People who prefer pouring and storing whiskey into a decanter primarily do it for style, but they are faced with a classic quandary: how to make a whiskey decanter airtight. Luckily, there are several ways one can achieve that with just the use of common household items.
How to make whiskey decanter airtight
A quick search on the interweb will tell you that there aren't a lot of whiskey decanters out there that already offer airtight seals like this one. Default glass stoppers don’t do the trick, either. Luckily there’s a large group of people who really want to store their whiskey in decanters, so they’re left with no choice but to improvise.
Below are some of the ways you can make your whiskey decanter airtight.
Method A: Aluminum foil magic
- Get a small size of aluminum foil and custom-cut just enough for it to fit around the glass stopper.
- Wrap two layers of custom-cut foil around the part of the glass stopper that enters the neck of the decanter.
- Make sure it wraps around the stopper. Lock the ends so it won’t fall off easily.
- Insert the stopper. You might need to squeeze or twist it a little bit to go in tight.
Method B: For corks, use Teflon tape
- Get a regular Teflon tape.
- Wrap two layers of the Teflon tape around the part of the cork that enters the neck of the decanter.
Method C: Rubber O-Ring
- Get a rubber O-ring from a local hardware store (plumbing section).
- Make sure to get one the same size as your glass stopper, lid, or cork.
- Slide it up to the top edge of the glass stopper, lid, or cork so it seals when you cover the decanter.
- If you can’t find a rubber O-ring, buy a rubber gasket instead.
The primary reason to use a whiskey decanter is aesthetics. Yes, a whiskey decanter is in essence all about appearance and style, much like the same reason coffee shops serve your milk in a pointlessly ultra-small pitcher. A stylish decanter exudes good taste which is why they are popular gifts to give to men. Nothing says masculine elegance like pouring yourself a nightcap whiskey using a posh crystal decanter in your home bar.
There’s also this basic purpose of showing off the clarity of the drink when presented in a decanter. For a lot of alcohol brands, the bottles they use are mostly dark colored glass that obscures the color and texture of the drink inside. Whereas if you have a clear crystal decanter, the true colors of your whiskey are visible for everyone to appreciate better.
Why is it important to seal a whiskey decanter?
When you want to preserve the quality of a drink, the best way to achieve that is to minimize oxidation as much as possible. Oxidation diminishes flavor when the alcohol interacts with oxygen. And although whiskey oxidizes slower compared to other liquor, the oxidation process can and will happen nevertheless.
When you transfer the whiskey from its bottle to the decanter, you’re essentially taking it out of its “natural” environment, which is not a good thing as far as whiskey goes. And when you don’t seal it airtight, you’re only making it worse by providing a regular flow of oxygen to mess up the whiskey.
Knowing that decanters don’t actually serve a real purpose, the goal now is to at least make the whiskey last just as long as it would in the original bottle or container. Sealing it airtight is key. If you’re able to achieve that, you get the best of both worlds: badass presentation and sustained quality.
Assuming you don’t already have one, you’re probably sold on using a whiskey decanter regardless of purpose, otherwise, you wouldn’t have gotten this far. If that’s the case, here’s a buying guide for this year’s best whiskey decanters, picked and reviewed for your pleasure.
While decanters, in general, are designed for specific purposes, in the case of whiskey it’s almost entirely about appearances. But then again, its justification also lies in its ability to keep the whiskey airtight while you store it overnight or for a few weeks. We hope these simple life hacks help you achieve that. Only then can you say there is more to your whiskey decanter than meets the eye.