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16 Types of Liqueurs

Updated on June 2, 2011

16 Types of Liqueurs

16 Types Of Liqueurs

Liqueurs are served at the end of a meal usually with coffee.They tend to be rather sweet, slightly ‘sticky’ and fairly alcoholic, so as a rule they are served in very small glasses.

Liqueurs are also excellent for adding distinctive flavor when cooking. You need only a small amount for their highly concentrated flavor to penetrate the finished dish. As liqueurs are expensive to buy in full bottles, it is a good idea, for culinary purposes, to keep a range of miniatures of the ones which you do not also drink, so that you have a tablespoonful handy when required. This is, of course, quite an expensive way to buy them.

Liqueurs are based on spirits with added flavoring, coloring and sometimes sweetening. Many of them were originally developed for medicinal purposes by the monks of medieval times and even today some are still strictly guarded secret formulae produced in one area only. Listed here are some of the most common liqueurs.

1.       Advocaat

Advacaat is a Dutch brandy-based liqueur, thickened with egg yolks and sugar. It is delicious served with cold Christmas pudding.

2.       Anisette

Anisette comes from Spain and is flavored with aniseed. It is popular in traditional Spanish cooking, particularly in seafood dishes.

3.       Benedictine

Benedictine is a French brandy-based liqueur, flavored with fruit peel and herbs.  It is particularly good in dishes incorporating dried fruit.

4.       Chartreuse

Chartreuse is French and may be green (drier, with higher alcoholic content) or yellow (sweeter). The recipe is made up in a monastery near Grenoble and contains a blend of 130 different herbs. Yellow chartreuse is more suitable for cooking.

5.       Cherry brandy

Cherry brandy most of which is Danish, is made from cherries and brandy. It is a very popular liqueur and excellent for giving cherry and other desserts a lift.

6.       Crème de menthe

Crème de menthe, usually made in France, is a mint-flavored brandy and the most popular of the crème family. Other crème liqueurs are crème de bananas (banana flavored), crème de cacao (chocolate and vanilla flavored), crème de cassis (black current flavored) and Drambuie (whisky-based, blended with herbs and heather honey).

7.       Curacao

Curacao, from the West Indian island of Curacao, is made from a distillation of dried orange peel. It has added natural colorants and may be blue, green, orange or red. Dry orange Curacao is a drier version with added bitters. It is good in sweet and savoury dishes that  contain orange flavoring.

8.       Grand Marnier

Grand Marnier is from France and is orange-flavored with cognac base. This is another liqueur to enhance orange-flavored dishes.

9.       Kahlua

Kahlua is very sweet, syrupy and coffee-flavored liqueur made in Mexico.

10.   Kirsch

Kirsch is colorless and distilled from the dark cherries found in Switzerland, Alsace and southern Germany. Its flavor blends well with most sweet dishes, particularly fruit salads. It may also be an ingredient in cheese fondue.

11.   Kummel

Kummel is colorless and flavored with caraway seeds. Conventionally use in seed cake, it is also delicious with various port dishes. The best types of kummel are produced by the Dutch.

12.   Maraschino

Maraschino is Italian and like kirsch, is colorless and distilled from cherries. It too, is an excellent addition to fruit dishes.

13.   Sambuco

Sambuco is an Italian liqueur, colorless and flavored with liquorice. It is usually served with a whole coffee bean floating on top. The bean is eaten after the liqueur has been drunk.

14.   Strega

Strega, from Italy, is yellow and orange and is herb flavored. It is Italy’s most popular liqueur.

15.   Tia Maria

Tia Maria originates from Jamaica and is a rum-based liqueur with a coffee flavor. It is more pleasant to drink than Kahlua as it is less rich, but has a less strong flavor when used in cooking in chocolate and coffee flavored dishes.

16.   Van Der Hum

Van der Hum is a South African liqueur based on Cape brandy with added naartje (tangerine) flavoring. It is good in sweet dishes and with duck.


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