Decanter Dilemmas

I have been obsessed with whisky decanters lately. Ever since I picked up the habit of drinking a shot of whisky before bedtime, I've been longing to have a crystal decanter from which I can display and serve my whisky reminiscent of the Bogart era, because, you know, that's what people did back then.

The Husband and I walked past an antique store a few weeks ago, where my eyes immediately lighted upon a crystal decanter like the kind I've been dreaming about. "We have to go in and check it out," I insisted, never mind that the entire store was filled with fragile, breakable things and we have two babies in a stroller with us. The Husband gamely obliged, and a few minutes later, we walked out the proud owner of a beautiful crystal decanter circa 1950s.

Of course, I had to come home and started googling crystal decanters, and in less than a minute, all my hopes of storing and serving smooth, peaty whisky out of my new/old beautiful decanter were dashed. Because, who knew you weren't supposed to do that anymore? Well, I clearly didn't, anyway.

Apparently, the crystal decanters of old contain too much lead, which seeps into whatever drink it happens to be holding in fairly dangerous quantities. You can read more about that here. It's still fine to use if it's only for a few hours at a time, for example to serve a dinner party for an evening; but for my purposes of actually storing the whisky in the decanter, it was a no go. Apparently what I want/need, is a lead-free decanter. And yes, they make those now too.

Lesson of the day? Always do your research before leaping into an impulse purchase, as shiny and beckoning as it looks from a glass window.

But all's well that ends well, and I shall hang on to my beautiful piece of history and display it somewhere in our new home in Auckland, because it really is very shiny and sparkly; and I'm sure a long, long time ago before people started getting poisoned by lead in crystal decanters, it was well-enjoyed and loved and admired.

I now have my eye on these lead-free decanters, both available on Amazon UK. I'm leaning towards the classic Ravenscroft, which is both elegant and practical, although the globe decanter would be a fun conversational starter, and kinda represents my little global family, don't you think?  Which one do you prefer?

Ravenscroft Crystal Buckingham Decanter (£121.50)
Etched Globe Decanter (£118.80)


  1. I did not know crystal contains lead. I like the Globe Decanter.

    1. I'm still indecisive! Haha. But it'll be another few months before we're settled and I can seriously consider buying one, so plenty of time to decide!


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