A sweetened, flavored spirit, usually brandy, rum, or whisky
USA: min 2.5% sugar by weight (about 1/4 of EU)
EU: min 100 g/l sugar and min 15% abv; "creme de" has min 250 g/l sugar; "creme de cassis" min 400 g/l
What is another name for liqueur?
Describe the history of liqueurs
1575: Lucas Bols makes first commercial liqueur
Mid 19C: sweet and flavored with peels and nuts
Mid 1970s: cream liqueurs
Name 2 methods to add flavors to liqueurs
Macerate: ingredients are steeped in water and highly rectified spirit in a pot still for several days before distillation; distillate comes off at 70-80% abv
Percolate: ingredients put in a stainless steel filter in a percolation tank; heated (40-75°C) water and alcohol is pumped up and down through the filter for 2-7 days; the tincture takes on flavor and color from the ingredients. Cold (20°C) maceration can obtain the same product but up to 90 days is required.
The liqueur: some only use the distillate while others also use a tincture.
What is a tincture?
An alcoholic extract of plant or animal material.
The final product of using percolation to add flavor to liqueurs.
Steeping a material in liquid with or without a kneading action
It is governed by temperature, contact, degree of agitation, time, and composition of the extracting liquid
When making a liqueur, why is sugar added *after* the spirit has been flavored and reduced in strength?
Sugars can be difficult to dissolve in high alcohol and can precipitate out
What sweetening agents are used to make liqueur?
Sucrose (cane or beet)
High-fructose corn syrup
Concentrated, rectified grape must
What is an emulsion?
Mixture of liquids that are normally not mixable.
State where fats in cream do not form lumps but remain as tiny globules.
Describe homogenization of a cream liqueur
Heating mixture to 55°C at a pressure equivalent to 300 X atmospheric pressure.
Describe the process to make cream liqueurs
Cream, sugar, and alcohol are added to a solution of sodium caseinate (an emulsifier).
It is then homogenized twice, then cooled, colored, and flavored.
Are crème liquers the same as cream liquers?
No: they contain no cream; it refers to its near-syrup consistency.
Name some examples of cream liqueur and its liquor
Bailey's and Saint Brendan's: Irish whiskey
Heather Cream: Scotch whisky
Voodoo: Indian whisky
Dooley's: vodka and toffee
Amarula: fermented marula fruit
Voyant Chai: black tea and spices
What is the shelf life of Bailey's Irish Cream?
30 months; even if opened and not refrigerated!
How are liqueurs grouped?
By similar predominant flavor or ingredient used to flavor them.
Since any ingredients can be used, a product could fall into several groups.
Name 4 groups of liqueurs
Herbal: anise, heather honey, many herbs and spices (e.g., mace, coriander, cloves, nuts, cinnamon, ginger, cubeb berries, saffron)
Fruit: orange, lemon, peach, cherry
Seed and Nut: caraway, bitter almond, hazelnut, walnut
Cream: Bailey's Irish Cream was the first; Amarula uses fruit of marula tree as a spirit base.
Define "Vin de liqueur"
EU term for wine and/or must with added alcohol to 15-22% abv; *it encompasses all fortified wines*.
Mistelles: marc added to grape juice, e.g., Pineau des Charentes, Floc de Gascogne, Macvin du Jura
Vin doux naturel: made by mutage to 15-18% abv, typically from Muscat (e.g., rontignan, Lunel, Meireval, St-Jean-de-Minervois, Rivesaltes, Beaumes-de-Venise) or Grenache (e.g., Banyuls, Maury, Rivesaltes, Rasteau)