Liqueurs are the most diverse collection of drinks on the planet. Think of an ingredient, and odds on it will have been made into a liqueur. The best examples have been made with everything from artichoke, chilli and green tea, to pine and pumpkin. And it’s this variety that makes the liqueur category so fascinating.
One reason for this diversity is their history. Step back a few hundred years to the Middle Ages and you’d have found monks concocting all manner of weird and wonderful recipes by blending herbs, roots and flowers with potent spirits. The ancient recipes have been refined somewhat, but herbal classics such as Benedictine and Chartreuse still exist today.
Social media has also had a big role to play in the renewed rise of liqueurs’ fortunes. Any Instagram user knows that big, bold colours attract plenty of likes and shares, and the liqueur market is packed with eye-catching bottles that cover every colour of the rainbow – think blue curaçao, crème de menthe and Campari.
Keep scrolling to find six award-winning liqueurs from this year’s IWSC tasting.
Top Rated Bottles
English Spirit, Sambuca Liqueur, England
Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits, Pear William Liqueur, Spain
Yamamoto Shuzo, Nigori Umeshu, Japan
Shanxi Xinghua Cun Fenjiu Distillery, Zhuyeqing Jiu 10 YO Baijiu Liqueur, China
Lemon3, Limoncello, Netherlands
Wenneker Distilleries, Red Original Beetroot Liqueur, Netherlands
Three cocktail recipes to try at home
Stanley Tucci’s negroni – a bartender gives his verdict
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