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Top 8 Liqueurs Across the World - A Quick Introduction

Ever wondered what the heck is a Liqueur? Or how to use them for your next social gathering? Or even what are the most common ones? We got you! We've encapsulated the world's finest and most popular liqueurs here so you can simply get started and become a know-it-all - at least when it comes to Liqueurs. 

Liqueur Basics: What is a Liqueur?

A liqueur is essentially a kind of spirit, often known as liquor, which is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from grains. A liqueur is a distilled liquor, such as brandy or vodka, that has been sweetened with syrup or sugar and frequently includes fruit, herbs, and/or oils as flavourings. The majority of liqueurs are sweet, however depending on the herbs used, some can also taste bitter. Fruits or plants can be steeped or allowed to percolate in alcohol to impart flavours.

So what's the difference between Liquors and Liqueurs?

Liquors (such as rum, vodka, or gin) are usually used as the foundation spirit in cocktails, while liqueurs are frequently added to cocktails in smaller amounts to enhance their flavor and complexity. Though there are some exceptions, liqueurs typically have less alcohol than liquors. 24 percent to 60 percent by volume is the range. Though some liqueurs are aged, it's not necessary for them to.

Types of Liqueurs

1. Amaretto

The sweet, amber-colored liqueur is made from the apricot pits. These apricot pits contain an organic compound that gives amaretto its almond scent. The word 'Amaretto' is derived from the Italian word “amaro”, its Italian for bitter. It is a very popular drink both in mixers and chilled over ice, and it has what many people describe as a dessert feel. 

Today's amaretto is typically made with the oil of apricot kernel that has been infused with alcohol, burnt sugar, and a mixture of fruits and herbs. The pits of apricots typically make up the main base, but occasionally the pits of cherries or peaches may be used.


Did you know this?

  • Amaretto isn’t the same as Amaro, which is another Italian liqueur laced with herbs.
  • It can be poured over ice cream or added to desserts, such as our St-Emilion au chocolate torte and Blueberry syllabub trifles. 

Our Recommended Cointreau Cocktail: Italian Margarita
This variation of the Classic Margarita replaces Cointreau with Amaretto. Check out this recipe!

2. Jagermeister

56 different natural ingredients are behind the flavours and have made Jaegermeister so popular. Herbs, flowers, roots and fruits from all across the world are the ingredients for its mysterious recipe. A total of 383 quality checks are performed before the bottles are capped with the final product. The result is herbal liquor that is unique in both quality and taste. Jagermeister runs for 365 days before making it to the finish line. 

Jagermeister, or simply Jager, this deep green, syrup-like spirit has become an acquired taste of much of the US after being popularized by the Jager-bomb, a mixture of the Jagermeister and the energy drink rock star. Majorly all drinkers either are a sucker for Jagermeister with cult follower-like devotion or averse it with passion.



Did you know this?

  • Every year Americans buy more Jägermeister than Germans.
  • The liqueur, according to the brand, is made from a secret recipe of 56 herbs, blooms, roots and fruits. The only known ingredients are cinnamon-bark and ginger root.

Our Recommended Cointreau Cocktail: California Surfer Cocktail
You didn't think we'd recommend something as obvious as a Jagerbomb, did you? Popular and second only to the Jagerbomb, this recipe is easy and quick to make. 

3. Benedictine

It’s a subtle alchemy of 27 different herbs and spices made from a secret recipe dating back to 1510. Bénédictine has a distinctive aroma and spices and citrus with hints of fresh flavor notes mellowed by a touch of honey a memorable experience for ones senses. The D.O.M. stands for Deo Optimo Maximo, which means - To God most good, most great. 

Don Bernado Vincelli originally designed the 'elixir' to sustain the monks in their work, and as a probably useless defense against malaria, as they were close to large marshlands, and was the first branded liqueur medicine.

Did you know this?

  • Benedictine is that its biggest consumer in the world is Burnley Miners Club in Lancashire as their forefathers in the Lancashire Regiments picked up a taste for it in the First World War!
Photo by:  Dominic Lockyer

Our Recommended Cointreau Cocktail: Bobby Burns
This one's a personal favourite - easy and potent, you wanna hold this drink. Check out how to make it here

4. Cointreau

Cointreau is a premium French liqueur that was created from a perfect balance of sweet and bitter orange peel. The unique character and flavor ensure that it is at the heart of the finest classic cocktails, from a zesty Margarita to an elegant White Lady. Cointreau is equally enjoyed as a refreshing long drink topped with soda and a squeeze of lime. 

Cointreau is more versatile in cocktails. It works well with lighter spirits like light rums, gin, tequila, and vodka. 


Did you know this?

  • Before World War I, Cointreau was selling 800,000 bottles a year.

Our Recommended Cointreau Cocktail: The Sidecar
Check out this recipe to make it at home in 2 minutes! 

