Liquor (from the French "liqueur" - liquid) has long been recognized throughout the world as one of the popular alcoholic beverages. Sweet and fragrant, infused with berries and fruits, and sometimes with herbs and spices, today it has unmistakably taken its rightful place among other types of alcohol. Liqueur was highly valued in aristocratic circles for its delicate, refined taste, so it has long been considered a drink of aristocrats.
A bit of history
Traditionally, France is considered the birthplace of the liqueur, although the creator of this drink was an Italian monk, Bernardo Vinzelli, who lived in the 16th century in the small town of Fecamp, located on the coast of La -Mansha. The monk named his drink Benedict's Elixir after the saint in whose monastery he resided. The monks endowed his invention with special healing properties, and since they were often healers, they gave this infusion to their patients, believing that it could restore strength and strengthen the male spirit.
Later, doctors began to include various medicinal herbs in its recipe to make the drink even healthier, and the development of trade relations with Eastern countries has made another contribution to its improvement. Now the composition of the infusion began to include rare and valuable spices for those times - such as sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, cardamom and others. This improved the taste of the drink and brought some zest here, thereby increasing its quality.
Today, liquor is no longer considered a health drink. Now it is often included in the menu during celebrations, as an original dessert that sets you up for complacency and uplifting. Recently, liquor has become more and more a women's drink, and this is quite justified historically. Indeed, even in the distant 19th century in France, he was associated with female beauty and pleasure. It was believed that the rose petals included in its composition give not only a unique taste and aroma, but also prolong youth and beauty. Liqueurs have rightfully earned popularity in many countries of the world. These drinks can satisfy the taste of the most sophisticated gourmets, and also act as components for preparing other drinks based on them, and even dishes.
Types of liqueurs
Traditionally, liqueurs are divided into three types:
But there are many more classifications of this drink according to various criteria: according to the degree of sweetness, according to flavoring ingredients, according to the type of alcohol base, according to the degree of exposure. By the way, aged liqueurs are highly valued, since the taste of alcohol is almost imperceptible in them, and the taste and aroma become more delicate and subtle.
These are rather sweet, alcoholic drinks, with a strength of 35 to 45 degrees. The content of sugar in them ranges from 32 to 50 percent. This includes the older ones, invented in ancient times by monks. Some of the most famous in this group are Benedictine and Chartreuse.
Benedictine is a French strong liquor based on alcohol infused with sugar beets, honey and herbs. This composition includes about 27 components, among which lemon, coriander, cloves, saffron and others can be distinguished. This liquor is made according to a special recipe at large distilleries. Rumor has it that the exact composition of it is kept secret and only a few know how to cook it properly. The fortress is 40 degrees, the sugar content is 32%. Taste - sweet, slightly bitter, burning. In general, each liquor has a rather complex taste, since they are all blended drinks, consisting of many components. Mixed color - yellowish-green. On bottles of Benedictine you can see the initials D. O. M. (Deo Optimo Maximo), which stands for "To the Lord. For the best. The Greatest." This saying is the motto of the Benedictine monks.
Chartreuse is one of the most popular liqueurs in the world. Prepared according to the complex recipe of the monks of the Carthusian order. Infused in its own wine cellars, which are located at the foot of the Chartreuse mountain range. Hence the name of the drink. Its different types contain from 42% to 70% alcohol and 34% sugar. Classic Chartreuse (Green Chartreuse) has a pleasant herbal color and has a strange, unusual taste - bittersweet with a slight spiciness. Its intense rich aroma is dominated by hints of mint, cloves, wormwood and coriander. Often it is used to make cocktails and as a flavoring for some dishes in cooking.
This group also includes: Cointreau, Jägermeister, Sambuca and many other liqueurs based on anise, mint and orange.
According to the content of components, dessert liqueurs can be divided into two subgroups: those based on fruits and berries and those based on tropical plants. The alcohol content in such drinks ranges up to 30%. Dessert liqueurs are always sweet or sweet and sour, depending on the fruit they contain. Judging by the name of the group, these are liqueurs that are served for dessert. Here are some of them.
