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"Goddess Holda" elderberry liqueur
"Goddess Holda" elderberry liqueur
16,00 (€80,00 per l)
  • Herkunft Thuringia, Germany

  • Alkohol 20% vol.

"Lordly harmony" quince-apple-pear liqueur
"Lordly harmony" quince-apple-pear liqueur
16,00 (€80,00 per l)
  • Herkunft Thuringia, Germany

  • Alkohol 20% vol.

"Pure Temptation" Rum Pot
"Pure Temptation" Rum Pot
14,00 (€35,00 per l)
  • Herkunft Thuringia, Germany

  • Alkohol 25% vol.

"Herbs Elixir" herbal liqueur
29,00 (€82,86 per l)
  • Herkunft Thuringia, Germany

  • Alkohol 35% vol.

"Queen Luise" strawberry lime
"Queen Luise" strawberry lime
16,00 (€80,00 per l)
  • Herkunft Thuringia, Germany

  • Alkohol 18% vol.

"Sloe magic" sloe liqueur
"Sloe magic" sloe liqueur
16,00 (€80,00 per l)
  • Herkunft Thuringia, Germany

  • Alkohol 20% vol.

"Sweet rendezvous" cherry currant liqueur
"Sweet rendezvous" cherry currant liqueur
16,00 (€80,00 per l)
  • Herkunft Thuringia, Germany

  • Alkohol 20% vol.

"Royal Amarelle" cherry liqueur
"Royal Amarelle" cherry liqueur
16,00 (€80,00 per l)
  • Herkunft Thuringia, Germany

  • Alkohol 20% vol.

Aroma hunt Pure into the glass - Honest Liqueur Tasting Box
0€ shipping
44,90 (€64,14 per l) 59,90
Ginsch gin liqueur aged in Kölsch barrel
34,90 (€69,80 per l)
  • Herkunft North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

  • Alkohol 30% vol.

0221 Beer liqueur Radler Edition
19,90 (€39,80 per l)
  • Herkunft North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

  • Alkohol 16% vol.

Schnapps & Liqueur Advent Calendar Edition 2023
49,95 (€104,06 per l)
  • Herkunft Bavaria, Germany

Beer liqueur 21
Beer liqueur 21
12,99 (€64,95 per l)
  • Herkunft Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany

  • Alkohol 21% vol.

World's End Rum Falernum - Rum Liqueur
World's End Rum Falernum - Rum Liqueur
34,90 (€49,86 per l)
  • Herkunft Antwerpen, Belgien

  • Alkohol 35% vol.

Sombrero Licor de Café - Tequila Coffee Liqueur
Sombrero Licor de Café - Tequila Coffee Liqueur
  • Herkunft Jalisco, Mexico

  • Alkohol 20% vol.

Sombrero Licor de Almendra Tequila - Almond Liqueur
Sombrero Licor de Almendra Tequila - Almond Liqueur
19,20 (€27,43 per l)
  • Herkunft Jalisco, Mexico

  • Alkohol 20% vol.

Root to Fruit Aperitif Tasting Pack (1x Kalyx + 1x Ricordino + 1x Camela)
66,00 (€44,00 per l)
  • Herkunft North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany


Liqueur: The great guide

From fruity-fresh to creamy-sweet to herbal-tart: liqueur is an all-round talent. But what exactly is liqueur? How is it made and how does it differ from schnapps? In our Honest & Rare guide, you'll learn everything about the history and origin of liqueur, about liqueur varieties and their shelf life. And how to drink liqueur? It's also in our guide. We hope you enjoy reading.


1. liqueur guide

Alcohol and sugar are good friends by nature, but in liqueur they become a true dream team. Only a certain sugar content makes liqueur out of alcoholic liquid. This does not necessarily mean that it has to taste sweet - classic herbal liqueurs, for example, are more tart than sweet. Alcohol content of 15 percent by volume is always compulsory, but the optional range extends beyond 55 percent by volume. Like spirits in general, liqueurs were initially used as medicinal drinks to treat all kinds of maladies before conquering the world as a luxury food.

Today, liqueur belongs in every well-stocked bar and inspires with a huge range. That's why this liqueur guide is dedicated to all questions about liqueur - from definition, production and the different liqueur varieties to shelf life.

