Snaps is not only what we are drinking, it is also the way we drink it. In Sweden and Denmark, snaps is always combined with food, and it do not have to be aquavit by definition. Even a straight shot of clear vodka or gin, is a snaps, if we drink it together with a meal. In Norway the term for snaps is “dram”.
The term snaps,is often mixed up with the term schnapps, which is known in North America as a peppermint shot that you, for example, drink at a beer pub counter. That is a total different way of drinking, and for sure a different type of alcohol.
A smaller snaps is also called “nubbe” in Sweden. Nubbe requires a smaller glass, called nubbe-glass. A nubbe can be 1-3 cl (0.5-1 oz). This nubbe glass is 6- 7cm (2.5″) tall, and takes 1-2 cl (0.5 oz)
There are many reasons for the design of a great snaps glass….
And there is a reason why IKEA sell this type of glass for snaps… Swedes knows what it takes, to grab the glass from the dinner table, and they know what it takes to fill the glass from a bottle.
If you want to drink your snaps ice cold, your glass need a stem to hold on to, so your fingers do not warm up the snaps.
A Swedish dinner table can be a very “busy” thing. Especially when eating a 3+ course dinner. Several appetizers with snaps is not uncommon. And the glass have to get refilled quick and safe between the bites and the snaps songs. Here you can see the difference between 5 cl glasses.
These low glasses will definitely make the aquavit servant uncomfortable to fill. The servant might not even find a low glass, hidden behind beer glasses, serving dishes, napkins etc.
And of course, an empty low glass wont find refill, as often as an empty tall glass, so why take the risk with a low profile…
A good snaps glass should be about 15 cm (6″) tall, and have a 4-5 cm (1.5″-2″) diameter top, to make it easy to fill, but also to drink from.
A full snaps glass is somewhere between 3-5 cl (1-2 oz).