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It’s still cold and icy here, and we’ve been keeping warm with lots of tea and soup. One of my favorite ways of keeping warm is heading to the brown cafes of Amsterdam, ordering a shot of something strong, and sipping it by a fire. Of course then you have to face the cold again, so it’s even better to do that at home, which is a perfect lead-in to this week’s Lovely Object post.

What: Set of six crystal cordial glasses

Where: On our bookshelf, next to our Dutch gin

How: Found at an antiques booth at the Christmas market in Cologne, Germany, 2011

This makes me look like an alcoholic, I know. I’m not! I promise. But I love the idea of filling these cordial glasses with something special and sharing it with friends.

I was convinced of the magic of this last August in a little Czech town called Olomouc. Jesse and I were couchsurfing our way through the Czech Republic, and our host for a few nights welcomed us to her living room with beautiful crystal glasses filled with slivovice, a plum brandy. The clear, sweet liqueur was made by her neighbors with plums from her own backyard, and she shared it with us while we talked about traveling, history, and literature. I loved that feeling of intimacy and conviviality!

So I jumped at the chance to have my own set of cordial glasses, though I’m not making my own brandies yet! These are the perfect size for just a dash of something to sip while you sit around a table and nibble at the remains of a meal.

This one is full of a Spanish brandy called Rey de Oro, though I also like to fill them with Dutch jenever, and sometimes aquavit. Not all in one night, though. (Yikes!)