkware as a gift at a family reunion, award ceremony, or baby shower.

Tip #4: Decide Between Engraving or Ink Printing

How Do You Decorate Drinkware?

It’s finally time for the fun part – decorating! You can customize drinkware using any of the following:

#1: Screen Printing

While you can use a Sharpie or paint to decorate ceramic mugs or drinking glasses, plastisol or liquid ink is more professional and long-lasting. The screen printing is done at a factory, and as long as you hand wash the cups, you won’t have to worry about the design chipping off.

Used to Decorate:

Plastic or metal drinkware, coffee mugs, bottles, beer growlers, glassware

Pro Tip:

Typically only 1 ink color is included in the price for screen printed drinkware. If you want a more colorful imprint, look for promotional products that use dye sublimation instead.

#2: Dye Sublimation

Get your drinking glasses or cups decorated in bulk using dye sublimation. Also known as digital or full color printing, this imprint method is a wonderful choice if you have a colorful logo or design in mind.

Used to Decorate:

Plastic or metal drinkware, coffee mugs, bottles, beer growlers, glassware

Pro Tip:

This imprint process is a bit more expensive than other options due to the number of inks used. It’s worth the splurge, however, if you have a cool custom design in mind.

#3: Engraving

Shop for engraved drinkware if your goal is a professional, refined look. Your design will be etched onto the front of the drinkware, which makes it almost impossible to remove once it’s there.

Used to Decorate:

Glass or metal drinkware like travel mugs, wine glasses, mason jars, flasks, etc.

Pro Tip:

Some factories use oxidation during the engraving process. This makes it possible for your design to have a little bit of color!

Other Considerations When Buying Custom Drinkware

You’re just about ready to buy custom drinkware! Before you hop online and start shopping, here are a few other things to keep in mind.

Hand Washing vs. Dish Washing

Even though a lot of drinkware is dishwasher safe, it’s much better to wash your custom water bottles, glasses, mugs, and cups by hand instead. This ensures that the design lasts for a longer time.

BPA-Free

If you can, look for BPA-free water bottles, cups, glasses, and mugs. They’re free from any dangerous chemicals that could leach into the drinks inside.

Handles

People have to carry a lot of things when they leave their house – bags, cell phones, and maybe even their dogs and children! Drinkware with handles are easier to tote around, so try to choose cups, glasses, mugs, or water bottles that have a handle.

Minimum

Are you hosting a small event? Shop for low minimum drinkware so you can get the exact number you need. That way you don’t have to worry about leftover promotional items.

Price

Your budget matters so show it the love it deserves! There are plenty of personalized cups and other drinkware that starts at under $1 each.

Made in the USA

Last but not least, try your best to shop for drinkware that’s made in the USA. You’ll find a ton of options that all go back to supporting the American economy.


Why Should You Order Personalized Drinkware?

Everybody drinks water, soda, or some other beverage on a daily basis. That’s why drinkware is an amazing choice if you need gifts, favors, souvenirs, or promotional freebies for your business or event.

Just look at the success of the custom travel mugs and tumblers sold at Starbucks! The popular coffee chain offers a new design every year with the best of the best coming out around the holidays! Starbucks coffee mugs are so popular, there was an even a collector’s market that emerged for them during the COVID-19 pandemic!

The Bottom Line

Are you feeling thirsty? Fill up beer steins, tumblers, ceramic mugs, or any of the other drinkware in this guide. With a good design on the front, you’ve got yourself gifts that will be in kitchen cabinets for years!

About the author

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a promo expert with over four years of experience in the industry. She is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products and has had work published for the Promotional Products Association International and the Advertising Specialty Institute.