Top 40 Best High-End Liqueur Brands and Producers
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.
In the United States and Canada, where spirits are often called "liquor", there is often confusion over liqueurs and liquors, especially as many spirits today are available in flavored form (e.g. flavored vodka). The most reliable rule of thumb is that liqueurs are quite sweet and often syrupy in consistency, while liquors are not. Most liqueurs have a lower alcohol content (15–30% ABV) than spirits, but some contain as much as 55% ABV.
In parts of the United States, liqueurs may also be called cordials or schnapps, while in large parts of the British Commonwealth, cordial means a concentrated non-alcoholic fruit syrup that is diluted to taste and consumed as a non-carbonated soft drink, and in Germany and Scandinavia, schnapps means a form of brandy or aquavit.
Liqueur News, Reviews & Resources
- Advocaat - traditional Dutch alcoholic beverage made from eggs, sugar, and brandy. The rich and creamy drink has a smooth, custard-like consistency. The typical alcohol content is generally somewhere between 14% and 20% ABV. Its contents may be a blend of egg yolks, aromatic spirits, sugar or honey, brandy, vanilla, and sometimes cream (or evaporated milk). Notable makers of advocaat include Bols, Darna Ovo Liker, DeKuyper (sold in two varieties), and Verpoorten.
- AGAVERO TEQUILA LIQUEUR Review - Gayot.
- AMARO - (Italian for "bitter") is an Italian herbal liqueur that is commonly consumed as an after-dinner digestif. It usually has a bitter-sweet flavour, sometimes syrupy, and has an alcohol content between 16% and 40%.
- Anise - flowering plant in the family Apiaceae native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia. Its flavor has similarities with some other spices, such as star anise, fennel, and liquorice. It is widely cultivated and used to flavor food and alcoholic drinks, especially around the Mediterranean.
- ANISETTE - anise-flavored liqueur that is consumed in most Mediterranean countries.
- COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE OF MOST LIQUEURS - The Cook's Thesaurus: Liqueurs.
- Cream liqueur - liqueur that includes dairy cream and a generally flavourful liquor among its ingredients.
- Fruit cup - traditionally an English speciality drink designed to be made into a long drink with addition of a soft drink such as lemonade or ginger ale. Most commonly, these are gin-based, although there are some varieties based on other spirits such as vodka.
- How To Make Wimbledon's Signature Pimm's Cup - "Wishing You Were At Wimbledon? Try Making Their Signature Cocktail." Forbes.
- Irish cream - cream liqueur based on Irish whiskey, cream and other flavorings. It typically has an ABV (alcohol by volume) level of 15 to 20% and is served on its own or in mixed drinks, most commonly Irish coffee. Top brands of Irish cream include Baileys, Kerrygold, Carolans and Saint Brendan's.
- LIQUEUR - alcoholic drink composed of distilled spirits and additional flavorings such as sugar, fruits, herbs, and spices. Often served with or after dessert, they are typically heavily sweetened and un-aged beyond a resting period during production, when necessary, for their flavors to mingle.
- LIST OF ITALIAN LIQUEURS - Wikipedia.
- LIST OF LIQUEURS - Wikipedia.
- Long shot: can sambuca ever be sophisticated? - "The anise-flavoured liqueur has been put to use in a dangerous new drinking game. But is there any scope for it to recover its glamorous Italian roots?"
Top 40 High-End Liqueurs Brands
- ADVOCAAT EGG LIQUEUR - traditional Dutch alcoholic beverage made from eggs, sugar, and brandy.
- AGAVERO TEQUILA LIQUEUR - since 1857. Bills itself as “El Original Licor de Tequila” uses an old recipe to add a new twist. It is 100 percent blue agave tequila infused with the natural essence of the Damiana flower. The result is a fine-sipping liqueur that is quite similar to tequila, but lighter and more palatable neat or on the rocks.
- Alchermes - type of Italian liqueur (especially in Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna and Sicily) prepared by infusing neutral spirits with sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and vanilla, and other herbs and flavoring agents.
- AMARO ERBES - "A liqueur with herbs made from a unique and original recipe that blends the aromas and flavours of different mountain plants in a pleasant balance. Excellent after a meal and perfect for making original and captivating cocktails. Amaro Erbe should be served straight and very cold or on the rocks."
- AnÍs del Mono - since 1870. "Anís del Mono is a classic anise to enjoy, THE drink to enjoy parties. All the flavour and the more traditional aromas. Taste an iconic anise liqueur!"
- Baileys Irish Cream - introduced 1974. An Irish cream liqueur - an alcoholic beverage flavored with cream, cocoa, and Irish whiskey. The quantity of other ingredients is not known but they include herbs and sugar. The manufacturer claims Baileys Irish Cream has a shelf life of 24 months and guarantees its taste for two years from the day it was made - opened or unopened, stored in a refrigerator or not - when stored away from direct sunlight at temperatures between 0 and 25 °C (32 and 77 °F).