What exactly is liqueur?

Despite the diversity of flavorful varieties, every liqueur is a spirit that must meet two essential criteria: The prescribed minimum alcohol content in Germany and the EU is 15 percent by volume, and it must also contain at least 100 grams of sugar per liter. There are only three exceptions to this basic rule: For cherry liqueur, 70 grams of sugar are also sufficient, and for gentian liqueur, 80 grams, without either being denied its status as a liqueur. And: Egg liqueur gets by with 14 percent alcohol by volume.

The four basic components of liqueur are alcohol of agricultural origin, also distillates of one or more spirits, the flavoring additives - i.e. fruits, herbs, spices, milk, eggs, wine, extracts, but also nature-identical (artificially produced) flavorings - as well as sugar and water.

Strict regulations regarding the use of artificial flavorings apply in Germany to certain types of liqueur. Flavors from the laboratory may not be added to liqueurs made from the following fruits:

- Blackcurrants,
- raspberries,
- blueberries,
- cranberries,
- sea buckthorn,
- Pineapple.

The ban applies equally to liqueur varieties from the plant components mint, gentian, anise and kidney vetch.

3. how is liqueur made?

Basically, liqueur can be produced in two different ways: By distillation or by maceration. However, maceration is by far the favored method for obtaining liqueur - also because it allows an enormous range of quite uncomplicated variants to be realized.

3.1 Liqueur production via maceration

The principle is quite simple, the art lies in the correct dosage of ingredients and time. The flavoring components of the liqueur, such as fruits or herbs, are macerated in alcohol. Usually in so-called neutral alcohol of agricultural origin, which does not bring its own flavor accents. Or the recipe provides for exactly the opposite: A liqueur that conveys the subtle nuances of the original, high-proof spirit in the background. In this sense, rum and whiskey, grappa, gin and vodka are also used in the production of selected liqueur varieties. In the Latin sense of the word, maceration means something like "leaching out": the aromas of herbs, roots or fruits are released from their basic substance, and the alcohol leaches out the ingredients.

The mixture is stored either in wooden barrels or metal vats for a certain time, then filtered and brought to the desired drinking strength with sugar and water.

3.2 Liqueur production via distillation

Liqueur production by distillation is now rather rare. Mostly, for example, the classic fruit brandy is obtained from a fruit mash by evaporation, which is left as such - also because it brings a great aromatic finesse. The addition of sugar and water creates the respective liqueur.

3.3 What is the difference between schnapps and liqueur?

Schnapps is the colloquial umbrella term for spirits, which in turn are all alcoholic beverages that, according to current EU law, have an alcohol content of at least 15 to a maximum of 80 percent by volume. Wine, sparkling wine and beers are therefore not spirits. The difference between schnapps and liqueur lies solely in the respective sugar content: from 100 grams of sugar per liter, the European spirits regulation classifies alcoholic beverages with at least 15 percent alcohol by volume as liqueurs.

3.4 What percentage does liqueur have?

For sure, every liqueur has at least 15 percent alcohol by volume - otherwise it would not be allowed to call itself a liqueur. Everything else, however, is left to the intention and skill of the producer. Basically, however, the liqueur gros is in the field between 15 and 35 percent alcohol by volume. Amaretto, for example, has 20 to 30 percent alcohol by volume, Limoncello 30 to 35, and the hibiscus blossom liqueur from our store 23 percent. But a Grand Marnier or a Cointreau have 40 percent alcohol by volume, and the "Schmiedegold" herb liqueur from Striegistal tastes full-bodied and fine with a respectable 50 percent alcohol by volume.

4. liqueur: history and origin

Scholars argue a bit about the origin of liqueur production. It is documented that the Italian magister Salernus succeeded for the first time in 1167 in the southern Italian city of Salerno in distilling wine, and thus in producing high-proof alcohol. But it was not until the 13th century that a certain Arnaldo of Villanova, rector of the Faculty of Medicine in Montpellier - the city belonged to Spanish Catalonia at the time - experimented specifically with the infusion of herbs into alcohol - in principle, with a classic maceration. Unlike his Italian colleagues, the medicus also added honey to the alcoholic herbal extracts in the following years to make them somewhat more edible. Nevertheless, they were prescribed exclusively as medicines. And for a long time they remained the domain of the monasteries with their lush herb gardens.

