Decanter Shapes for Each Type of Liquor

Although decanters are widely used to serve wine, they are also commonly used to serve many types of liquor. There are different decanter shapes, so which shapes are suited to which liquor?

When it comes to liquor, the shape of a decanter doesn’t matter as much as it does with wine.

The most common decanter shape for whiskey, bourbon, vodka, scotch, and brandy is rectangular. A small base and a more extensive body is the most common decanter shape for tequila.

The rest of this article will discuss decanter shapes in greater detail. It’ll also discuss the purpose of decanters and whether they’re necessary for liquor or not.

What Decanter Shape Is Best for Whiskey?

The best and most common decanter shape for whiskey is the standard rectangular shape. However, there are many other decorative shapes to choose from. The primary purpose of a decanter for whiskey is for aesthetics, so you should select the shape you like the most.

Although the rectangle shape is the most common, you can choose other shapes like a globe or diamond shape. This Pistol Gun Whiskey Decanter (available on Amazon.com) is one of the most ‘out there’ shapes you can find, but it’s a fun way to store your whiskey!

Many people opt for whiskey decanters with ridges and textures rather than plain glass or crystal; this is mostly for decoration but makes whiskey look fashionable and sleek.

Even though whiskey decanters are primarily used for aesthetic purposes, they also help with aeration, particularly the decanters with wide openings. It’s good to air out your whiskey for short periods, but you should keep the decanter sealed when you’re not drinking it.

Which Liquor Works Best With a Square-Cut Decanter?

Whiskey, bourbon, brandy, and vodka work well with square-cut decanters. Even though square-cut decanters are the most common, it’s possible to store these liquors in different shapes if you want.

Most square-cut decanters come with a stopper to help seal the liquor, but taking the seal off allows oxygen to get in and aerate the drink.

You Should Store Vodka in Thick Glass or Crystal

If you decide to store vodka in a decanter, whether it’s square-cut or not, you should make sure the glass isn’t too thin; this is because thin glass doesn’t fare well when chilled and is more prone to breaking. Thick glass will be more rigid and keep the vodka more chilled.

Before decanting your vodka, you should chill the glass or crystal. You can also refrigerate the vodka or just do one or the other.

Does Decanter Shape Matter for Liquor?

Decanter shape doesn’t matter for liquor. One thing to look out for in a decanter is the size of the opening and base. A large opening means more oxygen can get in, and a bigger base means less time is needed to decant. However, most people opt for the shapes they like over functionality.

Decanter shape matters most for wine because it helps separate the sediment from the rest of the wine. This generally isn’t needed in liquor, so you shouldn’t worry too much about the shape of the decanter if it’s for a drink other than wine.

Since decanter shapes are primarily for presentation purposes for liquor, most people will choose a shape that they like the most. Or, if it’s a special occasion, like Halloween, you might want to select a skull-shaped decanter like this Hyperionie Decanter on Amazon.com.

As long as the decanter comes with a stopper, the rest doesn’t matter.

What Decanter Shape Is Best for Hennessy?

The best decanter shape for Hennessy is a round shape, but it’s perfectly fine to choose whichever shape you like. This is simply the most popular choice. But  the shape doesn’t matter much since Hennessy and other cognac decanters are merely for presentation.

There’s no need to decant Hennessy or any other cognac. The only reason you should place it in a decanter is if you want it to look decorative. You may have glass liquor storage cupboards that you want to decorate, or you may have guests over and want to make everything match.

Whatever the reason, a decanter is a great way to make your Hennessy look stylish. If you want to ensure it remains sealed and airtight, you would be better off with a slim neck decanter. Narrow necks don’t allow as much oxygen to get through, making it harder for your Hennessy to go bad.

What Are the Most Common Decanter Shapes?

The most common decanter shapes are:

  • Square-cut
  • Round
  • Wide neck
  • Slim neck
  • Special occasion shapes (like a skull shape)

Let’s discuss each of these in greater detail below.


Square-cut decanters are one of the most common shapes used for all liquor. Since they have a wide body, they generally can hold a lot of liquid compared to a decanter with a slimmer body.

Square-cut decanters are commonly used for storing vodka and whiskey, but you can use them to store any liquor.


Round decanters have a unique, elegant look and have a wide body and slim neck. One liquor that goes well in a round decanter is cognac, but other drinks like wine can be stored in them, too.

Because of their large round shape, these decanters can be slightly more awkward to handle than other shapes.

Wide Neck

Wide neck decanters are an excellent choice if you want to aerate your drink. Although wine sometimes needs to be aerated, liquor generally doesn’t, so a wide neck isn’t necessary.

Wide neck decanters are commonly used to decant aged wine, but the neck should be sealed after a few minutes of aeration. Otherwise, the wine will go bad pretty quickly.

Slim Neck

Slim neck decanters generally have long necks and not much room in the body. Although there’s less room for liquid in these decanters, the narrow neck makes it harder for oxygen to reach the liquor.

These can be harder to clean because of the slim opening, but using vinegar to clean usually does the trick.