- BERENTZEN WINTER APFEL - "The Berentzen Fruit Liqueurs are the logical consequence of the sales success of the Apple Liqueurs. Set up on the knowledge of producing soft spirits, they have the same base of wheat spirit. Winter Apfel is a delicious blend of winter herbs and spices and Berentzen's expert apple schnapps."
- BRIOTTET LIQUEURS - since 1836. "Check out our premium fruit liqueurs, our Dijon Crème de Cassis as well as our after-dinner liqueurs."
- CAMPARI - invented in 1860. Alcoholic liqueur, considered an apéritif (20.5%, 21%, 24%, 25%, or 28.5% ABV, depending on the country in which it is sold), obtained from the infusion of herbs and fruit (including chinotto and cascarilla) in alcohol and water. It is a bitters, characterised by its dark red colour. Often used in cocktails and is commonly served with soda water, wine, or citrus juice.
- CHARTREUSE LIQUEURS - introduced 1764. French liqueur available in green and yellow versions that differ in taste and alcohol content. The liqueur has been made by the Carthusian Monks since 1737. It was named after the monks' Grande Chartreuse monastery, located in the Chartreuse Mountains in the general region of Grenoble in France. It is composed of distilled alcohol aged with 130 herbs, plants and flowers. It is one of the handful of liqueurs that continue to age and improve in the bottle.
- Chase Blackcurrant Liqueur - since 2008. "A brilliant blackcurrant liqueur from those talented folks at Chase Distillery. Good concentration, and not too sweet. All Chase's liqueurs contain only fruit, sugar and vodka and as a result their flavours are absolutely authentic."
- COINTREAU - since 1875. Brand of triple sec (an orange-flavoured liqueur) produced in Saint-Barthélemy-d'Anjou, France. It is drunk as an apéritif and digestif, and is a component of several well-known cocktails.
- CRÈME DE CASSIS DE DIJON - "The Original Since 1874." Crème de Cassis de Dijon has been the symbol of tradition and expertise at Maison Boudier for more than 100 years. By rigorously maintaining the strict methods of production, the taste and flavour is now renowned throughout the world. Indeed, only Crème de Cassis de Dijon has to be made from the extract of macerating blackcurrant berries in alcohol without preservatives or colouring, with a limited addition of sugar dissolved directly into the alcoholic juice of the blackcurrant berries at cold temperature. A favourite drink of the fictional detective Hercule Poirot by Agatha Christie.
- CYNAR - since 1952. Italian bitter liqueur of the amaro variety. It is made from 13 herbs and plants, predominant amongst which is the artichoke (Cynara scolymus), from which the drink derives its name. Cynar is dark brown in color, has a bittersweet flavor, and its strength is 16.5% ABV.
- DISARONNO - Disaronno Originale (28% abv) is an amaretto-tasting liqueur with a characteristic almond taste made in Italy. Its maker, Disaronno, maintains its original "secret formula" is unchanged since 1525.
- DRAMBUIE - since 1910. Golden-coloured, 40% ABV liqueur made from Scotch whisky, honey, herbs and spices.
- FRANGELICO - since 1978. Brand of noisette (flavored with hazelnuts) and herb-flavored liqueur coloured with caramel coloring.
- GALLIANO - since 1896. Sweet herbal liqueur. Galliano has numerous natural ingredients including star anise, Mediterranean anise, juniper berry, musk yarrow, lavender, peppermint, cinnamon, and Galliano's hallmark vanilla flavour. Galliano uses vanillin for flavouring and sugar and glucose syrup for sweetening. Caramel and tartrazine are used to achieve Galliano's bright yellow colour. Galliano is sweet with vanilla-anise flavour and subtle citrus and woodsy herbal undernotes.
- Goldwasser - strong (35% ABV) root and herbal liqueur which has been produced since at least 1598 in Danzig (Gdańsk). Today “Original Danziger Goldwasser” is still distilled unchanged according to a traditional recipe that is hundreds of years old and is one of the oldest trademarks in Germany. The most prominent characteristic of the drink is small flakes of 23 karat gold suspended in it. The beverage also includes herbs and spices such as cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, lavender, thyme, coriander and juniper, and has a syrupy texture.
- GRAND MARNIER - since 1880. It is made from a blend of Cognac brandy, distilled essence of bitter orange, and sugar. Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge is 40% alcohol (70 proof in UK, 80 proof in US).
- Green Chartreuse - since 1764. "The only liqueur in the world with a completely natural green colour. It is powerful and unique." (110 proof or 55%) is a naturally green liqueur made from 130 herbs and plants macerated in alcohol and steeped for about 8 hours. A last maceration of plants gives its colour to the liqueur.
- J. A. Gilka Kaiser KÜmmel - since 1836. Herbal liqueur.
- KAHLÚA - since 1936. Coffee-flavored liqueur from Mexico. The drink contains rum, sugar, vanilla bean, and arabica coffee.