5. Curacaco

The Genuine Curaçao Liqueur is the only truly authentic curaçao in the world, sourcing its lahara oranges from a single plantation on Curaçao. The oranges are harvested by hand while slightly under ripe when the peel is most suitable for liqueur production. Each peel is cut into four pieces using a wooden knife, because a metal knife will stain the peels. The pieces of peel are dried on a metal plate in sunlight for approximately five days. Under no circumstances can the peels get wet, so great care is taken to cover the peels at night. 

The dried peels are put into cloth "jute bags" with secret spices and herbs, and the jute bags are hung inside the still, which is filled with alcohol derived from natural cane sugar, and cooked for three days. The kettle is then cooled down and the bags are removed. Water is added, and distillation takes place over three days, resulting in a small batch of 55 gallons, which is the base spirit for the liqueur. The distillate is moved to a blending tank, and water is added in addition to approximately 400 kilograms of sugar per batch.

The Genuine Curaçao Liqueur is bottled on-site and available in three traditional colors: blue, orange and clear, and is Kosher certified.


Did you know this?

  • The liqueur Curaçao is made from orange trees brought to the Caribbean from Spain in 1527. 
  • The fruit evolves from sweet orange into bitter green. Experimentation with dried peels of the fruit later led to the creation of the liqueur Curaçao.

Our Recommended Cointreau Cocktail: Blue Long Island Iced Tea
Personally, we think every cocktail with the word "island" should be blue! And that's why this cocktail is the perfect tropical vibe to bring to your next gathering!

6. Malibu

Malibu is a brand of rum, flavored with liquer, possessing an alcohol content by volume of 21.0%. Pernord Richard owns the brand. Malibu Coconut Rum is made in Barbados from quality ingredients, offering natural tasting coconut flavors. It's delicious on ice, mixed with soda or as an ingredient in a fruity cocktail.  

Did you know this?

  • For some reasons with low alcohol content it is preferred majorly by females. 
  • The drink was primarily used to make Pina Coladas.  

Which are the different kinds?

Malibu Red, Malibu original, Malibu sparkler, Malibu Island spiced rum, Malibu black, orange float, sunshine, sundae, swirl, mango, tropical banana

Our Recommended Cointreau Cocktail: Malibu Daiquiri
This 2 ingredient recipe is the perfect cocktail for those who don't want much hassle. Give it a go and let us know in comments how you liked it! 

7. Crème Liqueur

crème liqueur includes no creme in its ingredients. The creme refers to the consistency and the excess quantity of sugar in this makes it close to syrup. This category includes creme de cacao, creme de menthe, creme de mure, creme de cassis

Which are the different kinds?

a. Baileys Cream Liqueur:

Baileys Irish Cream is a perfect marriage of fresh, premium quality Irish dairy cream, finest spirits, Irish whiskey and a proprietary recipe of chocolate flavors. Over 80% of the raw ingredients and packaging used to make and present Baileys Irish cream is sourced from the island of Ireland. 

The distinct style of Baileys Irish cream is derived from a unique proprietary recipe of natural cocoa extracts, giving Baileys Irish cream its chocolate character and essence. 



Our Recommended Cointreau Cocktail: Bailey's Irish Coffee 
Again, super easy recipe and a super-hit drink because who doesn't love chocolate?

b. Cadbury's Creme Liqueur:

This Cream Liqueur is a chocolate-based cream liqueur mixed with fine French brandy from Australia’s most trusted chocolate brand, "Cadbury's".

Best enjoyed on the rocks, as a long drink with milk, or as a shot. The drink gives a pure taste of Cadbury’s milk chocolate in an alcoholic format.

Photo by:

8. Sambuca

Sambuca is an anise-flavored liqueur, produced by the infusion of witch elder bush and licorice, sweetened with sugar and enhanced with a secret combination of herbs and spices. 

White Sambuca is the traditional and generally the more popular variety, having a mellower licorice taste and lighter body than that of black Sambuca. Sambuca is made from anise, is one of the more popular liquori digestivi, claiming a fame that extends worldwide. 

Photo by: Wikimedia

Did you know this?

  • Like other anise-flavored liqueurs, the ouzo effect is sometimes observed when combined with water.
  • In the Marche region, an unusual pairing of Sambuca and coffee beans creates the refreshing Sambuca, ghiaccio e mosche (lit. “Sambuca, ice and flies” – the flies being the coffee beans that float to the top of the glass).
  • The most iconic serving of Sambuca is a shot with seven coffee beans, representing the seven hills of Rome Likewise, a shot with one coffee bean, called con la mosca, which means "with the fly", is as common.

Which are the different kinds?

Its most common variety is often referred to as white sambuca to differentiate it from other varieties that are deep blue in colour (black sambuca) or bright red (red sambuca).

Our Recommended Cointreau Cocktail: Slippery Nipple
Want a provocative drink and a conversation starter? Look no further than this recipe. It is both delicious and visually appealing. 

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