What is liqueur?

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Liqueur. It’s the crucial ingredient to most sexually named drinks like a Red Headed Slut, Blowjob, and the Screaming Orgasm. It’s also featured in many staple cocktails like the Margarita and White Russian. Yet many people don’t know exactly what a liqueur is, or more specifically how it is different from liquor. The spelling similarity certainly doesn’t help the confusion. But we’re here to clear things up!



-A typically strong, sweet alcoholic beverage made from a spirit that is flavored with herbs, flowers, fruit, nuts, or cream and then bottled with either added sugar or some other type of sweetener.

-Most liqueurs have an ABV between 15-55%

-Aside from in the UK, you can use the terms liqueur and cordial interchangeably!

A brief history:

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These flavorful drinks actually evolved from herbal medicine and can be traced centuries back.

Chartreuse, for example, has been made at the Grande Chartreuse monastery since the early seventeenth century

Over time, four basic methods were established to make liqueurs: infusion, extraction, distillation and smoking.

Liquor vs. Liqueur

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So now the real answer, what is the difference?

-The most obvious difference is that in general, liqueurs tend to be sweet while liquors do not.

-However, nowadays with flavored liquors, that is not always the case. The most simplistic answer is that liqueurs use liquor as a base to then add on flavoring agents and sugar.

-They also tend to be weaker ABV wise.

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Liqueurs’ flavors are so varied it’s hard to generalize them as a whole. We’ll discuss specific ones more in depth in future articles to give you guys a better picture, so keep your eyes peeled! Thanks for reading and as always... 

Cheers from,

Happy Hour City