Liqueur: From medicine to pleasure product

Until the 16th century, liqueur was synonymous with medicine. The fact that the Italian noblewoman Catherine de Medici brought a whole entourage of expert "liquorists" to the French court after her marriage to the French King Henry II in 1532 speaks in favor of Italy as the actual birthplace. However, sugar prices were still so prohibitively high that the consumption of liqueur remained a privilege of the aristocracy.

This changed with the expansive colonial trade in sugar and eventually with domestic sugar beet cultivation. In 1811, the first profitable sugar beet processing plant came on line in France. Liqueur experienced a sensational boom - initially as the preferred alcoholic beverage of the middle classes, and from the 19th century as the favorite of broad sections of the population.

Liqueur production did not stop at any fruit or herb during this dawning heyday. Particularly in France and the Netherlands, there were resident liqueur producers in every smaller or larger town, who offered their very special liqueur. Some liqueur varieties still produced today - such as Curacao Bluse or the herbal liqueur Chartreuse - were invented during this exuberant period.

5. liqueur varieties at a glance

The extremely wide range of liqueurs can best be classified on the basis of the flavoring component. In this sense are distinguished:

5.1. fruit liqueurs

The classic fruit liqueur consists of crushed fruit macerated in high-proof alcohol and then topped up with invert sugar and water. The fruit content is at least 20 percent, although many popular varieties contain at least 40 to 60 percent fruit. Additional information for those who are particularly interested: Invert sugar differs from normal household sugar in the balanced ratio of glucose and fructose.

A fruit juice liqueur, on the other hand, is made from the squeezed juice of the fruit in question, as the name suggests. The juice content of such a liqueur must be at least 20 percent.

A liqueur made from fruit is given characteristic flavor nuances by the finely dosed addition of vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, chili or cloves. And, of course, by the choice of the appropriate alcohol, because a fruit liqueur is not prepared exclusively with tasteless alcohol. The following combinations have become established:

- Liqueur from rum: for processing plums and damsons,
- Liqueur made from brandy: popular for quinces and mirabelles,
- Liqueur from grain: for all berry fruits,
- Liqueur from vodka: especially in combination with citrus fruits,
- Liqueur from whisky: preferred with pears and apples.

Fruit liqueurs bring between 20 and 40 percent alcohol by volume and are indispensable ingredients of some popular cocktails such as Pink Valentine (cherry liqueur), Sex on the Beach (peach liqueur) or Kir Royal (currant liqueur).

On a side note: Vermouth enjoys special protection in the EU as a flavored and fortified wine. It must have an alcohol content of 14.5 to 21.9 percent and its characteristic, slightly bitter aroma must be achieved by using the wormwood herb (family of the Artemisia species) that gives it its name.

5.2 Herbal liqueurs

The herbal liqueur is - from the point of view of its origin - the liqueur par excellence. As mentioned above, it was doctors, pharmacists and monks who began experimenting with alcoholic herbal extracts in the 14th century. To this day, by the way, herbal liqueur is attributed - and quite rightly so - with digestive properties. One reason why it is preferably drunk after a sumptuous meal.

Small definition finesse at the edge: Often herbal liqueurs are called colloquially also stomach bitter or simply bitter. This is not necessarily correct. According to the German Spirits Ordinance, a herbal liqueur is a liqueur because it contains the prescribed 100 grams of sugar per liter. A "bitter", on the other hand, is first of all a spirit with a distinct bitter taste. Absinthe is probably the best-known representative of this genre. Bitters have 45 and more percent alcohol by volume, but do not necessarily have 100 grams of sugar per liter with them - they therefore do not belong to the liqueur category.

The majority of herbal liqueurs are produced according to traditional recipes, which are often subject to strict secrecy. As a rule, 50 or more ingredients are used to achieve the typical tangy flavor in a similarly closely guarded, complex process. There are only a few protected designations of origin for liqueurs in Germany - but the existing ones all refer to herbal liqueurs:

- Bayerischer Kräuterlikör,
- Ettaler Klosterlikör,
- Chiemseer Klosterlikör,
- Benediktbeurer Klosterlikör,
- Berlin Kümmel,
- Blood Root,
- Hamburger Kümmel,
- Munich caraway

Tip: In our online store you will find excellent, small herbal treasures, which are not available everywhere and which guarantee special palate pleasures due to their multi-layered taste. Herbal liqueurs are not only delicious as a digestif, but also as a companion to beer, in cocktails and as a long drink.

