What is a Liqueur?


A liqueur is an alcoholic beverage made from a distilled spirit that has been flavored with fruit, cream, herbs, spices, flowers or nuts and bottled with added sugar or other sweetener (such as high-fructose corn syrup). Liqueurs are typically quite sweet; they are usually not aged for long after the ingredients are mixed, but may have resting periods during their production to allow flavors to marry.

J.A. Shapira –

I’m often asked what the definition of a “liqueur” is, since many people have difficulty understanding how there seems to be such a wide range of spirits that fit within the very same category.

To put it simply, a liqueur is a distilled spirit that’s flavored with some variation or form of herbs and spices, cream, fruit, flowers or nuts and finished with a sweetener such as corn syrup or sugar. In most cases, liqueurs are rather sweet, however, there are also some that are dry or tart. Unlike most alcoholic beverages, liqueurs are rarely aged, although some do receiving a resting period to allow their flavor profiles to marry. In this feature, we’re going to focus on some of the most popular liqueurs on the global market and explore which ones are crucial for a well stocked home bar.

Liquor Vs. Liqueur

In past years, the differences between a liquor and a liqueur were easily separated. Vodka, gin, whisky, rum were all liquors, whereas chartreuse, kahlua, benedictine, baileys and schnapps were all liqueurs.

Today, with many of the traditional spirits such as vodka being flavored, it has become rather difficult for many to distinguish between the two. The rule of thumb to separate the two is that liqueurs are sweet and syrupy for the most part, whereas liquors are not. In addition, liqueurs usually have a much lower alcohol content, often between 15-30% ABV. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule.

Serving Liqueur

One of the biggest benefits of liqueurs is how versatile they are. Like many spirits, liqueurs can be used in mixed drinks, served neat, over ice, with coffee or mixed with other non-alcoholic beverages such as cream or milk. Many can be used for cooking or in baking and certain liqueurs have even become the major highlight of many desserts.

One thing that’s become very popular is layering liqueurs to create neat striped drinks. We do this by floating the various liqueurs slowly over the back of a spoon which ensures the various liqueurs don’t mix. I would strongly urge you to try cocktails like these for your next casual party or event.

Tiny ChrisLiqueur vs Liquor

Amaretto is an almond-flavored liqueur used in many different cocktails. The drinks below are some of the best amaretto drinks you can make.
……Tiny Chris


Peggy Trowbridge FilipponeAmaretto Liqueur History

You may find it hard to believe that importation of amaretto liqueur to the United States did not occur until the 1960’s. ……Peggy Trowbridge Filippone