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Brandy Snifters


Brandy Snifter



May 16, 2011

The most common glassware used for aged brown alcohol like brandy and whisky are snifters, AKA "balloons". Snifters received their nickname of balloon for its shape. They are short-stemmed and are to be held by the bowl and not the stem, unlike nearly all other stemware, such as champagne glasses and martini glasses. They typically hold six to eight ounces of liquid, but are never filled to capacity. In fact, they are filled with only a couple ounces, so that the liquid can be swirled without spilling out of the cup.

Snifters are quite a bit different from other typical stemware. Their short stem that forces the drinker to hold the bowl is the biggest difference, but in the case of brandy and whisky, it is actually beneficial to heat the drink with your body temperature. The design of the glass is actually quite sophisticated. The design helps to evaporate the liquid, and the narrow top traps the smells of the drink, while the very wide bottom gives the drinker a place to hold the cup. They are also beginning to gain popularity among beer drinkers who use over 8% ABV. Crystal and glass are the typical materials used to make the cup.



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