Special Occasion Shapes (Like a Skull Shape)

There are many random decanter shapes whose primary purpose is to be decorative. One of the most common special occasion decanter shapes is a skull. The most common liquors stored in skull decanters are vodka and gin, but any liquor can go in one.

Some people like to collect different shapes for different occasions; in doing this, they can use them to entertain guests.

Do You Need a Decanter for Liquor?

It’s not necessary to use a decanter for liquor. The most common reason people use decanters for liquor and spirits is to make it look decorative, so it’s OK to leave your liquor in its original bottle.

People might like to store their liquor in decanters if they have guests over, for example, because it makes the drinks look more presentable. Placing a decanter on a table generally looks more stylish than putting a big bottle of vodka down.

Related: Should a Decanter Be Airtight?

Decanters Are Only Necessary for Aged Wines

As wine is made and as it ages, sediment tends to form, meaning there’s visible separation in the liquid. This sediment leaves a visible oil on top of the rest of the wine and is quite unsightly. Not only that, but it can often alter the taste of the wine, making it more bitter.

Sediment isn’t a bad thing in wine; it just means that it’s likely a mature wine. Rather than drinking this wine as is, you can use a decanter to fix the sediment issue. It generally only takes a few minutes to decant aged wine, and then it can be served directly from the decanter.

Another reason a decanter may be necessary for wine is if you lose the corkscrew. Once you open wine, it’ll only last a few days, but it’ll go bad even quicker if it’s in constant contact with oxygen.

To avoid opened wine going bad after losing the corkscrew, you can transfer it into a decanter and screw it shut. Once you close the decanter and block oxygen flow, the wine will last longer.

How Long Does Liquor Last In a Decanter?

Liquor will last as long as it’s intended to last if it’s sealed in a decanter. However, if the decanter isn’t closed, the liquor will lose its flavor and alcohol volume. The key is to keep your liquor in an airtight container so that it can’t mix with oxygen.

Unlike wine that only lasts one to five days after being opened, liquor can last for years in an airtight decanter. So, it’s perfectly safe to store your liquor in a cupboard for long-term storage if it’s in a decanter.

Can You Store a Decanter In the Fridge?

You can store a decanter in the fridge to keep your liquor (or wine) chilled as long as it fits. However, if you want to put your liquor in the freezer, you should keep it in the original bottle; this will ensure your decanter doesn’t get too damaged from the cold.

Some people like to drink their liquor chilled, and luckily, it’s perfectly fine to store a decanter in the fridge to chill. Before decanting your liquor, it’s a good idea to chill it before transferring it over.

If storing your decanter in the fridge, be sure to keep it airtight. If you don’t, other odors from the refrigerator can get into your liquor and affect the smell and taste; you certainly don’t want that!

Some decanters have odd shapes and may not fit in a fridge, so you should chill it in a different container if that’s the case.

What To Look for in a Liquor Decanter

The main things to look for in a liquor decanter are the following:

  • The shape. The shape is important because it needs to be something you like.You may be looking for a basic square decanter, or maybe you want one that’s shaped like a donut! Whatever it is, you should be sure to go with a shape you and your guests will enjoy.
  • The quality. The quality will determine how long your decanter will last. It’ll also determine how you should store it. If you buy a cheap $15 decanter, you probably won’t mind leaving it out on a table all night. However, if you bought an expensive, high-quality decanter, you’ll want to make sure it’s stored somewhere safe.
  • The size. The size you choose will depend on how much liquor you want to store, although most standard decanters will be around the same size. That is unless you buy a novelty decanter (in the shape of a globe, for example). In that case, it’ll be quite a bit bigger than a standard one!
  • The material (glass or crystal). The two most common decanter materials are crystal and glass. It’s up to you whether you want to go with a crystal or glass decanter, but keep in mind that crystal ones are generally more expensive. Since crystal contains a lead content of approximately 24%, it tends to be heavier than glass.

Are Crystal Decanters Safe?

Crystal decanters that contain lead are not safe for drinking from and should be avoided. Since crystal contains lead, you should always make sure the decanter you buy is free from lead. All glass decanters are safe, however.

It’s generally safe to use a crystal decanter for an occasional drink, but you should refrain from using it daily due to the dangerous lead toxins. Additionally, it would be best not to store your drink in a lead crystal decanter for an extended period because the liquor will absorb the lead, which can be pretty harmful after a while.

Why Does My Liquor Decanter Look Foggy?

Your liquor decanter will look foggy due to condensation, which occurs when the temperature inside the decanter is colder than the temperature outside. The best way to fix this is to let the inside of your decanter warm up so that it reaches room temperature.

A decanter with condensation is nothing to be concerned about, other than the fact that it may not look pleasant. It’s a common occurrence when drinks are chilled in a bottle.


Generally, the decanter shape doesn’t matter for liquor; you should choose whichever shape you want. This is because decanters are for aesthetic purposes for liquor. The shape only matters if it’s for wine.

Also, don’t forget the following:

  • Keep your liquor sealed in the decanter to keep it from going bad.
  • Store in the fridge if you wish.
  • Don’t keep liquor stored in a lead crystal decanter for long periods.
  • Your decanter may get foggy if the inside of the bottle is cold and the room temperature is warm; this is normal.

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