CHOOSING THE BEST LIQUEUR
Liqueur is a sweet, sometimes syrupy alcohol composed of distilled spirits and flavor agents. A wide variety of things can be used to flavor liqueurs, many of which are naturally sweet or rich like berries, chocolate, or coffee.
Many people will use liqueur for different purposes, so it’s important to choose a style and taste that will best fit what you want. For example, while it’s common to drink liqueur as a dessert aperitif, it’s also common to cook with it or to pour it as a topping over a dessert. Choose the type of flavor that will serve you best for a particular circumstance.
ON THE LABEL
Most labels for liqueur bottles do not have a standard of descriptive words, but the most useful things to pay attention to are the types of liqueur listed on the bottle. This can include words like coffee, chocolate, cream, fruit, berry, nut, floral, herbal, and others. These labels help you to get an indication of how the blend was flavored and what it might taste like.
BEST BRANDS OF LIQUEUR
This is a brand of coffee liqueur from Mexico. Kahlua coffee is used to flavor the drink, as well as some hints of vanilla. The base spirit in this liqueur is a certain type of spiced rum that brings everything together beautifully for a sweet and pleasant sip.
Many have heard of this brand, even if they don’t know what a liqueur is. The classic Bailey’s Irish Cream drink is enjoyed around the world as a sweet, smooth, and highly enjoyable alcoholic beverage. The cream taste mixed together with an Irish whiskey makes for a perfect balance between sharp alcohol and drinkable cream.
Anyone who is a fan of chocolate stout beers might be able to find a sort of kindred spirit (pun intended) in this liqueur. Godiva is traditionally known to be a famous chocolate company, but they branched out to include a fantastic chocolate liqueur. It uses all kinds of the finest Godiva chocolates to give the brew its sweet flavor. Chocolate lovers will most likely find this to be an excellent sipping drink or else a great topping for ice cream and cake.
A wonderfully nutty almond liqueur, this sweet blend is considered more of a “bitter” because the sugar levels are low compared to some other liqueurs and the flavors do not hint at excessive sweetness. It’s a pleasantly rich and earthy liqueur that is perfect for drinking straight on the rocks after a full and savory meal.
- Grand Marnier
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more expensive brand of liqueur that’s so widely known and available. These are French liqueurs usually made with delicious citrus fruit flavors. One of the most popular bottles is the Cuvee du Cent Cinquantenaire, a liqueur with a good mix of almonds, orange, and other citrus fruit flavors.
Made in South Africa, this liqueur has scored a world-wide reputation as an easy-going, deliciously sweet blend of soft flavors. The main flavor hints are a mix of chocolate, vanilla, and cream. Because it’s a cream liqueur, you can expect it to be highly drinkable and to give you a sweet, warm comfort after a few sips.
- Southern Comfort
There’s not much more comforting than strong alcohol masked by sweet American peaches. In the US this is a very well known and much loved brand of liqueur, though its international reputation has not quite built up in the same way yet. The base spirit is a strong whiskey and the main flavor you’ll get from Southern Comfort is that of the peaches used in the brew. It makes for a nice aperitif to sip on after you’ve had a heavy meal in the evening. Many people like this as a “summer drink” for the warm months of having a drink outdoors.
HOW TO FIND THE BEST TASTING LIQUEUR
Each of these liqueurs has its own unique flavor to bring to the table. No two liqueurs listed here will taste the same, so pick the one that sounds most appealing and head out to grab a bottle! Drink it straight, on the rocks, or in a mixed drink or indulge and pour it overtop a dessert item.