Top 10 Liqueur Brands and Best Liqueur
Liqueur is an alcoholic beverage that’s usually flavored with assorted flavors. Liqueur is bottled with added sugar. This added sugar is what defines it.
You can’t simply go by a spirit being flavored to be classified as a liqueur because many spirts are flavored such as rum, vodka, etc. Like stated above, what really sets a liqueur apart from a spirit is that it contains the added sugar, which spirits do not.
Liqueurs usually range from 14% to 35%. Desset Wines are not liqueurs, while cordials have become synoumous with liquers.
1. Arran Gold Cream Liqueur
Winner of the World’s Best Whisky Liqueur back in 2007 so is deserved of being on this list. The color is a light brown that immediately makes a drinker think of chocolate which would be correct because one’s nose immediately carries that idea through the senses. Smelling of a chocolate milkshake, Arran Gold is great to mix with Whiskey because it is able to envelope the bold taste of the liquor and produce something both tasty and warming. If you try it on the rocks, you’ll realize just how creamy and smooth this treat is, but you’ll also be surprised to taste a hint of malt on the backend. Arran Gold finds a way to make a great Whiskey even smoother with its light body and full taste. Try it in: A glass with or without ice. Simple enough.
2. Chartreuse Yellow VEP liqueur
Chartreuse is undoubtedly the healthiest liqueur on the list. But don’t think it loses any of its tastiness. Chartreuse is made by French monks who have been working on the brand for over 500 years. Chartreuse is more bold than the others on the list, stepping it up at 42% alcohol by volume. Off the nose, you’ll gather mainly licorice and fennel, but don’t be surprised if you begin picking out one or two of the 130 herbs used for this drink. The only liqueur to use oak castes to age the product, Chartreuse will give your tongue a bit more floral taste, pushing some of its other herbs like sage, saffron and thyme. Chartreuse is a popular liqueur, but understand that this is something you should use sporadically or when you’re dying to impress. At $123 a liter, the VEP is a hefty drink with awesome taste. Cocktails include: April Shower, Yellow Bird and the Torii Toddy
First, can I just say this bottle reminds me of Aunt Jemima Syrup. Anyone else see it? It makes sense since the bottle is supposed to look like a monk in his habit. This Italian liqueur is popular already and I’m sure you’ve heard of it. Frangelico owns a light caramel coloring and is a hazelnut and herb flavored drink. When you open the bottle, wafts of hazelnut, vanilla and cinnamon enter your nose, giving you a dynamic and strong idea of what is to come. The body is more light weight then most liqueurs and also differs in the fact that while its smooth, it doesn’t leave that feeling of cream or syrup on your tongue after a swig. Its flavors sit on the tongue quickly, producing chocolate, hazelnut and spice to your taste buds. Again, the smell is so delicious that you’ll want to keep inhaling this drinks aromas, even while you’re pouring some down your throat. An easy finish, and its easy to see why Frangelico is such a popular liqueur. Here are the cocktails to try: Chocolate Cake Shooter, Friar Tuck #2 and Procrastinator Shot
4. Tia maria
Tia Maria is a liqueur made from Jamaica that encompasses two of my favorite things: Jamaican Rum and Blue Mountain Coffee. Ok, the Blue Mountain might be a stretch, but it actually is the finest coffee produced in Jamaica. Mix that with a rich Jamaican Rum and you have a thumbs up. The alcohol percentage is at 20% which makes this a great liqueur for adding to coco, coffee or sipping over the rocks. Tia Maria is a smoother blend with a hint of spice that can add a hint of something different to any drink you make it with and since it’s not made with cream, its perfect for those out there watching their caloric intake. Want to try it but not sure how? Here are a few options you can throw together at your next party to introduce everyone to an internationally known liqueur: Dark Indulgence Cocktail, Mike Tyson Cocktail and Ciel Recipe
Coming from the Japanese word for “green”, Midori is a must-have in any home bar. Its easy to see why this liqueur is popular to begin with. Most everyone enjoys something flashy and the bright green color of this liqueur is as aesthetically pleasing as it is aromatically and tasting wise. Again, a liqueur with a 20% alcohol by volume, its a drink that can easily mixed and added to practically any real liquor. When you open a bottle of Midori, you’ll be hit with the obvious scent of melons; but the smell of bananas and strawberries also follows. Midori on the rocks doesn’t disappoint either, with a slightly more fruity taste than some of the other liqueurs you’ll find on this list. Don’t worry though, Midori isn’t too sweet, but it certainly will ensure that you taste it throughout the entirety of your drink. Cocktails that everyone should try with Midori: Midori Berry Bliss, Carpet Licker and Frozen Midori Sour
