I wanted to be sure I had the best possible liqueur-making method, aiming to figure out if fresh or dry apricots were best, if the apricot pits added anything to the flavor, and whether adding the sweetener before or after the infusion period was better.
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A combination of tart fresh apricots and sweet dried apricots make for the tasty and complex apricot liqueur.
Have you ever wondered about the difference between a spirit and a liqueur? What on earth is a cordial? And why is that bartender over there so precious that he has to call his Manhattan perfect, anyway? Here's your guide to a few easily-confused cocktail terms.
Though it smells only like sweetened yogurt, the flavor packs a boozy punch, even though it's just 15% alcohol, around the level of strong red wine.
I don't tend to seek out breakfast nor breakfast-flavored booze, but there we were with three new breakfast-flavored liqueurs: Blueberry Pancake, Glazed Donut, and Maple Bacon, all 70 proof.
I like to think of root beer as the gateway beverage into the big, bad world of booze. Even though it's a big leap from A&W to Fernet Branca, there's definitely a connection between what makes a good root beer and what makes a good alcoholic beverage. This homemade root beer liqueur has more in common with an aperitif than it does with a soda, because the sugar is dialed back and the root-and-bark goodness can shine through.
Forget about the big jugs of watery cranberry juice on the grocery store shelves—the best way to put these gorgeous red fruits into your drinks is with a homemade cranberry liqueur. Fresh cranberries are ubiquitous this time of year, and turning them into liqueur is a snap. So not only will you have a versatile ingredient for festive Thanksgiving cocktails, but a bottle of this beautiful crimson liqueur also makes a great gift come December.
October is finally here and I couldn't be more pleased. I've always loved fall, and I'm particularly fond of the early part when there's drastically reduced chances of wet snow or dry turkey. As things start to drift along into November, fall's more liable to drop some family obligations or disastrous weather on you, but in these early post-summer days, no right-thinking man can help but smile at the moderate temperatures, reasonable daylight allocation, and dying leaves.
Bananas don't get much play in the cocktail world because they're mushy and fibrous, making them impossible to juice and gross to muddle. Even when the blender is out, poor old banana is frequently left out of the cocktail party. But the vibrant, tropical flavor of bananas tastes amazing in drinks, especially ones made with rum.
Homemade banana liqueur will show you that, when it comes to tropical drinks, the simple banana can taste just as exotic as the more elusive coconut and pineapple.
Orange liqueur has earned a bad reputation over the last few decades. Take, for example, curaçao. When many people think of curaçao, they immediately recall bright blue cocktails, sticky sweet and garish—drinks they might have had in college or even as recently as last weekend. Today we'll look at a range of orange liqueurs, from high-priced brandy-laced products to inexpensive triple secs.
The first time I tried cherry liqueur, I thought it tasted like cough syrup. For years, I avoided anything made with the stuff because I don't want my cocktails to remind me of sick children. Then one day I ordered a Singapore Sling without really knowing what was in it. When I found out that cherry liqueur played a big part in making this drink so good, I realized that maybe I had stereotyped all cherry liqueurs because of one that was particularly bad (and probably cheap).
Fresh, sweet summer cherries transform into something deeper in this simple cherry liqueur.
A good melon liqueur can turn basic club soda into a sophisticated summer cooler or add another layer to a complex tiki drink.
Even if you've had bad Midori sours, you shouldn't discount the deliciousness of melon liqueur.
Sometimes when I read about big city bars, I get a little jealous. Part of what inspired me to learn to mix a good drink is that most of the bars within walking distance of my house have deer heads mounted on the wall and bartenders who get a little confused if your cocktail isn't a Rum & Coke, Gin & Tonic, or other drink whose name is its ingredients. But then I make a batch of DIY blackberry liqueur with fresh berries, I mix myself a Bramble, and all envy dissipates.
Elderflower liqueur is a magical potion—a little bit will revive and brighten Champagne that's heading south or enhance the botanicals in a good gin. It perks up a drink by adding a little sweetness and a light floral touch. Though it was once hard to find in the states, elderflower liqueur is now such a common and essential mixing ingredient that it's called "bartender's ketchup" in cocktail circles.
Delicately sweet with a hint of bitterness, a homemade chocolate liqueur made with cacao nibs is like an expensive dark chocolate bar in your drink instead of like a jigger of Nestle Quik.
Q: What do a Native American medicinal herbal drink, lebkuchen, and a legendary (if possibly apocryphal) tea brewed by Benjamin Franklin have in common? A: They've all served as the inspiration for unique and exciting liqueurs from Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction.
Limoncello is a sweet, sunshine-colored liqueur made with lemon zest. It has a bright lemon flavor with none of the tartness. Created in Italy as an after-dinner drink, it's light and delicate with just the right amount of alcohol intensity. It's impossible not to smile when you're sipping limoncello. Especially if you made it yourself.