Liquor & Spirits
Marie Brizzard Anisette (France) - a sweet, aromatic, low-proof liqueur with a licorice-like flavor derived from anise seed - one of the oldest and most widely used flavorings in the liqueur making repertoire. Anisette includes small amounts of other flavorings, particularly orange peel, that add depth to the finished product. Marie Brizzard is one of the oldest and most respected of French liqueur makers. 50 proof.
Alborg Akvavit (Denmark) - akvavit, a contraction of the Latin aqua vitae, meaning "water of life". is considered the national drink of Denmark. Similar to vodka, akvavit is a spirit distilled from grain (a small number of producers distill from potatoes) with certain aromatic seeds and spices - caraway seeds in particular. Alborg is distilled from grain and seasoned with caraway seeds. Crisp and smooth. 80 proof.
Jubilaeums Akvavit (Denmark) - golden in color, similar to the above, with a definite dill aroma and flavor. 84 proof.
**Akvavit is technically NOT a liqueur (it would be grouped with vodka, in most Scandanavian countries they drink akvavit instead of vodka) but for these purposes we'll consider it a liqueur.
Di Saronno Amaretto (Italy) - based on crushed apricot pits, enhanced with vanilla, vanillan and other flavorings. The essential flavor is bitter almond, with hints of fruit and vanilla. Amarettos are sweet with a somewhat syrupy body. Di Saronno was the first producer and remains the standard. 56 proof.
Bailey's Irish Cream (Ireland) - the original irish cream liqueur, made from Irish whiskey and Irish cream, it has a light chocolate flavor with faint perceptions of coconut and coffee. 34 proof.
Benedictine (France) - a brandy-based recipe, which is alleged to be the oldest recipe for any liqueur, contains over 20 herbs and plants in its blend. It is aromatic sweet, full-bodied and dark amber in color. Arrangement made with the Order of Benedictine Monks permits use of its name and the initials "D.O.M.", which stands for its maxim, 'Deo Optimo Maxima"- ("To God, most good, most great"). 80 proof.
B&B (France) - when the producers of Benedictine realized that great numbers of people were ordering their Benedictine mixed with brandy in order to reduce the sweetness they put on the market an official B&B (Benedictine and Brandy). About 60% Benedictine and 40% cognac. 80 proof.
Chambord (France) - brandy based liqueur with the deepest, richest essence of black and red raspberries you'll ever taste in a liqueur. As Bill would say "a definite YUMSTER"! 33 proof.
Curacao - originally a Dutch liqueur made from the skins of oranges which grow on the Dutch island of Curacao off the coast of Venezuela. It became so popular that many distillers sell it, under different names. Cointreau and Grand Marnier are examples of proprietary types; while
triple sec is made by many firms.
Cointreau (France) - a famous proprietary liqueur of the curacao type made from cognac and orange peel. Sweeter than Grand Marnier, triple sec and curacao. 80 proof.
Creme - Literally "cream"; on a liqueur-label, the word once designated a drink that had been sweetened, to differentiate it from a dry spirit such as a brandy. In contemporary usage it still means a generally sweet liqueur. Some of the better known crernes are:
Ananas (pineapple) Banane (Banana) Cacao (cocoa) Cafe (coffee)Cassis
(blackcurrant) Chocolat (chocolate) Cumin (caraway seeds) Fraise (strawberry)
Framboise (raspberry) Mandarine (tangerine) Menthe the (peppermint) Moka
(coffee) Noyau (almond) Prunelle (sloe-a small, bitter, black plum like
fruit) Roses (rose) The (tea) Vanille (vanilla) Violette (violet)
Drambuie (Scotland) - after the unsuccessful Scottish rebellion of 1745, Bonnie Prince Charlie was given sanctuary by a Captain McKinnon. As a token of his gratitude, the prince gave McKinnon the secret royal recipe for "an dram bruidheach" - 'the drink that satisfies". The Mckinnon family kept the knowledge under their bonnets for ages. In 1906, they finally went public with Drambuie, an anglisized version of the original name. Although the recipe is still a dark secret, scotch whisky is the base with the addition of heather, honey, peat, herbs and spices. 80 proof.
