Cocktail enthusiasts from home bartenders to master mixologists enjoy the art of experimenting with recipes and ingredients. Because of their versatility, liqueurs are often the key to rounding out the flavors of the cocktails.
But what exactly is a liqueur?
While liqueurs are liquors, liquors aren’t liqueurs.
What is a Liqueur?
Adding flavor and sweetener to a base liquor makes a liqueur. This can be done several ways – infusion, extraction, distillation, or smoking. The process uses many different ingredients – herbs, fruits, nuts, and spices. Each method creates a unique liqueur with as many flavors as your imagination can dream.
Some favored liqueurs are Amaretto, Kahlua, Vermouth, Cointreau, and Bailey’s Irish Cream. Craft liqueurs such as Limoncello, Absinthe, Chartreuse, and Fernet Branca deserve attention, too. While liqueurs can be enjoyed as an ingredient for your favorite cocktail, they can also be sipped neat or on the rocks.
Delicious Liqueurs for Every Taste
With more than 10 categories of liqueurs from berry to whisky, there’s a liqueur for every taste. We’re highlighting 6 liqueurs to try and sharing our favorite liqueur cocktails recipe in celebration of National Liqueur Day,
Ancho Reyes Liqueur
Ancho Reyes Liqueur gives any cocktail a subtle little kick. Ancho chiles steeped in sugar cane make this a zesty liqueur and at 80 proof, its punch also has a little boozy bite. Try it alone or mix it up in the Cynar Margarita, a liqueur cocktail created by Trial and True.
The France-based Giffard has been creating and innovating liqueurs since 1885. It’s no wonder why with hints of caramelized apricots and light nuttiness, that Giffard Apricot has secured its spot on the “must try” list of liqueurs. Try it alone over crushed ice or shake it up in our green tea cocktail, the Happenstance.
Montenegro is in a class of its own – the Amaro – Italian herbal liqueurs, traditionally consumed after-dinner. The best-selling Amaro is Montenegro, a delightfully well-balanced and rich liqueur with orange and vanilla notes and a slight hint of sweetness. Sip it neat or stir it into the cross-continental liqueur cocktail, Islay Time in Jalisco.
A citrus liqueur that you can make at home may sound too good to be true. Limoncello, an Italian Lemon liqueur, is surprisingly easy to make with just 3 ingredients – vodka, lemons, and sugar – and a little bit of time. If you don’t have the time or the inclination, a store-bought Limoncello will be just as beautiful in the Margranita, an Italian spin on the classic margarita.
Coffee and anise come together in this sophisticated liqueur. Molinari Caffé is the traditional Extra Sambuca and infuses in several types of pure coffee beans. The result is a liqueur that leads with licorice and ends with spiced cake undertones. Brew up something special with the Zuñiga Espress, our version of a coffee martini.
Ruby red and a little bittersweet, Aperitivo Select is the aperitif pride of Venice. Shake up the Agave Royale for a signature drink at your next brunch. With hints of vanilla, orange zest, and cardamom your guests will feel a warm welcome
Need More Reasons to Drink Liqueur?
What’s your favorite liqueur? Find a cocktail that matches your taste.
Join Us in Reducing Single-Use Plastic.
Enjoy these liqueur cocktails strawless. Or be one of first 500 people to join our No Plastic Straws 365 initiative and you’ll receive a reusable stainless straw. Grab a friend and join the challege here.