5.3 Nut liqueurs

In the production of nut liqueurs, the right timing is decisive for quality and goodness. The sweet seduction must be prepared exactly when the nut fruit has already developed an optimum aroma but not yet a hard shell. For the traditional walnut and hazelnut liqueur, the so-called "St. John's Eve" is a fundamental date in the classic growing regions of Italy, France and Switzerland: the nuts, which are still green, must be harvested preferably in the night from June 23 to 24 - or before, but never after. Then the shell of the nuts is still soft enough to be sliced for the preparation.

A few highlights: A particular highlight among all nut liqueurs is hazelnut liqueur. It is one of the most popular liqueurs of all and is enjoyed both in summer and winter. Rose Valley Hazelnut Liqueur is created from freshly ground hazelnuts and hazelnut spirit, Brandhaus7 Walnut Liqueur is similar in taste and aroma to the Italian Nocino, which gets its character from brandy, and Monsieur Sauer Salty Hazelnut Liqueur derives its flavorful charm from the accent of the finest salted caramel.

In addition to walnuts and hazelnuts, pistachios, peanuts and coconuts are also processed into liqueur. All taste heavenly, pure or on ice, and give desserts and sweet dishes the ultimate kick.

5.4 Coffee, Chocolate & Caramel Liqueurs

The trio of coffee, chocolate & caramel liqueurs proves every day that liqueur can occasionally be simply irresistible.

5.4.1. coffee liqueur

The combination of soft sweetness and strong coffee aroma makes any coffee liqueur a permanent temptation. Despite the rather modest list of ingredients consisting of alcohol, water, sugar and coffee aromas, coffee liqueur shines with a great variety of flavors: the spectrum ranges from creamy-sweet to aromatic-tart. The alcohol content also varies between 15 and 40 percent by volume. The Mexican Kahlua is considered one of the most traditional coffee liqueurs. It is made from Arabica beans and white rum. The beans are very lightly roasted and ground and mixed with the rum in a percolation process. Percolation means "straining". This means: the alcohol flows through the aromatic substances in a steady stream.

Extra tip for a "rich" coffee liqueur: Breaks coffee liqueur is based on London Dry Gin and cold-brewed coffee. The mother maker comes to 30 percent alcohol by volume

5.4.2 Chocolate liqueurs

Chocolate liqueurs are, of course, primarily enjoyed by true chocolate lovers. The liqueur with a dark or brown or white color can be drunk neat, but also cuts a fine figure in cocktails and long drinks, as well as in baking and cooking. According to cocoa regulations, chocolate can only be called chocolate if it contains at least 14 percent cocoa powder. This is not the case with white chocolate, otherwise it would not be white. That's why the light seduction must always be explicitly called "white chocolate". Why does it say that? Well, the same rule applies to white chocolate liqueurs.

5.4.3 Caramel liqueurs

Liqueurs based on the aroma of burnt sugar are preferably prepared with vodka or rum. Caramel liqueur is mainly used for pure enjoyment, only very rarely is it used in cocktails. A small exception is the Butterscotch Original Caramel Liqueur, which is ideal for making an espresso martini.

5.5 Egg Liqueur and Cream Liqueur

Creamy liqueurs like eggnog are a must at any kind of social (family) celebration in Germany, especially on holidays like Easter and Christmas.

5.5.1 Egg liqueur

Egg liqueur consists - as the name quite clearly suggests - of egg yolk, sugar and alcohol. Depending on the manufacturer, the liqueur is refined with exquisite ingredients. For example, with Black Forest kirsch, gin or brandy. The addition Advocaat, Advokat or Advocat goes back to the actual precursor of egg liqueur: This was a Brazilian liqueur made from the pulp of the avocado.

