National Liqueur Day is October 16th, but what exactly is a liqueur?
The word liqueur comes from the Latin liquifacere which means to liquefy. 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 sweeteners. 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.
In the U.S., there is often confusion between liquors and liqueurs, especially as a lot of spirits today are available in a variety of flavors. Most liqueurs are lower in alcohol content than liquors, but some may be as high as 55% ABV. In parts of the United States and Canada, liqueurs may also be called cordials or schnapps.
Liqueurs are often used in cocktails and have recently seen a rise in usage. So, once you have a good base for your home bar and you’re capable of mixing up almost any cocktail you want, you’ll notice liqueurs play an important role in the mixology. They are typically used as a flavoring agent that contains alcohol, as such, they tend to last a long time.
Dry and Sweet Vermouth
Irish Cream Liqueur (or other cream liqueur such as RumChata)
Orange Liqueur (e.g. triple sec, Cointreau, Curaçao)
These are not as necessary as the above list, but your drinking preference will determine which of these you’ll actually need.
Chambord (or other raspberry liqueur)
Crème de Cacao (or another chocolate liqueur)
Crème de Menthe
Domaine de Canton Ginger Liqueur (or other ginger liqueur)
St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur