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Brandy Snifter

Brandy Snifter is a type of drinking glass which has a round base, short stem, and a balloon shaped bowl which is wide at the bottom and narrower at the top. It is mostly used for drinking brandy or other aromatic liquors. The wide bottom of the glass allows the release of aromatic vapors, while the narrow mouth helps to trap the aroma of the liquor in the glass. The bowl of the glass when cupped into the hands warms the contents of the glass bringing it to the correct temperature. This type of glass allows sniffing and swirling of the brandy and the fine crystal gives clarity to the deep color of the liquid, thus, making it an enriching experience.


Brandy snifter has long been in use. It was first written about, by a Roman statesman – Pliny the Elder (23 – 79 AD). It was preferred to gold and silver goblets in use at that time. The glass vessels were priced at the same value as the other precious metals. We also find these glasses in the famous painting ‘ Last Supper ’ of the 16th century.


A brandy snifter is ideally used for serving brandy or whisky. However, sometimes it may also be used for serving cognac and certain aromatic types of beer like the imperial stout, double India pale ale and barley wine. In catering businesses, it is often used to serve cocktails as well as mocktails, or other type of mixed drinks. For the sheer clarity of the glass and the beautiful shape, it is also used for decoration or simply as a vase. Its use for serving frozen desserts and sundaes is also quite popular.

How to Buy a Brandy Snifter

While buying a brandy snifter it is important to cup the glass in one’s hands to feel the grip and the shape. One could check for the type of crystal used to make it as that is responsible for the clarity and brilliance of the glass.

Popular Brands of Brandy Snifter

  • Riedel Vinum Brandy Snifter – It is made by the world famous Austrian glassmakers. It has over 24% of lead crystal which gives it superb clarity and brilliance.
  • Liugi Bormioli – It is made with crystalline glass and blown from lead free crystal. It is dishwasher safe.
  • Schott Zwiesel – It is made with Tritan crystal. It is dishwasher safe and is made in Germany.