- KILLEPITSCH - since 1858. Herb liqueur from Düsseldorf, Germany. It is a blood red colour and is flavoured with fruits, berries, herbs and spices. Its alcohol content is 42% by volume.
- KÜMMEL - since 1823. Sweet, colorless liqueur flavored with caraway seed, cumin, and fennel.
- Louis Royer La Belle Orange Liqueur Cognac - "This taste and aroma, combined with Louis Royer Cognac, has created a wonderful liqueur that can be enjoyed in many ways. Try it cold over ice, with your favorite mixer for a long drink on a hot day, or as a base in a cocktail. Versatile and enjoyable - a great and alternative way to enjoy cognac." Boasts a perfect balance between the strength of the orange and the aroma of cognac. Ripe, sun-laden orange trees impart their flavor, bringing to mind images of plump, juicy fruits bearing their weight on the branches and boughs.
- NUVO - since 2007. "The World's First Sparkling Liqueur." Crafted with ultra-premium French vodka a touch of delicate sparkling white wine and infused with our proprietary blend of fruit nectars, NUVO is as delicious at it is luxurious.
- Pernod Liqueur de Anise - since 1805. 40% alcohol (80 proof) anise-flavored spirit. Unsweetened aniseed flavoured liqueur. Its distinctive flavor is created through a combination of star anise and fennel and 14 aromatic herbs including camomile, coriander and veronica. Mix it with water, soda or fruit juice.
- Pimm's No. 1 Gin Cup Liqueur - since 1840. Brand of gin-based fruit cup, but may also be considered a liqueur.
- RAMAZZOTTI - since 1815. Italian digestivo bitter liqueur Amaro, bottled at 30% alcohol by volume. Made from 33 different herbs including gentian and orange peel.
- RIGA BLACK BALSAM - since 1752. Traditional Latvian herbal liqueur made with many different natural ingredients mixed in pure vodka, giving a 45% abv (90 proof) drink. Black Balsam is also used in traditional medicine. It is considered to be a good cold remedy and is used to treat digestive problems. It has been made in Riga since the middle of the 18th century. According to legend, Empress Catherine the Great of Russia, became ill during a visit to Latvia, but was cured after drinking Riga Black Balsam.
- Sambuca - Italian anise-flavoured, usually colourless, liqueur. Sambuca is flavoured with essential oils obtained from star anise, or less commonly, green anise. Other spices such as elderflower, liquorice and others may be included, but are not required as per the legal definition. It is bottled at a minimum of 38% alcohol by volume. The oils are added to pure alcohol, a concentrated solution of sugar, and other flavouring.
- SANTA MARIA NOVELLA liqueurs - since 1612. These liqueurs (18) comes from an ancient Italian tradition. Florence, Italy.
- SCHWARTZHOG - "Crafted since 1700." Schwartzhog is a herbal liqueur that contains Wormwood, Buckbean and select herbs, roots & fruits of the forest. Enjoy it cold, on the rocks or mixed across a range of cocktails.
- Soho Lychee Liqueur - Soho Lychee has gained a reputation as a necessity for creating unique and modern cocktails because of its vibrant floral aromas accompanied by a viscous texture with sweet lychee nut and candied fruit flavours. Alcoholic content of 21%.
- Southern Comfort - since 1874. American liqueur made from neutral spirits with fruit, spice and whiskey flavoring. Southern Comfort is used in the creation of numerous cocktails, including the Alabama Slammer.
- THE BITTER TRUTH ELIXIER Bitter Liqueur - "With a thick dark, rich color The Bitter Truth E**X**R has an aroma that make you want to don lederhosen and build an open log fire. After a nose of pine ash, lemon balm and spruce you’ll tuck into the hearty flavors of stewed rhubarb, dark chocolate, sweet coffee, and wild fauna like mint and gentian to totally thigh slap your palate."
- TIA MARIA - dark liqueur made originally in Jamaica using Jamaican coffee beans, but now made in Italy. The main flavour ingredients are coffee beans, Jamaican rum, vanilla, and sugar, blended to an alcoholic content of 20%. It can be consumed pure and with ice, but is also frequently used as an ingredient for cocktails (of which the Espresso Martini is popular), with coffee. It may also be mixed with milk and ice.
- Unicum - "Unicum is a legendary liqueur - the national drink of Hungary.
This unique herb liqueur, based on a secret family recipe and distilled from over forty different herbs and spices, was originally conceived as an aid to digestion at the royal court of Austria Hungary in 1790 but over the centuries it has become a drink for any time of day, either as a shot or warmed by the hand in a cognac glass or enjoyed chilled."
- Verveine du Velay - since 1859. "A perfect expression of the french school herbal liqueur." Range of liqueurs. Their flavour derives from lemon verbena in a melange of thirty-two plants, spices and aromatic herbs. They are made by macerating these botanicals to form a strongly-flavoured green liquor, and mixing it with distillate which is then aged in oak casks.