Learn with A Bar Above


Photo by quinn.anya/ CC BY


Liqueurs are one of the most varied types of alcohols but also one of the easiest to understand. A liqueur is defined as having:

  • Alcohol
  • Sweetener
  • Flavor

Liqueurs in Cocktails:

  • Liqueurs to bring alcohol, but in general they are much lower proof than the other spirits we have discussed here. Typically they are between 15-30%, (Though some do go as high as 55%)
  • Liqueurs also bring significant sweetness, so when being used in a cocktail it’s important to adjust the amount of other sweeteners downward to account for this.

Common Liqueurs Flavors and Types:

It’s important to note that this list doesn’t include every possibility – there are hundreds of types of liqueurs out there. Some of these categories often overlap as well, for example Creme de cacao is both a chocolate liqueur and Creme liqueur. Take this as a suggestion. For the most part, the flavor imparted by a liqueur is fairly easy to tell – it’ll be written right on the bottle.

  • Fruit: Liqueurs made with fruit or berry flavors. Examples include Chambord and Veev
  • Coffee: Kahlúa is the first coffee liqueur that comes to mind, but there are many.
  • Chocolate: Liqueurs that taste like chocolate.
  • Cream: Cream liqueurs, quite simply, include dairy cream among their ingredients. Examples include Baileys Irish Cream.
  • Crème: Not actually made with cream – Creme in this context means these liqueurs have had significantly more sugar added than other liqueurs and therefore have an almost syrup like consistency.
  • Herbal & Flower: These liqueurs start to get much more complex in flavor. There are some simpler one-flavor types like St. Germain (Elderflower), or Pastis. But there are also many types with proprietary blends of spices, like the Green Chartreuse mentioned in the video.