How Do I Choose the Best Liquor Decanter?

Janis Adams

For some, choosing a liquor decanter may seem like a daunting task. Knowing what type of liquor the decanter will hold is the first step in the process. After that, knowing where the decanter will be kept will help in choosing the liquor decanter that is best, as they come in all shapes, sizes and designs. If the decanter is to be displayed, and not just taken out when the liquor is to be served, design will certainly be of greater consideration. The sizes and shapes of liquor decanters are nearly unlimited.

Clear liquors can be stored in any type of decanter.
Clear liquors can be stored in any type of decanter.

When considering a liquor decanter, it is important to know what type of liquor will be stored in it. Vodka and gin, for example, could be housed in a decanter of any color, as they are clear like water. Liquor decanters made of colored blown glass provide a unique and colorful way to display liquors which are colorless.

Crystal decanters offer a more decorative way to show off liquor, allowing the true hue and colors of the drink inside to be seen.
Crystal decanters offer a more decorative way to show off liquor, allowing the true hue and colors of the drink inside to be seen.

Crystal decanters often prove to be beautiful way to show off any liquor. Liquor decanters made of crystal allow the hue of any colored liquors to be displayed, which is appealing to many people as the colors of some liquors are quite pretty. Crystal decanters tend to be the most popular choice for holding liquors.

When choosing a crystal decanter, however, a buyer may want to check if the crystal is certified as lead free. The long-term storage of liquor in a lead crystal decanter can result in lead leaching into the contents. This is not only potentially harmful to the consumer, but it also will taint the taste of the liquor.

Regular glass decanters can mimic the look of the popular crystal decanter, although there lower refractive index means that they don't have the same sparkle. The difference in these two types of decanters can quickly be noticed in their price. Glass decanters are far less expensive than their crystal counterparts.

Choosing a decanter with a stopper that fits tightly is important. A tight fitting stopper or top prevents oxygen from getting into the bottle and reaching the liquor. When oxygen is allowed to penetrate a liquor decanter, the taste and quality of the liquor is lessened. Some liquor decanters feature a pump, which allows for easy palm-action when dispensing the liquor into a glass or shot. Dispensers must be made to fit the specific dimensions of the mouth of the decanter or oxygen will reach the liquor.

An added bonus, which comes with some decanter sets, is a funnel made specifically to fit the decanter. This allows for no liquor to be lost when transferring the liquor from its original bottle. When choosing a liquor decanter, a funnel can be a nice addition.

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Discussion Comments


It does help to filter wine through a decanter, but the most effective way to get rid of contaminants is often to let a bottle of wine settle before pouring it so that contaminants move to the bottom of the bottle. When pouring into a decanter, avoid pouring that layer of "crud" along with the rest of the wine an then let the drink settle again in a decanter.

Homemade wine makers commonly use decanters because they are designed to both let a wine "breath" before it is served and get rid of any residual crud that hasn't been filtered out during the bottling process.


These are also great for wine. A decanter that aerates wine as it is poured into it can improve the taste of even an inexpensive wine considerably. One that aerates and filters is great for homemade wine because it can cut down on contaminants -- mainly yeast -- that are in the wine.

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