Framboise, St. George Spirits (France) - French eaux-de-vie (water of life), a brandy distilled from raspberries. The taste is dry and hints delicately: of the berry. 8'.' proof.
Frangelico (Italy) - legend has it that a hermit who lived on the banks of the Italian river Po infused berries and flowers with wild hazelnuts. Today, the recipe is still a closely gaurded secret, hazelnuts being the primary flavor with hints of bitter almond and chocolate. 56 proof.
Galliano (Italy) - another secret recipe found in a storage-defying tower of a bottle. Made from Alpine herb-seed flavorings, noticeable vanilla plus a hint of anise, it is syrupy and moderately sweet. It's main claim to fame is that it is the last ingredient listed in a Harvey Wallbanger. 70 proof.
Goldschlager (Switzerland) - swiss peppermint schnapps. Strong, dominant and sweet. 106 proof.
Grand Marnier (France) - one of the most venerated and versatile of all liqueurs, a true classic. An exquisite pairing of cognac with the essence of bitter orange peel. 80 proof.
Irish Mist (Ireland) - yet another long lost tale...a thousand years ago, warring clans ruled Ireland and the secret of making "heather wine" was zealously guarded. Whwn Ireland was invaded, the formula, like the country, was lost. In the 19th century, Irish distillers began experimenting hoping to duplicate the precious recipe. Then, in 1948, an Austrian refugee turned up at a distillery with his family recipe for heather liqueur, known to be of Irish origin. When compounded, it was obviously the ancient "heather wine" and the long search ended. Although the recipe is a trade secret, the liqueur contains Irish whiskey and honey, with definite herbal accents. 70 proof.
Jagermiester (Germany) - brandy based infused with extracts from roots, bark and herbs. Vey medicinal tasting. Not for the faint of heart. 68 proof.
Kahlua (Mexico) - although originally from Mexico, it is now produced and bottled in the U.S. Kahlua started the vogue for coffee liqueurs. Good coffee flavor and hints of molasses on a base of neutral grain spirits. 66 proof.
Kirsch, St. George Spirits (France) - another French eaux-de-vie, this being brandy distilled from cherries. After distillation it is stored in parefin-lined casks or earthenware, to prevent it taking on the color that wood would impart; true kirsch is always white. 80 proof.
Mandarine Napolean (Belgium) - made on a cognac base with a tangerine-citrus brandy flavor. Candyish, but appealing. 80 proof.
Midori (Mexico) - Suntory is one of the largest beverage producers in Japan. Midori (which means "green" in Japanese) was originally produced in Japan, but its production is now overseen by Suntory in Mexico. A base of nuetral grain spirits with honeydew melon extract. Good melon flavor, syrupy and sweet. 42 proof.
Poire William, St. George Spirits (France) - yes, another eaux-de-vie (by now you should know eaux-de-vie = brandy) produced from the William Pear, similar to the Bartlett pear and having a full, intense ripe pear bouquet. The taste, however, is not nearly as fruity as the aroma. All eaux-de-vies are meant to be consumed neat and well chilled. 80 proof.
Rumpelminz (Germany) - German peppermint schnapps, created for the U.S. export market and is powerfully sweet. 100 proof.
Sambuca Romana (Italy) - it's licorice flavor is from the fruit of the Elder bush. This colorless liqueur is sweet, velvety, intensely flavored, and quite often served with coffee beans added. Italian tradition says an odd number of beans with sambuca tells guests they are welcome, but an even number sends a different message. 84 proof.
Black Sambuca Romana (Italy) - roasting the fruit of the elder bush is what makes it black. Slightly more viscous, heavy and intense than the regular bottling. 80 proof.
Southern Comfort (USA) - a liqueur based on bourbon (bourbon, however, is not the predominant flavor). Moderately sweet with peach and citrus flavors. 76 proof.
Tia Maria (Jamaica) - a rich, coffee flavored liqueur that uses rum as a base. Subtle yet complex, it is lighter and drier than Kahlua and most other coffee liqueurs. 53 proof.
Tuaca (Italy) - another secret recipe. Vanilla dominates the flavor mix, supplemented with apple, herbs and other botanicals, medium-bodied, smooth and sweet. 70 proof.