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What is a Brandy Snifter?

A brandy snifter is a short, wide, stemmed glass used to serve (you guessed it) brandy. It resembles an extraordinarily squat wine glass, with a voluminous bowl and low center of gravity. A snifter can be used for any spirit, really (and a number of cocktails), but it’s most commonly associated with cognac, other brandies, whiskey, and port or other fortified wines.

The brandy snifter is designed with two purposes in mind: evaporation and concentration of aromas. Its wide bowl leaves a large surface area, which allows the volatile, aromatic compounds plenty of room to waft off the spirit. The wide base then narrows into a smaller opening, which concentrates those compounds and prevents them from escaping in all directions (like a coupe glass might).

From there, it’s a simple matter of gently raising the glass to your nose and enjoying the aromas before taking a sip. It’s a straightforward design, and it adds a nice touch of class to the presentation of your favorite spirit.

Drinks served in the Brandy Snifter