Liqueur is basically an alcoholic beverage which is flavored. The flavors for liqueurs include various nuts, fruits, herbs, spices and even blossoms. Adding chocolate has become popular of late. Sugar is almost always added to variations of the beverage which taste quite sweet. The drink is not really aged like the more strong alcoholic drinks but there might be periods of resting time provided during the production process which enables the various flavors to mingle properly.
Flavored spirits are often erroneously called as liqueurs but the basic difference between the two is in the sugar content which is added to a liqueur. Another notable point of difference between the two is the content of alcohol with a liqueur containing much less alcohol than the spirits but there are exceptions too with the alcohol content of certain liqueurs going up to 55%. Dessert wines are sweetened forms of wines which are often taken to be liqueurs although they contain no added sugar or flavoring. The name cordials are, however, often used interchangeably though there might be certain minute differences between the two.
History Of Liqueurs
Liqueur is associated with a long and illustrious history and is believed to have originated from herb medicines that were prepared by the monks. It was first prepared in Italy in the 13th century and soon came to be served at all the treaty signings during the Middle ages. The word originates from the Latin word liquifacere which means to liquefy.
Ingredients & Popular Liqueur Recipes
Water, alcohol and sugar are the most basic ingredients that most liqueur recipes contain. Various flavoring agents including those extracted from woods, fruits and flowers as well as a number of other materials including chocolates, spices and herbs. The oil of anise is one of the key ingredients for an anise liqueur which results in the drink turning cloudy on being added to water.
Liqueur recipes for layered drinks are quite unique and suggest pouring the liqueur carefully into a glass with the aid of a spoon or a glass rod. The resulting liquid thus formed is a multicolored liqueur where the different liqueurs remain separate without getting mixed with one another.
Liqueur recipes vary considerably with the amount of the ingredients differing according to taste. The liqueur is a drink particularly favored by ladies because of its sweet and creamy taste and is often served at cocktail parties being a standard fixture at most bars. The liqueur can be served in a number of ways, some of the most popular ways to include liqueur are:-
• As a stand alone drink.
• Liqueur recipes are used for creating desserts.
• Colored and flavored liqueur is often poured over ice and served as a dessert.
• With coffee and cream
• Used in a variety of cocktails
Types Of Liqueur Recipes
Some of the most popular liqueur recipes that are cherished all over the world include the following:-
• Amaretto- Made out of almond or apricot pits, this particular liqueur originated in Italy and is served on the rocks or mixed with cola and fruit juices. Spices and flavors also go into the drink making it one of the most popular beverages during parties.
• Coffee Liqueurs- A liqueur flavored with coffee is an essential ingredient of White Russian which uses Kahlua, the most popular brand name of this coffee flavored drink.
• Chocolate Based Liquids- They taste just like chocolates and are made with crème de cacao. Both white as well as the dark chocolate is used for preparing this liqueur.
• Chambord- Liqueur recipes for Chambord drinks consist of fresh berries together with honey and cognac. The Chambord Daiquiri is the best blend of this group.
• Curacao- This drink originated in the Caribbean island of Curacao and is prepared from drying the bitter orange peels. The color of the blends may vary considerably although the taste remains the same.
Liqueur Health Facts
Having this alcoholic drink once in a while is not considered to be unhealthy. However they are quite high in calories due to the addition of sugar. The most healthy forms of liqueur are the fruit based ones which imbibe the various vitamins and minerals of the fruit used. Herbal drinks are also healthier in comparison to those prepared with creams and chocolates. However, the lower alcohol content makes it a safe drink with no possibility of a hangover the next day.
The recipe for Chartreuse liqueur prepared in the 16th century remained a secret for ages and is believed to have contained over 130 herbs.
The Bailey’s Irish cream had been voted as the best liqueur in Ireland back in the seventies. There is no person called Bailey as such but the name had been created exclusively for branding the drink.