Liqueurs were first produced in monasteries by abbots and their disciples as medicinal elixirs.
Over time, thousands of liqueurs were concocted and used by both religious orders and bartenders. Millions like to enjoy their cup of coffee with a shot of their preferred liqueur, others choose to enjoy their liqueur on its own after the meal.
Most liqueurs are sweet. Some happen to be sweeter than others, but there are also relatively “dry” liqueurs.
Several manufacturers produce a plethora of varietal liqueurs ( i.e creme de menthe, etc), others are proprietary products based on secret recipes, and some,although generic in nature, happen to be rare because of their small production , and often, their recent introduction into the marketplace.
Liqueurs based on secret recipes are Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Chartreuse (Green and yellow), Benedictine, Drambuie, Rumona, Galliano, Mille Fiori, Southern Comfort and many more.
Many of the liqueurs are used by creative bartenders who either invent new cocktails and/or use them in popular recipes to create special gustatory effects.
French perfumers are world famous for their skill to extract flavours from herbs, flowers, and other commonly used flavourful ingredients.
Many of French manufacturers produce generic liqueurs that excel in their depth of flavour and intensity than others using chemicals and laboratory-extracted artificial flavours. A creme de menthe made using natural mint tastes more intense that one created using extracts.
Violet liqueur is a relatively new liqueur from Germany that has captured the imagination of thousands of bartenders. Liqueurs add flavour and “natural” sweetness to a cocktail.
Colour is another important aspect as our senses react directly to it.
The spectrum of flavours available is almost infinite, and liqueurs have always played a very important part in cocktail making. You can use any of the following to create your own, or offer along with coffee, to appreciative guests looking for gustatory adventures.
Here are some- walnut-, bramble berry, melon-, tea-, coconut-, sage-, lavender-, chestnut-, and elderflower liqueur. There are many more. The human imagination has no boundaries.