Everything you need to know about flavoured liqueur

10 Sep 2021

Food + Drink

Ready to pour and sip, flavoured liqueurs balance a boozy edge with vibrant tastes and aromas…

If you’re looking for a tasty tipple, a flavoured liqueur might just hit the spot. Whether you fancy a light aperitif, an after-dinner treat or even an afternoon refresher, there’s a whole world of vibrant liqueurs to explore. From caffeinated coffee liqueurs to fruity gin varieties, your flavour options are endless! Here’s everything you need to know about flavoured liqueur…  

Flavoured gin liqueur

How is flavoured liqueur made?

A liqueur is a sweet beverage with an alcoholic base. The word ‘liqueur’ comes from the ‘liquifacere,’ a Latin word that means “to dissolve.” Unlike pure spirits, such as vodka, rum, or gin, liqueurs are usually sweetened and flavoured with botanicals – often fruits, herbs, or nuts which are dissolved in the liquid. You can also find flavoured liqueurs infused with spices, flowers, seeds and roots.

The exact process of distilling flavoured liqueurs depends on the type of spirit and individual beverage producer.

The addition of sugar syrup makes liqueurs sweeter than other spirits, and sugar generally makes up around 2.5% of the beverage. Because of the sweetness, flavoured liqueurs are smoother and less bitter than straight spirits, and you can enjoy them without a mixer. A great option for when you want to slowly sip and savour!

Liqueurs can be made from many different base spirits, but rum, whiskey, brandy and gin are popular choices. Liqueurs have a lower alcohol percentage, too — an average of 15% ABV (alcohol by volume), compared to the usual 37.5-40% ABV of spirits.

At Hotel Chocolat, we have a selection of delicious spirits, including our Cacao Gin and Salted Caramel Vodka, which pack a boozy punch. We also have liqueurs that are more gentle on the alcohol front but are brimming with delightfully fresh and vibrant flavours and just the right amount of sweetness.

For a rich and decadent drinking experience, you can also get cream-based liqueurs, which inspired our very own Velvetised Chocolate Cream.

What are the most popular flavoured liqueurs?

Sweet, punchy, citrusy, creamy… Liqueurs come in all sorts of flavours — from the fresh orange notes of Triple Sec to the deep, roasted aromas of coffee liqueur.

Fruit flavoured liqueurs

Fruit flavoured liqueurs make wonderful summer beverages. These drinks balance the sweetness of the base spirit with fresh, fruity flavours for a rounded result that tantalises the taste buds. Our Mango and Passion Fruit Gin Liqueur, for example, brings together the tropical flavours of juicy mango and uplifting passion fruit for a glorious burst of sunshine that will transport you to the luscious isle of Saint Lucia.

Or, if you’re a fan of red berries, why not try our Cherry and Raspberry Gin Liqueur? Zingy raspberry blends with the characteristic tart-yet-sweet notes of cherries for a bright and lively tipple.

Some flavoured liqueurs use artificial flavourings to keep prices down. However, at Hotel Chocolat, we believe in authenticity. That’s why we stick with the tastes and treats nature provides us with. Our gin liqueurs feature real fruit for satisfying flavours that dance on the palate. Our gin base is also infused with cacao nibs for ultimate smoothness.

Tropical fruits make great flavoured liqueurs

Coffee liqueur

Another popular liqueur flavour is coffee. Ideal for quaffing after a delicious dinner or whipping up a fun cocktail with, this liqueur brings together the rich, roasted notes of coffee with a fiery spirit for a suitably peppy beverage. Typically, rum or vodka forms the base of coffee liqueur, as they are not too overpowering. Instead, they let the fragrant coffee notes shine through.

Nutty liqueurs

Aromatic almonds and hazelnuts bring a delightful, delicate flavour to alcohol. Nutty liqueurs are excellent on their own or with mixers. Italian nut liqueurs offer an element of warmth and cosiness, making them the perfect snifter in the winter months. Why not make December extra merry?

Chocolate liqueurs

Of course, we couldn’t leave chocolate out! Close to our hearts, this form of liqueur takes two of our favourite things — chocolate and booze — and marries them together in harmony.

Our Salted Caramel Cacao Vodka Liqueur exemplifies how cacao’s malty, toasted edge creates an irresistibly sippable drinking experience. Melt in salted caramel, and you’re onto a real winner.

How to serve flavoured liqueurs

The beauty of a flavoured liqueur is that you can serve it straight on the rocks. You can also pair it with a mixer or shake it up with other tasty ingredients to create a cocktail. 

Gin liqueurs, for instance, offer a delicate tipple without the overwhelming edge of pure spirits, making them ideal for drinking straight with a few cubes of ice. However, gin liqueurs also taste great with a dash of crisp tonic water.

Alternatively, they also make an excellent base for cocktails. A fruity gin liqueur can give a classic Martini a fresh, summery twist. Or why not use a light floral gin liqueur to make a Gin Fizz extra special?

Or how about going for something truly decadent, like a Salted Caramel Chocolat Cocktail? With a vodka-based salted caramel liqueur and some rich hot chocolate (we recommend our 70% Classic Hot Chocolate), you can create an indulgent delight with the perfect balance of depth and sweetness. For the finishing touch, we suggest preparing your hot chocolate in the Velvetiser. This gadget is the secret to unbelievably smooth, barista-grade hot drinks.

Of course, it’s always vital to drink responsibly. But thanks to the fact flavoured liqueurs have a lower alcohol content, these cocktails won’t be too strong, so perhaps you can enjoy a couple more than usual…

You could also swirl a generous glug of your favourite liqueur into a coffee or hot chocolate for a cosy cuppa that will really warm the cockles of your heart. 

Cream liqueur and coffee

Velvetised Chocolat Creams

And if you’d like something vodka-based with less alcohol still, our Velvetised Chocolat Creams sit at around 12% ABV, making them ideal dessert tipples. From rich and fragrant Salted Caramel and Clementine to revitalising Mint Chocolate, there’s a devilishly good digestif to suit every taste.

Our Espresso Martini Velvetised Cream is a sinfully smooth cocktail in a bottle. Vodka, espresso, white chocolate and cream — velvetised. Just give it a shake and pour over ice for an elegant, chocolatey variation on a classic. 

Flavoured liqueurs and chocolates

To elevate your liqueur, why not pair with a delicious chocolate or truffle to nibble on? Add the final flourish to a meal with a sip of Velvetised Chocolate Cream or Salted Caramel Vodka Liqueur and a mouthful of smooth, luxury chocolate. Whether mellow, malty milk chocolate takes your fancy or something dark with deep cocoa notes, our cacao-infused tipples will bring out the nuanced flavours even more.

Complement a nutty flavoured liqueur with a creamy praline. Or boost a fruity gin liqueur with a selection of Passion Fruit or Raspberry Smoothie Chocolates that are just bursting with bright flavours. 

And if a full glass of booze is a little too much, don’t worry. There’s always our collection of sophisticated Liqueur Chocolates to explore. Which will you go for?