A liqueur is sweetened alcohol made from wine or spirits and flavoured with fruit, herbs or spices. To officially be called a liqueur, there must be a minimum sugar content of 100 grams per litre and at least 15% alcohol.
The name ‘liqueur’ is derived from the Latin word ‘liquefacere’ meaning melt or dissolve, which is just what the Norfolk Sloe Company liqueurs do – melt in your mouth.
"The rule with liqueurs is the sweeter the drink, the colder it should be served (to balance the sweetness), so we highly recommend
you try our liqueurs over crushed ice."
Liqueurs have a long history dating back as far as 800BC. The ancient Chinese distilled spirits from fermented rice wine and possibly mixed this with fruit and spices to produce the earliest liqueurs.
We know for certain that 13th Century monks grew herbs and spices in the monastery gardens which they then soaked in alcohol to preserve them. These concoctions were made for medicinal purposes, but were definitely the ancestors of today’s herb liqueurs.
Liqueurs are traditionally served in a liqueur glass (like a port or sherry glass), but they are also commonly used in cooking, added to coffee, poured over ice-cream or mixed into a cocktail.
It is said that the first cocktails were invented by alchemists trying to find a recipe for eternal life!
The term ‘cocktail’ comes from the early nineteenth century, when an American bartender garnished a drink with the tail feather of a rooster.