5.5.2 Cream liqueur

Cremelikör is the somewhat misleading Germanization of two different liqueur variants, namely the French crème liqueur and English cream liqueur. Pardon? In detail, cream liqueur refers to a cream liqueur of delicate smoothness. A crème liqueur, on the other hand, is a liqueur with quite luscious added sugar. The term "crème" here refers primarily to the resulting thick consistency. The genre includes, for example, Crème de Cacao, Crème de Cassis and Crème de Menthe. Crème Liqueur is ideal for mixed drinks and cocktails.

6. liqueur: Frequently asked questions & answers

6.1 Pure, on ice, in a cocktail: How is liqueur drunk?

The question of how liqueur is drunk can hardly be answered unambiguously in this generality. The classic answer is that liqueur is enjoyed neat, preferably as an aperitif, i.e., as a small appetizer, or as a digestif after a sumptuous meal - this being the traditional domain of herbal liqueurs.

In addition, however, other enjoyment variants have established themselves quite naturally, which are by no means "sacrilegious": These include the fresh-up method with an ice cube in the glass - this makes the liqueur a little more "refreshing". But please never cool the liqueur down completely in the refrigerator, the cold hinders the development of the fine aroma nuances and sometimes "kills" the characteristic fragrance.

Liqueur is also - as mentioned above - a basic ingredient for a whole range of tasty cocktails and long drinks. Many desserts and sweet dishes also get their exquisite note from a suitable liqueur. Just one example: Can you imagine a real tiramisu without coffee liqueur? Exactly.

6.2 How is liqueur made?

Fruits, herbs or roots are preserved in neutral alcohol. The alcohol removes the flavors from the pickled ingredients. The flavor of the fruits or herbs is thus transferred to the alcohol. This process is called "maceration". The flavored alcohol is later brought to the desired result with sugar and water.

6.3 What is the difference between schnapps and liqueur?

Schnapps is a general term for spirits. Spirits are all alcoholic beverages above 15% alcohol. The difference to liqueur is only the sugar content: From 100 grams of sugar per liter it is a liqueur according to EU law.

6.4 What is actually liqueur wine?

Liqueur wine has something in common with a traditional liqueur only in that it also has a high residual sweetness. However, the production procedure is fundamentally different: fortified wine is produced when the quite advanced fermentation process of very ripe grapes is stopped by the addition of alcohol.

Liqueur wine is therefore not a liqueur. The basis for a liqueur wine is always a grape must with a fairly high must weight. The high sugar content drives the fermentation process - until it is stopped by the added alcohol. Liqueur wines are therefore sometimes referred to as "fortified" or "fortified" wines. The alcohol content ranges from 15 to 22 percent. Classic representatives are sherry and port, Madeira and Marsala.

6.5 What is the shelf life of liqueur wines?

Liqueurs with an alcohol content of 30 percent vol. and more can be kept for many years, even when opened. Alcohol and sugar act as natural preservatives. Although the liqueur does not spoil, it loses some of its complexity after several years of storage.

A liqueur with 20 percent alcohol by volume - provided it does not contain cream, milk or eggs - can also be kept for several years, but should be consumed within a year of opening if possible. Always store the opened bottle upright, dry and, above all, protected from sunlight.

Although a cream liqueur does not have to carry a best-before date either, it is still recommended that it be stored for no longer than a maximum of two years. And this rule also applies to a liqueur that has 20 percent alcohol by volume but contains milk, cream or eggs. After this period, the taste suffers noticeably. Opened cream liqueurs are best stored in the refrigerator - but please be sure to bring them back to room temperature before enjoying them.

Important: These specifications all apply to purchased or ordered, i.e. professionally produced, liqueur. A shelf life guarantee for homemade liqueur can hardly be given, since too many incalculable factors (hygiene, temperature, vessels) play a role in DIY production.

Honest & Rare: Your marketplace for inspiring liqueur enjoyment

"There are, after all, only a few oddly disposed natures that lack the inclination for liqueur." With this statement, the journalist and writer Edgar Allan Poe already showed his amazement in the mid-19th century that not everyone, really everyone, loved and appreciated the aromatic spirit with the enormous, flavorful spectrum. We at Honest & Rare see ourselves as a marketplace for inspiring liqueur enjoyment. Discover our treasures and your favorite. It is worth it. We promise.


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