A liqueur is a sweet alcoholic beverage, often flavored with fruits, herbs, spices, flowers, seeds, roots, plants, barks, and sometimes cream. The word liqueur comes from the Latin word "liquifacere" which means "to dissolve." This refers to the dissolving of the flavorings used to make the liqueur. Liqueurs are not usually aged for long periods, but may have resting periods during their production to allow flavors to marry.

In some parts of the world people use the words cordial and liqueur interchangeablyFact|date=December 2007. Though in these places the two expressions both describe liqueurs made by redistilling spirits with aromatic flavorings and are usually highly sweetened, there are some differences. While liqueurs are usually flavored with herbs, cordials are generally prepared with fruit pulp or juices. Most liqueurs are noticeably sweet.

Liqueurs date back centuries and are historical descendants of herbal medicines, often those prepared by monks, as Chartreuse or Bénédictine. Liqueurs were made in Italy as early as the 13th century and their consumption was later required at all treaty signings during the Middle Ages. [cite book
last = Ford
first = Gene
authorlink =
title = ABCs of Wines, Brews, & Spirits
publisher = Murray Publishing Company
location = Seattle, Washington
series = | pages = 166
doi =
isbn = 0931754178

Today, liqueurs are made worldwide and are served in many ways: by themselves, poured over ice, with coffee, mixed with cream or other mixers to create cocktails, etc. They are often served with or after a dessert. Liqueurs are also used in cooking.

Some liqueurs are prepared by infusing certain woods, fruits, or flowers, in either water or alcohol, and adding sugar or other items. Others are distilled from aromatic or flavoring agents. The distinction between liqueur and spirits (sometimes liquors) is not simple, especially since many spirits are available in a flavored form today. Flavored spirits, however, are not prepared by infusion. Alcohol content is not a distinctive feature. At 15-30%, most liqueurs have a lower alcohol content than spirits, but some liqueurs have an alcohol content as high as 55%. Dessert wine, on the other hand, may taste like a liqueur, but contains no additional flavoring.

There are many categories of liqueurs including: fruit liqueur, cream liqueur, coffee liqueur, chocolate liqueur, schnapps liqueur, brandy liqueur, anise liqueur, nut-flavoured liqueur, and herbal liqueur.

Anise liqueurs have the interesting property of turning from transparent to cloudy when added to water: the oil of anise remains in solution in the presence of a high concentration of alcohol, but crystallizes out when the alcohol concentration is reduced.

Layered drinks made by floating different-coloured liqueurs in separate layers are attractive. Each liqueur is poured slowly into a glass over the back of a spoon or down a glass rod, so that the liquids of different densities remain unmixed, creating a striped effect.

ee also

* List of liqueurs
* Cream liqueur
* Crème liqueur
* Nalewka
* Sloe gin
* Cordial

External links

* [ Comprehensive coverage of most liqueurs]


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • liqueur — [ likɶr ] n. f. • 1160; lat. liquor 1 ♦ Vx Substance liquide. Spécialt Liquide organique. Liqueur séminale : sperme. 2 ♦ (1635) Mod. Solution employée en pharmacie, dans l industrie. Liqueur de Fehling. Liqueur titrée. Liqueur mère : solution… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • liqueur — LIQUEUR. s. f. Substance fluide dont les parties coulent aisément. L Eau est la plus simple des liqueurs. le vin est une agreable liqueur. En poësie on nomme le vin, Liqueur bacchique. Il se dit plus ordinairement des boissons qui ont de la… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • liqueur — Liqueur, Liquor liquoris. La liqueur qui est esprainte et degouttée de quelque chose, Eliquamen. Espandre quelque liqueur, Suffundere. Se fondre et devenir en liqueur, Deliquere, Liquescere, Liquefieri. Mettre quelque liqueur en un vaisseau,… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • liqueur — sweetened, flavored alcoholic liquor, 1729, from Fr. liqueur liquor, liquid, from O.Fr. licor liquid. See LIQUOR (Cf. liquor), which is the same word but borrowed earlier …   Etymology dictionary

  • Liqueur — Li queur (l[ e] k[ e]r ), n. [F. See {Liquor}.] An aromatic alcoholic cordial. [1913 Webster] Note: Some liqueurs are prepared by infusing certain woods, fruits, or flowers, in either water or alcohol, and adding sugar, etc. Others are distilled… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Liqueur — (fr., spr. Liköhr), 1) Branntwein, welcher durch Abziehen über gewürzhafte Stoffe, od. Digeriren über solche, ingleichen durch Zusatz von Zuckerwasser, auch durch kalte Vermischung mit Ölen von angenehmerem Geschmack geworden ist. Gewöhnlich wird …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Liqueur — (franz.), s. Likör; L. Bernhard, s. Fleckwasser …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Liqueur — (frz., spr. köhr), s. Likör …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Liqueur — (frz. liköhr), versüßter mit gewürzhaften Stoffen versetzter Branntwein …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • liqueur — LIQUÉUR s.n. v. lichior. Trimis de LauraGellner, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DN …   Dicționar Român

  • liqueur — the strong sweet alcoholic spirit, is spelt with two us …   Modern English usage

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