Everything you need to know about gin liqueur

10 Dec 2020


If you’re a gin fiend, don’t miss out on the chance to try your favourite flavour of gin liqueur.

Here at Hotel Chocolat, we do everything with chocolate (and our chocolate-loving customers) in mind, and our alcohol collection is no exception. From Salted Caramel Liqueur to Vintage Red Wine, we have a huge variety of tipples that go perfectly with our luxurious chocolates.

Just imagine a melt-in-the-mouth praline washed down with a sip of rich red wine or a Dark Chocolate Baton accompanied by our Mint Chocolate Cream Liqueur. Who could resist? You can even enjoy a tipple in delicious chocolate form with our Tipsy Truffles H-Box – we’ll drink (and eat) to that!

Cacao Gin

gin and tonic in a glass

However, whilst we are proud of all our drinks, our Cacao Gin is a firm favourite. A distilled London gin infused with cacao, its gin perfection in a bottle. For best results, serve with tonic, ice, and a slice of orange and pair it with any of our orange chocolate.

But it’s not just our Cacao Gin which is popular. Gin, in general, has seen a renaissance – or ginaissance as it has so charmingly been named – in recent years. The past decade has seen it go from being a staple of your grandparents’ cupboard to being a staple of trendy bars everywhere – quite the glow up. So whether you’re hosting a dinner party, planning a birthday bash, or simply cooking for a loved one, you may like to make sure that a gin tipple is on the drinks menu.

Whilst pure gin isn’t to everyone’s taste due to its dry and herbal flavour, gin liqueur is sure to wow all your guests. With countless interesting flavours now available, there’s one out there to thrill everyone’s taste buds and they provide the perfect opportunity to jump on the gin trend whilst keeping things light and fun. Guaranteed to please die-hard gin fans as well as those who like their drinks with a little more flavour, this tasty tipple has just answered all your drink prayers.

You may now be wondering exactly what gin liqueur is, how it’s different to gin, and whether liqueur is the same thing as liquor, and luckily for you, we’ve created this little guide to answer all your questions.

Shall we be-gin?

What is gin liqueur?

Gin liqueur is a light and sweet alcoholic beverage designed for spritzy cocktails and fun mixed drinks. Unlike gin itself, its liqueurs are less bitter and easier to drink without a mixer. Available in a range of fruity and floral flavours, you’re guaranteed to find one to delight even the most particular drinkers, and yourself. Whether you like your drinks tangy, sweet, or somewhere in between, there’s the perfect gin liqueur out there waiting for you.

What is it made from?

Gin liqueur is made from distilled gin and infused with flavourings and sweeteners such as fruit, confectionary, and sugar, meaning that its alcohol content is lower than gin and its sugar content is higher.

It is really simple to make, so you may like to try your hand at concocting some yourself. For example, to make chocolate and orange gin liqueur (it involves chocolate so we’re definitely in), you simply have to add cacao nibs to distilled gin and leave them to soak for a week, then on the final night add some orange zest, before finally straining it and adding sugar syrup the next day. Scrumptious and fun, you’ll definitely be proud of this creation.

orange-flavoured gin liqueur in a glass

Homemade gin liqueur would also be a thoughtful gift for loved ones on birthdays or any other special occasions because you can create one that perfectly suits their taste. You could also wow guests at Christmas by rustling up some festive-themed tipples. Mince pie flavour? Oh, go on…

However, if you want to give a liqueur gift and don’t have time to make some yourself, we’ve got your covered. We believe that chocolate is the best gift in the world and we’ve created a range of stunning chocolate cream liqueurs that are perfect for gifting. Featuring treats such as our Salted Caramel Chocolate Cream Liqueur and our Velvetised Espresso Martini Cream Liqueur, an item from this collection is sure to hit the sweet spot.

The difference between gin and gin liqueur

The most significant difference between gin and gin liqueur is their alcohol percentages. In the UK, you can only legally call something gin if it contains a minimum of 37.5% alcohol, but no such restriction applies to its sweeter cousin. Typically, they contain just 20% alcohol, making them lighter, more palatable, and perfect for when you want to avoid a hangover.

Their flavours also differentiate them. Gin must have a predominant flavour palate of juniper berries and if other flavours are added, it’s no longer officially gin. Gin liqueur, on the other hand, isn’t tied to this sort of rule and is available in a whole range of exciting flavours.

How to drink gin liqueur

Thanks to their easy-to-drink flavours, gin liqueurs are tasty on their own. Sipping an orange liqueur over ice in the summer and cosying up with a pumpkin spiced one in autumn? Yes please.

However, they’re also good when mixed with other drinks, making them especially perfect for cocktails. Give a Martini a fun twist by using some fruity gin liqueur, rustle up a rosy gin fizz by using a floral gin liqueur, or make Tom Collins sweeter than ever with some confectionery-themed gin liqueur. Thanks to gin liqueur’s low alcohol content, these cocktails won’t be too strong so you can enjoy a couple more than usual…

Our personal favourite thing to mix gin liqueur with? Hot chocolate. Yep, you read right – gin liqueuris beautiful with our rich hot chocolate to create a creamy, indulgent treat that will thrill your taste buds. 

To make it even more appealing, rustling up a gin liqueur hot chocolate is super straightforward. Simply add a shot of gin liqueur to your regular hot chocolate recipe (extra points if that includes whipped cream and marshmallows) and voilà – you have a delicious alcoholic drink. When it comes to choosing which hot chocolate to use, we recommend sticking to our simple Classic Hot Chocolate to allow the flavour of the gin liqueur to take centre stage. 

What flavours are the best?

Gin liqueur is available in so many flavours that it’s impossible to choose our favourite, so we recommend trying a few to decide which is best for you.

If you’re a fan of fruity drinks, you’ll love any fruit-flavoured liqueurs like raspberry, apple, or blueberry. We think that liqueurs with summer fruit flavours are perfect for sipping whilst lazing about in the sun. But they can keep you snug in the long British winter as well! Enjoying one infused with a winter fruit flavour is the best way to warm up on cold days.

If you have a real sweet tooth, you’d love any confectionery-inspired versions such as rhubarb and custard gin liqueur, salted caramel gin liqueur, and chocolate gin liqueur (our favourite type!). It’s the perfect drink when you want something sweet and refreshing.

During the festive season, you can get lots of fun Christmassy liqueur flavours such as candy cane, gingerbread, and Christmas pudding. Move over, eggnog, we have a new favourite yuletide tipple.

How is liquor different to liqueur?

If you’re wondering if liquor is just like liqueur, we don’t blame you. Their pronunciation is confusingly similar, they’re both types of alcohol, and you’ve probably heard many people incorrectly use them interchangeably. It’s enough to leave even the savviest drinker scratching their head.

Simply put, liquors are distilled alcoholic drinks whereas liqueurs are sweet flavoured alcoholic drinks. Liquors are the same as spirits – think rum, brandy, vodka, and anything else over 35% – whilst liqueurs are diluted with flavourings.

To make it even more complicated, liqueurs usually contain liquor alongside a variety of other ingredients. For example, everyone’s favourite coconutty tipple Malibu is a liqueur which contains liquor (Caribbean rum) and coconut flavourings.

Confusing, right? We need a glass of chocolate liqueur just after writing about it…

Gin Liqueur

We hope this guide has helped you get acquainted with everything you need to know about gin liqueur. The final step? Putting theory into practice by tasting a glass or two – sip it on its own, try one of the cocktails we mentioned, or create a stunning gin liqueur hot chocolate. However you decide to enjoy it, we hope that you love it as much as we do.