The ultimate liqueur guide, meaning, service of liqueur

 Liqueurs are flavoured and sweetened spirits having high alcoholic content, composed of spirits and additional flavourings such as fruits, herbs and spices. Liqueurs are used in the preparation of cocktails speciality coffees, and in culinary preparation. The alcohol content of liqueur can range from 15% (30 proof) to 55% (110 proof).

In most flambeed dessert preparation liqueurs are used for flavouring,  are served in small quantities as digestives at the end of the meal,

Today there are many distillers who make liqueurs of different flavours and colours, some liqueurs are generic and others are proprietary.

Cointreau liqueur


In this guide, we will be discussing the difference between a liqueur and a liquor, and coffee liqueur, also go through the service of liqueur, and some liqueur brands

Difference between a liqueur and a liquor

Both the liqueur and liquor are distilled spirit that contains alcohol, there is not much difference between the two, however, we will be discussing the main difference between liquor and liqueur.
  • S Liquor Liqueur
    1. Liquors are unsweetened, distilled, an alcoholic beverage that has an alcohol content of at least 20% ABV. Liqueurs are sweetened spirits with various flavours, oils, and extracts added.
    2. Liquors are produced by the method fermentation of grain, fruit, vegetables, Liqueurs are diluted forms of liquor flavoured with fruit, cream, herbs, spices, flowers, coffee beans.
    3. Although, liqueurs are now available in different flavours such as orange or apple vodka, lemon rum, liquors do not have added sugar and, have an alcoholic taste. On the other hand, liquors have added sugar, and it often has a sweet taste.
    4. Liquors are often used as a base as cocktails, and can be taken with ice, While liqueurs are mainly used as flavouring agents in mixed drinks, also can be taken as neat over ice.
    5. Examples of liquors: Rum, gin, vodka, whisky, tequila, brandy Examples of liquors: Orange liqueur, coffee liqueur, anise liquor, apricot liquor.

Coffee liqueur (speciality coffee)

Black coffee with liqueur or spirit and cream floated on the top is termed a coffee liqueur (speciality coffee). These coffees take their name depending on the style of liqueurs or spirits used in their making. An establishment may standardize the recipe of all coffee liqueur and the size of the glass for the service.

coffee liqueur

Making coffee liqueur

The steps involved in making coffee liqueur

  • Take 6 oz glass
  • Pour a measure of liqueur or spirit into the glass
  • Add  2 bar spoon of sugar, if required
  • Pour hot black coffee (100 ml) into the glass up to 1.5 cm below the rim of the glass
  • Slightly aerate the cream (20ml) by gently shaking for about a few seconds
  • Pour the cream gently over the back of the spoon held over coffee against the side of the glass so as to make the cream gently slide and settle over the coffee. Continue pouring till it reaches about 1 cm thick.
  • Remove the spoon, place the glass on an underplate with a doily and serve

Examples of some of the coffee liqueur (speciality coffee)

Monk’s coffee:          Benedictine

Calypso coffee:         Tia-maria

Seville coffee:            Cointreau

Prince Charles coffee: Drambuie

Irish coffee:               Irish whisky

Russian coffee:         Vodka

German coffee:         Kirsch

Italian coffee:            Strega

Jamaican coffee:       Rum

Highland coffee:        Scotch whisky

Scandinavian coffee: Aquavit

Normandy coffee:      Calvados

Service of liqueur

Liqueurs are taken as digestives at the end of the meal with coffee and are offered together with port or brandy. The liqueur is mostly served neat in a liqueur glass. Some people prefer taking liqueur with black coffee as a liqueur coffee.

Service of liqueur

Liqueurs are served in different ways according to customers’ preference 

  • Neat
  • Frappe (with ice)
  • With ice
  • With coffee and cream

Neat: Pour out a 6 out measure of a chosen liqueur in a liqueur glass and serve to the guest.

Frappe: A slightly larger glass is used for holding the ice. Fill 3/4th of the glass with crushed ice and pour over 6 out measure of liqueur, place short straws, and serve.

With ice: The cream is gently poured over the back of the spoon held against the inner side of the glass to settle over the poured out liqueur. Liqueur and cream should not be mixed.

With coffee and cream (coffee liqueur): We have already discussed in making coffee liqueur

Liqueur brands list

Cointreau: Orange flavoured liqueur

Advocaat: Egg yolk flavoured liqueur

Amaretto: Almond and apricot flavoured liqueur

Anisette: Anise flavoured liqueur

Baileys Irish cream: Chocolate flavoured liqueur

Benedictine:  Herbs and spices flavoured liqueur

Chambord: Raspberry flavoured liqueur

Also, read: 55 best liqueur brands list in 2021 with country, base, and flavour

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