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A Liqueur is a strong, concentrated alcohol -- such as brandy, rum, whiskey or neutral grain spirits -- infused with flavouring.

There are three main types: fruit, herb and other. Almost always quite sweet, they are served in small quantities as after dinner "digestive" beverages to help meals settle. They are also used for flavouring in cooking and in mixed drinks.

The base of Liqueurs is an alcohol. That alcohol can be brandy, rum, whisky, vodka, or pure alcohol. Then flavourings and sweetenings are added

Most liqueurs are expensive, but because you use and serve them in small quantities, they do last a long time.

Though some may be liquorice flavoured, there is no relation otherwise between Liqueurs and Liquorice.

Cream Liqueurs

These Liqueurs have cream (as in the dairy product cream) added.

Crème Liqueurs

Though no cream is added, these Liqueurs are made to be much thicker, almost like a syrup.

If a Liqueur has the word "crème" in its name, it means that its flavouring is pure -- just that of the main ingredient.

History Notes

Liqueurs would have originated after the process of distilling was discovered in the 10th or 11th century. Before then, they weren't possible.

Language Notes

"Liqueurs" comes from the Latin word "lique" meaning fluid (or wave or flow.)


Advocaat Liqueur; Alchermes; Amaretto; Arrack; Cherry Liqueurs; Chocolate Liqueurs; Cordials; Drambuie Cream; Drambuie; Falernum; French Liqueurs; Kahlua; Licor Cuarenta y Tres; Limoncello; Liqueurs; Nocino; Orange Liqueurs; Patxaran; Pear Liqueurs; Ratafia; Rosolio; Strega; Tia Maria; Umeshu

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Also called:

Digestifs (French); Verdauungslikör (German); Digestivo, Liquore (Italian); Digestivo (Spanish); Licor (Portuguese)


Oulton, Randal. "Liqueurs." CooksInfo.com. Published 13 October 2003; revised 31 May 2009. Web. Accessed 06/20/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/liqueurs>.

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