You might not know what Amarula is, but you should. Its best description could be simply this: a thinner and milkshake. I don’t know about you, but I will drink anything that reminds me of ice cream deliciousness. But I’m getting a touch ahead of myself. Lets start with how it smells. This African treat brings one word caramel into play. It smells, looks and tastes like a butterscotch dream, creating a slight layering on the glass and gently coating the tongue with each sip. While it can become a bit sweet, Amarula is a perfect after dinner sipper and can be added to drinks much the same way Baileys Irish Cream can. Amarula is quickly become a favorite for its taste, but you might also enjoy it for its aphrodisiac powers. The drinks to make with it: French Toast, Amarula Dusky Decadence (complicated but worth it) and Elephant Shake
7. St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
This is a liqueur you need to try. It is hard to keep since it produced in small quantities and stores can go weeks without carrying it, but once you get your hands on a bottle of St. Germain, you’ll want to keep tabs on its delivery dates. A liqueur with a medium body, it is like our other liqueurs on the list with a 20% abv, making it great for drinking on the rocks for a great deal of time. Unlike the other liqueurs on this list, its coloring is lighter (and more normal than the green of Midori) with a golden hue. Its smell also differs because it doesn’t hold that punch of spicy or deep flavorfulness, but rather, introduces a citrusy and light aroma to the drinker. You’ll smell flowers and pears and you’ll receive slightly sweet mix with a slight tart. Ultimately an amazing mix. St. Germain Elderflower won’t overpower any cocktail you add it to, but it will bring about a freshness that would be perfect for this summer. Cocktails to try are: The St. Germain Cocktail, Sangria Flora and Cuzco Fizz
8. Aperol liqueur
This Italian liqueur is a good transition here, with an alcohol content of 11%. Aperol is a younger liqueur, only being around since 1919, but its found a way to differentiate itself rather quickly. Aperol looks simple, with a simple bottle and a simple label, but it certainly hold more complex contents. A mix of orange, rhubarb, gentian and other herbs, Aperol finds a way to mix all the above together for something that is surprisingly subtle and delightful. A refreshing liqueur, it is owned in almost every Italian home and is quickly making its way into most of America’s homes as well. Cocktails to try: Aperol Royal, Aperol Betty and Aperol Sour
9. Domaine de canton ginger liqueur
The name holds the main key to this awesomely tasty liqueur. Made in France, Domaine de Canton begins with baby Vietnamese ginger which is then macerated with various herbs. Hand made, it can be difficult to get your hands on a bottle of times due to its small quantities, but along with its awesome bottle…it proves to be a uniqueness you want on hand. Domaine de Canton Ginger also mixes with VSOP Cognac, Grand Champagne, vanilla and orange blossom honey to give it both an inviting and aromatic smell. Pop open the bottle and you’ll be intrigued by its vanilla and citrus smell. The body is medium with 28% abv and yields a golden coloring. On the tongue, you’ll certainly taste the ginger, but its evenly balanced with the subtleness of the cognac and champagne. Cocktails you should try include: El Diablo Martini, Ginger Cosmopolitan and The Gold Rush
10. Bols Advocaat
To understand how this liqueur is different, you need to understand what makes an advocaat different first. Made from eggs, sugar and brandy, Bols Advocaat is a decently simple receipe for a liqueur which proves to be versatile. Because of its simplicity, Bols has created a various array of liqueurs from Bols Watermelon to Bols Strawberry to garshdarn Bols Coconut. Each liqueur has its definitive characteristics. For example, the Bols Banana proves true to its name by pushing the banana taste into your mouth, but also follows up with vanilla and hints of almonds. The color is true to the name as well with its bright yellow liquid sitting in the clear glass bottle. While it would be great to try every one of these, it would be also incredibly difficult. So while you might want to start with some of the more moderate flavors, you have to admit the Bols Parfait Amour looks pretty inviting. Drinks to try for the Bols Banana: Bols Banana & Orange, Banana Banshee and a Banana Colada.