From with wine regions of western France to the fields of South Africa, brandy is among the world’s finest and most popular spirits. Made by distilling wine in wooden casks, it has been enjoyed by both princes and paupers since the 1600s. For anyone who serves only top-shelf spirits at home, quality counts when it comes to good glassware. Brandy glasses are no exception. With so many ways to drink brandy, each occasion calls for something a little different. These quintessential cognac and brandy glasses are designed for the quality obsessed, ready to prepare your drinkware collection for any moment or celebration.
Brandy vs. Cognac
To put it simply, all cognac is considered brandy, but only a small number of brandies can be labeled as cognac. Brandy is a distilled spirit made from wine. The wine comes from a variety of fruits including plums, apricots, and pears, although most distilleries start with grape wine. Flavors vary greatly, but most fine brandy ranges from moderately sweet to very sweet.
Cognac is the namesake of a town in France located deep within the wine regions. Production must fall within to legal guidelines of the country, which regulates the type of grapes that can be used and the distilling process. Discriminating drinkers understand the quiet sophistication of fine cognac. From the rich coloring to the flavor of charred oak from the forests of Limousin and Tronçais, no other type of brandy compares.
The best, most ubiquitous style of brandy and cognac glassware is the snifter glass. Known for its generous bowl size, a snifter allows the aromas and flavors to blossom and build inside so that the drinker gets an enhanced experience. I love this particular brandy snifter because of the extreme change in radius from rim to base. When you lift a glass of brandy to drink, the aromas have had so much room to expand that taking even a brief whiff before sipping makes the complex flavors easier to notice.
A popular way to enjoy brandy, especially in the winter, is to warm it before serving. This brandy balloon comes with a stand made of copper and brass that allows the drinker to warm each serving with a candle flame. The stand keeps the balloon far enough away from the fire to prevent burning your fingers on the glass, but just close enough to make that glass of Rémy Martin warm your cockles as it goes down.
Stemless Brandy Glasses
Most people don’t realize it, but brandy is a distilled spirit, just like whiskey or vodka. Because of this, several styles of cocktail glasses can be appropriately used on occasion. For those in search of stemless brandy glasses, this tumbler is a stylish choice. It’s smaller than a balloon or snifter but offers comparable benefits with its rounded shape. The bubble detail in the base adds a polished look.
For centuries, crystal drinkware was available only to the crème de la crème. Lead-free crystal can be found just about anywhere today and is still known for having increased strength and durability without sacrificing style. This antique crystal snifter was engraved with a stately lion and jungle scene. Perfect for top-shelf South African brandies, or your once-a-day pour of Hennessey.
Small Brandy Glasses
If a tasting party is what you have in mind, you might try these small brandy glasses. Made in the timeless snifter shape, a natural wood paddle makes it simple to pour, carry, and serve your guests. For your tasting selection, try different levels of cognac, or brandy with several different origins. You might select spirits distilled from different types of fruit, and challenge your guests to see if they can decipher which is which.
Tulip Cognac Glass
A tulip cognac glass offers similar benefits to brandy balloons, but with sleek lines and cooler feel. The walls won’t envelop the aromas like a snifter, but a little swirl of the wrist after you pour will make the liquor open up quickly. This tulip glass is a fine option because it can be used for mixed drinks and craft beer, as well.
Cognac Glass Set
Traveling the world to try the best spirits from every country is out of reach for most of us, but you’ll certainly feel like a jet setter with this globe-shaped cognac glass set. Suitable for swirling, sipping, and gesturing grandly, these are some of the best cognac glasses you will find. Personally, I’d like to use them for a taste of Premiere Voyage, a blend geared at replicating cognac from 1715 and partially includes spirits that have been aging since the days of the American Civil War.
Crystal Cognac Glasses
Less formal occasions, say, a night watching Game of Thrones with the neighbors, you don’t need to bring out the finest. But you want to treat your guests (and yourself) to a little luxury. That’s why I love these crystal cognac glasses. Very reasonably priced for a set of six, they are designed with impeccable taste.
Apple brandy is known as a prominent ingredient in cooking and party punches. However, fine brandies made from apple are delicious on their own. It’s a very American spirit as well, dating back to colonists who planted orchards and distilled apple cider. These vintage water glasses would make perfect brandy tumblers. I love the color of the glass and the embossed details.
Cut Glass Brandy Glasses
The brown and gold hues of fine cognac come from the oak barrels used in the aging process. These colors look even more beautiful when balanced against the platinum rim of these cut glass brandy drinking glasses. Remember, you don’t want to serve Courvoisier XO Impérial to your boss from these guys, but they are perfect for when your dad comes over to help you solve the world’s problems over a good, strong drink.