Liqueurs are flavored and sweetened spirits having high alcoholic content. Liqueurs are served in small quantities as digestives at the end of the meal.
History of Liqueurs
If you saw the history of liqueurs, you can understand that Liqueurs were first produced in the monasteries of Europe for medicinal purposes. Many of the herbs with medicinal properties were grown near the monasteries.
The medicinal properties of these herbs were extracted by steeping them in alcohol. In medieval Europe, the flavored liqueurs were applied to wounds and were often drunk in small quantities for curing cold and fever. Some were sweetened to make them tastier.
These were regarded as the protection against infection and plague, but many pharmacists conflicted with the religious laws because of the claims they made for their potions.
In the fourteenth century, the elixir of the monks at Fécamp was known as a preventive against malaria. The dark red liqueur made from dijon black currants was considered to cure physical diseases, and the bitter wormwood liqueur of Marseilles was used as medicine for stress until 1915 when the government banned the production.
Some of the early liqueurs were made to disguise poor quality spirits. Many households had their own concoction, made from garden herbs and local spirit until the nineteenth century.
Today there are many distillers who make liqueurs of different flavors and colors. Some liqueurs are generic and others are proprietary. Generic liqueurs can be made by anyone.
The proprietary liqueur is made by a single distiller who owns the right to make the liqueur of that name. Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Kahlúa, and Chartreuse are examples of proprietary liqueurs.
Liqueurs are flavored and sweetened spirits. To produce liqueurs, the following main ingredients are necessary:-
- Sweetening agents.
- Flavoring agents.
- Colouring agents.