We love a classic tulip glass for those moments that call for serious appreciation of a cognac or other brandy—plus, given Marshall’s extensive experience in the business, we’re inclined to follow her lead. A fine rim is always a desirable quality in stemware, so this certainly adds to the Stolzle Euro (view at Webstaurant Store) brandy glasses’ charm, as does the affordable price tag. A classic and well-made snifter, such as Barski’s handmade crystal stemmed brandy glasses (view at Amazon), can also make for a great tasting experience. Really, it all comes down to your personal preference and the degree of technicality in your approach.
What to Look For in a Cognac Glass
If you’re mainly focused on optimizing the aromatics of a cognac or other spirit, a small tulip-shaped glass is the way to go. For those who prefer to add ice to their cognac, whether a few small pieces or a large cube or sphere, a slightly larger and more durable glass, such as a rocks glass or generously-sized snifter, is much more ideal. A good snifter can also help to concentrate a spirit’s aromas while also providing increased surface area at the widest point of the bowl, which allows volatile characteristics to evaporate and become less harsh—these come in many different sizes.
Technically, crystal isn’t actually crystal unless it contains a bit of lead. Leaded crystal will leach lead into alcohol if it is exposed to it for extended periods of time, e.g. storing a spirit in a lead crystal decanter, but it’s highly unlikely that lead in a glass will have any effect on a liquid that’s served in it for sipping purposes. Lead-free crystal is actually just a form of glass, though it can offer relatively similar clarity and brilliance to true crystal. If you want to err on the side of caution, opt for a lead-free glass, by all means!
Tulip-shaped glasses are designed to optimize the tasting experience for many different spirits. Cognac and other brandies included. Snifters are also specifically designed to collect a cognac’s aromas in a way that best represents the spirit with its wide bowl and narrowed mouth. For casual cognac drinkers and cocktail enthusiasts, a simple rocks glass of any shape is always a great option.
On average, how many ounces are in a cognac glass?
If you’re looking at tulip-shaped tasting glasses, these are generally between 5 and 7 ounces, depending on the style and producer. Snifters are often around the same size but can run much bigger than tulip glasses—for example, the Schott Zweisel Mondial brandy snifters top out at 17.3 ounces, which is great for swirling and breathing.
Is this glass good for other drinks/spirits?
Tulip glasses can be quite versatile—try tasting a variety of spirits in yours in order to gauge what works best. If you’re not sure, take a look at the product details, either on or inside the packaging or online. Most often, tasting glasses are designed with specific spirits or styles in mind, which is something to consider as you shop.
If you’re working with a rocks glass, anything goes! This style of glass is incredibly versatile and can be used for neat spirits, spirits on the rocks, cocktails, water, and much more. Snifters are best suited for cognac and other brandies, although they do make a fun vessel for many different cocktails.
Can it fit an ice cube/ball?
If you go with a larger glass, such as a generously-sized snifter, or opt for an alternative style (such as a rocks glass), you’ll most likely be able to fit a larger ice cube or a handful of smaller cubes inside. Tulip glasses, however, are typically meant for sipping spirits neat.
Why Trust Liquor.com
Céline Bossart is a longtime wine and spirits writer who has, over the years, developed a serious appreciation for great glassware. At home, she primarily uses tulip glasses to taste Cognac and other brandies, but she’s not that picky (a rocks glass will do).
Read Next: The Best Bar Tools