Although liquor decanters are valued for their attractive appearance and presentation, they can also be very useful for providing a means of aeration to spirits whose flavors blossom with exposure to oxygen. Liquor decanters come in a variety of shapes, sizes and tints. Crystal decanters in particular are prized for their clarity and ability to display liquors to their fullest glory. Despite differences in quality and craftsmanship, proper handling is vital to the continued sustainability of any decanter you own. Here you will find how to use liquor decanters.

Things You'll Need

How to Use Liquor Decanters

Cleanse your liquor decanters of any dust or sediment before using and/or displaying them. This can be done by filling them with a solution of mild soap and warm water. After the decanters have soaked for several minutes, rinse them completely with water and allow them to dry.

Select the liquors you wish to display using decanters. This can be done based upon personal preferences, although commonly decanted liquors include bourbon, vodka, brandy and gin. You may also choose to decant whiskey, although this liquor in particular tends to lose quality more quickly if decanted for long periods (more than one week).

Slowly pour the liquor of your choice into a decanter. Hold the original liquor container from the bottom so you can control the speed and amount of liquor you pour. If the decanter has a smaller mouth, you may wish to use a funnel to avoid spillage. Fill the decanter no more than three quarters full to allow for proper aeration and presentation of the liquor.

Filter older wines of sediment before pouring it into a decanter. Line a funnel with cheesecloth before pouring wine through it into the decanter.

Securely seal the liquor decanters with their corresponding corks before displaying them. Be sure not to forcefully remove or replace the corks to preserve their longevity.


  • Many liquor decanters may be monogrammed or otherwise personalized depending upon the manufacturer for a special gift.

  • Allowing younger, lighter-bodied wines to decant openly for several hours will increase aeration and improve the flavors and complexity of the wine for drinking.