Limoncello is a popular Italian liqueur infused with lemon peel. It contains a large amount of vitamin C. Limoncello has a beautiful, rich yellow color with a golden tint, a pleasant citrus aroma and a sweet, but not cloying, taste, like in other dessert liqueurs. Limoncello tastes best chilled. It is served in special tall glasses, which are then frozen in the freezer until the walls freeze. This drink is very common for making at home. It is used as a digestif, or as a component for making cocktails.
Amaretto is another Italian drink made from almonds or apricot kernels. The alcohol content of this liqueur is about 30%. It has a dark brown, cognac color and a characteristic aroma of almonds. Its taste, due to the presence of bitter and sweet almonds, resembles the taste of marzipan. Amaretto is widely used for confectionery purposes - for soaking cakes, for adding to pastries and desserts. It is also used in its pure form, mainly with ice.
Viscous, thick, slightly sugary liqueurs, with a low content (up to 25%) of alcohol. They are most in demand among the female half, due to the sweet taste and pleasant aroma. Cream liqueurs contain up to 60% sugar. One of the most common ingredients is cream. Cremas are relatively young liqueurs that appeared in the middle of the 20th century. One of the most popular cream liqueurs: Sheridans, Baileys.
How and with what to drink
Traditionally, liqueurs are served with tea or coffee at the end of dinner, as a to improve digestion. You can also use them in their pure form. For this, there are small glasses with a volume of up to 35 ml. Therefore, liqueurs are drunk in small sips in order to feel the whole taste and aroma of the drink.
Recently, these alcoholic drinks are increasingly used as components of popular cocktails, and completely different dishes are used for cocktails.
Cocktails with liqueurs
The most famous cocktails, which include liqueurs:
- B-52. The composition includes three liqueurs (coffee, creamy and strong orange - triple sec);
- blue lagoon ( vodka, blue curacao liqueur, sprite, pineapple );
- Hiroshima (sambuca, absinthe, irish cream, grenadine);
- cosmopolitan (citrus vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice, lime, orange peel).
At the moment, there are two methods for making liqueurs: maceration and distillation.
In the first case, the drink is produced by infusing plants, herbs, spices, berries with alcohol, cognac or moonshine. This process takes quite a long time: up to several months. After that, the infusion is filtered, the alcohol content is regulated, then honey or sugar syrup is added.
In the second case, insistence also takes place, but it takes much less time - only a few days. After that, the infusion is also filtered and distilled several times through a distillation apparatus. As in the first case, the strength and sugar content in the drink are regulated.
Some liqueurs are aged in oak barrels for up to 10 years.
Drink in cosmetology
Since liqueurs were originally positioned as healing tinctures, they did not bypass such an area as cosmetology. They are mainly used as components for masks, lotions and tonics for oily and problem skin.
Liqueurs are very widely used in the treatment of colds. They are able to increase immunity, protect against influenza epidemics. Mint or honey liqueurs are considered the most effective here. They should be added to tea or coffee, and once a week, drink a small glass of warm drink before bedtime. Strong liqueurs are also very effective in removing cholesterol from the body.
Homemade Cocktail Recipes
- Amaretto liqueur - 35 ml;
- chocolate syrup - 10 ml;
- milk - 120 ml;
- ice cream - 1 scoop.
Blend everything in a blender. Serve in a tall glass with ice cream.
Chocolate Sheridans cocktail
- Sheridans liqueur - 30 ml;
- dark chocolate - 20 gr.
Pour into Sheridans glass, top with grated chocolate. Wait until the chocolate begins to soak into the top layer of liquor, then serve.
Desserts with cocktails
Liqueur is widely used in confectionery as a component of various desserts - cakes, sweet sauces, ice cream, creams. Such desserts are good for both large holiday celebrations and romantic candlelit dinners. If you want to please or surprise your soulmate, prepare one of these desserts as a gift.
In conclusion, I would like to say that today liquors rightfully occupy a large niche in the production of alcoholic products. These drinks, which have an outstanding taste and aroma, are valued all over the world and are especially popular among the female audience. Since many infusions contain medicinal herbs, they are successfully used to prevent colds and as a means to increase immunity. As components are part of cosmetic masks and lotions. All kinds of confectionery desserts and alcoholic cocktails are prepared with liqueurs. It's very hard not to love him. Believe me, having tried it once, you will be captivated by the exquisite taste and magnificent aroma of this drink for the rest of your life.