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home > food & wine dictionary > liqueur

Food and Wine Dictionary

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 liqueur    [lih-KUHR, lih-KYOOR]

A sweet alcoholic beverage made from an INFUSION of flavoring ingredients (such as seeds, fruits, herbs, flowers, nuts or spices) and a spirit (such as BRANDY, RUM or WHISKEY). Essential oils and EXTRACTS are used to flavor many of today's liqueurs. Artificial flavorings make a lackluster contribution to the less expensive brands. Most commercial liqueurs are made with closely guarded secret formulas. Also called cordials  and ratafias , liqueurs are usually high in alcohol and range from 49 PROOF for CHERRY HEERING to 110 proof for green CHARTREUSE. The crème liqueurs (such as CRÈME DE MENTHE) are distinguished by being sweeter and more syrupy. Liqueurs were originally used (and some still are) as a digestive. They are now usually served after dinner but also play an important role in many cocktails. Liqueurs can also be used in cooking, particularly for desserts. See also  ABSINTHE; ADVOCAAT; AMARETTO; ANESONE; ANISETTE; BÉNÉDICTINE; CHÉRI-SUISSE; COINTREAU; CRÈME D'ABRICOTS; CRÈME D'AMANDE; CRÈME D'ANANAS; CRÈME DE BANANE; CRÈME DE CACAO; CRÈME DE CASSIS; CRÈME DE CERISE; CRÈME DE NOYAUX; CRÈME DE ROSE; CRÈME DE VIOLETTE; CURAÇAO; DRAMBUIE; EAU DE VIE; FRANGELICO; GALLIANO; GLAYVA; GOLDWASSER; GRAND MARNIER; HERBSAINT; IRISH MIST; IZARRA; KAHLÚA; KÜMMEL; MANDARINE LIQUEUR; MARASCHINO; MIDORI; OUZO; PERNOD; PRUNELLE; ROCK AND RYE; SABRA LIQUEUR; SAMBUCA; SLOE GIN; SOUTHERN COMFORT; STREGA; TÍA MARÍA; TRIPLE SEC.

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Material adapted from the The New Food Lover's Companion

© Copyright Barron's Educational Services, Inc. 1995 based on
THE FOOD LOVER'S COMPANION, 2nd edition, by Sharon Tyler Herbst.

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