National Liqueur Day

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.

What Even Is a Liqueur or a Cordial?

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.

Popular Liqueurs and Cordials

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:

  • Amaretto: An almond-flavored liqueur
  • Baileys Irish Cream: A cream, cocoa, and Irish whiskey-flavored liqueur
  • Cointreau: An orange-flavored liqueur
  • Kahlúa: A coffee-flavored liqueur
  • RumChata: A cream, cinnamon, and vanilla-based liqueur

Plenty of liqueurs are enjoyed on their own or over ice, but they’re also the basis for many cocktails you know and love.

5 Liqueur-Based Cocktails to Try on National Liqueur Day

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.

Apple Amaretto Sour

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:

  • ¾ cup amaretto, divided
  • 4 cups apple cider, chilled
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 6 lemon slices
  • 6 cinnamon sticks


  1. Fill six highball glasses with ice.
  2. Pour 2 T. amaretto into each glass.
  3. Stir together lemon juice and apple cider, and divide among glasses.
  4. Serve with a lemon slice and cinnamon stick.

Baileys White Russian

White Russian Cocktail

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:

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce Kahlúa (or other coffee liqueur)
  • 1 ounce Bailey’s Irish cream
  • Ice


  1. Add vodka and Kahlúa to a lowball glass.
  2. Fill with ice.
  3. Top with Baileys.
  4. Stir until cold (or just a bit, giving it a swirl effect).

The Classic Sidecar Cocktail with Cointreau

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:

  • 2 ounces Cognac
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • Lemon or orange twist for garnish
  • Optional: Superfine sugar for rim


  1. Cut a notch in your lemon, and run it around the rim on your cocktail glass.
  2. Dip the rim into a plate of superfine sugar.
  3. Pour all liquid ingredients into a cocktail shaker with a handful of ice.
  4. Shake until cold.
  5. Strain drink into prepared glass.
  6. Garnish with lemon or orange twist.

Espresso Martini with Kahlúa

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.

Espresso Martini

To make an Espresso Martini with Kahlúa, you’ll need:

  • 2 ounces vodka
  • ¾ ounce Kahlúa
  • 1 ounce warm espresso (or strong coffee)
  • Coffee beans for garnish


  1. Make espresso or strong coffee.
  2. Add vodka, Kahlúa, and espresso to a cocktail shaker, and fill with ice.
  3. Shake until cold.
  4. Strain into a cocktail glass.
  5. Garnish with coffee beans.

Check out these other Kahlúa cocktails, too!

Cha Cha Rita with RumChata

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:

  • 3 ounces Kahlúa
  • 2 ounces RumChata
  • 1 ounce tequila
  • Optional: chocolate and caramel sauces and crushed Oreo cookies


  1. Rim glass with chocolate and caramel sauce.
  2. Roll in crushed Oreos.
  3. Combine ingredients until smooth.
  4. Pour into prepared glass.

Celebrate National Liqueur With Your Favorite Liqueur-Based Cocktail

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!).

And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more liquor and liqueur-inspired knowledge.

Which liqueur are you going to experiment with to celebrate National Liqueur Day?