The weather is getting colder, the leaves are changing, and everyone is breaking out pumpkin spice everything. You know what that means — Fall is officially here. In addition to being a great time to try a tasty Fall cocktail, Fall is also time for one of our favorite holidays: National Liqueur Day. On October 16, National Liqueur Day marks a day to celebrate the sweet and aromatic additives that define so many of our favorite cocktails.
This National Liqueur Day, we’re learning about cordials and liqueurs, and how they can help you enhance your bartending game. Here’s the ultimate guide to cordials and liqueurs.
Liqueurs date way back to the early 400s BC. The Egyptians and Greeks distilled wine to make fortified spirits, then made them palatable by adding cinnamon and honey.
In the thirteenth century, European monks and medics further developed the art of distillation.
Plenty of people confuse liquor with liqueur, but they’re not the same thing (hence the spelling difference). To become a liqueur (also known as a cordial and sometimes schnapps), a base liquor (such as brandy or rum) is sweetened with tasty additions of fruits, creams, plants, nuts, or pure juices. This gets them to the minimum sugar content of 2.5 percent. Most liqueurs also have a lower alcohol content compared to spirits, but some can have up to 55 percent ABV.
Most liqueurs aren’t aged for very long, but there is a resting period during production. This allows the flavors to all blend together nicely.
Liqueurs are not only sweet — they come with incredibly pronounced flavor profiles, too. This makes them the perfect after-dinner drink.
Plenty of well-known and loved mixed drinks contain liqueurs, so even if you don’t think you’re familiar with liqueurs, you probably are.
Some popular liqueurs and cordials include:
Plenty of liqueurs are enjoyed on their own or over ice, but they’re also the basis for many cocktails you know and love.
Cocktails are the perfect way to celebrate National Liqueur Day. Whether you cozy up by the fire on a chilly Fall day or enjoy the last of the warmth on a sunny afternoon, here are some liqueur-based cocktails you’ll love.
Amaretto is made from bitter almonds or stone fruits that have the same flavor compound as almonds. With other ingredients mixed in, amaretto can create a delicious flavor profile in your cocktail. For instance, an Apple Amaretto Sour really plays up the cinnamon and apple flavors that just scream Fall.
To make an Apple Amaretto Sour, you’ll need:
A White Russian is already delicious, but step up your game by adding a little Baileys Irish cream. This is a great cocktail for the holidays (or any day).
To make a Baileys White Russian, you’ll need:
Sometimes called one of the best cocktails of all time, the Sidecar is a perfectly balanced beverage. It’s warm, crisp, full, dry, and rich — all at the same time. It’s a great cocktail to make at home for a holiday party or dinner for two.
To make a Classic Sidecar Cocktail, you’ll need:
Need a pick-me-up that’s boozy to boot? An espresso martini is both — and it’s delicious. Make this for an after-dinner drink or even just as dessert.
To make an Espresso Martini with Kahlúa, you’ll need:
RumChata may be similar to Baileys, but it has its own unique and delicious flavor profile. In the Cha Cha Rita with RumChata, the cinnamon and vanilla flavors really shine.
To make a Cha Cha Rita with RumChata, you’ll need:
National Liqueur Day only comes around once a year — so be sure to make the best of it.
Liqueurs may not always take center stage as liquor does, but they can be just as delicious and fun. Stock up on your favorite bar accessories, throw a cocktail party and experiment with some of your favorite liqueurs (and some you didn’t know about, too!).
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Which liqueur are you going to experiment with to celebrate National Liqueur Day?