Hip, slick, and always in vogue, the liquor decanter has never gone out of style. But what are decanters used for anyway?
When there’s a great looking decanter for spirits sitting on somebody’s bar cart, one might assume it’s only there to look pretty.
They’re timeless, chic, and brilliant enough to transform your home bar from a such-and-such into an A++.
More than some savvy curio from the swinging ‘60s, the liquor decanter is back in a big way. Thanks to independent distilleries and the craft spirits movement, they’re more relevant than ever.
So, what are decanters used for anyways?
Once bottled by hand, a craft spirit is a finished product.
It’s ready to enjoy just the way it is.
And even though craft spirits like whiskey and bourbon oxidize at a comparatively slow rate, exposure to air over time can have an adverse affect on their aroma and flavor.
A quality liquor decanter provides a solid and sturdy airtight seal that prevents oxygen flow, keeping the craft spirits inside as pristine and unaffected as the day they were put in the bottle. .
Independent distilleries pride themselves on using local ingredients, the purest water possible, and small-batch processes to produce exceptional craft spirits that are second to none.
Why hide all that hard work and artistic output behind dark glass and decorative labels?
A decanter for spirits offers an unobstructed view of the natural colors and textures of your collection of handmade craft spirits.
Whether it’s the amber hue of an aged-whiskey resting inside a good whiskey decanter, or the golden tones of a beautiful tequila, when you transfer craft spirits from bottle to decanter, you enhance their beauty and present them in a creative new way.
A creative new way that lasts!
Because when you’re using a liquor decanter with a good seal, the craft spirits inside will last just as long as they would have inside their original bottle.
Which means for craft spirits like vodka, brandy, bourbon and whiskey, that could be years!
How to use a decanter for spirits the right way
First things first. You’re going to want your liquor decanter to be clean as a whistle before filling it with the craft spirit of your choice.
Clean and dry.
Always thoroughly wash and dry your decanter before use; making sure there is no residual water resting at the bottom or along the walls of the vessel.
Avoid spills when you’re filling the decanter. Go ahead and use a funnel to make sure you’re not missing a drop of the liquid artistry.
Don’t over fill. You’ll want to leave roughly an inch to two inches at the top of the liquor decanter. This will make it easier to pour and less likely to spill.
It’s time to let your spirits shine, learn how to properly use a decanter for spirits.
Once your decanter has been filled, replace the stopper tightly and you’re good to start sipping and sharing.
The craft spirit experience is meant to appeal to more than a single sense.
How a craft spirit looks influences its charm the same as smell, taste, and mouthfeel do.
Using a decanter for spirits helps add a little extra sizzle to serving spirits to your friends and guests.
What to look for in a decanter for spirits
Like we mentioned at the top, a liquor decanter just looks cool. It’s the cherry on top of any home bar cart configuration. So aesthetics definitely play a role when you’re shopping for one of your own.
For whiskey and liquor decanters, the beauty is in the expertly-etched details.
Decanters range from traditional and iconic, like the Admiral Liquor Decanter by Viski, to the contemporary, chic designs on display in Viski’s Deco Liquor Decanter.
But there are a few functional and design details to be on the lookout for too.
While some liquor decanters are made from glass, if you’re after something that really stands out and sparkles, have a look at liquor decanters made from crystal.
When going the crystal route, be sure that the decanter you land on is made from a lead-free crystal. Because even though it won’t happen straight away, you do run the risk of lead leaking into your spirits over time with a crystal liquor decanter that isn’t specifically lead-free.
Side note regarding lead-free crystal decanters for spirits:
Always wash and dry your liquor decanter by hand. The dishwasher is not a friendly spot for any kind of crystal vessel.
Give your spirits a visual leg up on the competition with a beautiful decanter for spirits.
Think about size when it comes to choosing a liquor decanter too.
The standard bottle of craft spirits is usually 750ml, or around 25 ounces.
So keep size in mind when shopping for any liquor decanter. Because if you’re planning to empty an entire bottle into your new decanter, you’re going to need one that holds more than 750ml.
Make sure a stopper is included.
It may seem like a no brainer, but not all decanters for spirits are created equal.
Remember, oxygen can have an adverse effect on a spirit’s overall palate. So be sure your next liquor decanter comes with a quality stopper that gives you an airtight seal every time you twist it shut.
Why you deserve a quality decanter for spirits
Craft spirits from independent distilleries are works of art.
Why shouldn’t they be stored and served in liquor decanters mirroring that artisanal beauty?
When someone asks how to use a decanter for spirits, answer with confidence.
However you enjoy your spirits, neat, with a splash of water added, or served over a bit of ice; prepare your glass any style you like, and feel like a boss when you grab that snazzy liquor decanter off the bar cart, and treat yourself to a pour you’ll be proud of.