A sweet alcoholic beverage, made as a blend of ingredients that have been enfused with the flavor of fruits, spices, herbs, creams, or various types of nuts to create the final result. Both neutral and finished spirits are used as a base ingredient for liqueurs. Neutral spirits will generally contain fruit and/or other ingredients that have been soaking together in their juices to produce the desired flavor while finished spirits most often use rum, whiskey or cognac as the base ingredient for a liqueur with a flavoring added to develop the blend desired.
Unlike wine or other beverages, such as the finished spirits, liqueurs are produced in a short period of time, dependent upon the length of time required to create the flavored blend and they are not aged. Some of the common types of fruit liqueurs include apple, banana, blackberry, cherry, currant, lemon, melon, peach, pear, plum, raspberry. Candied flavors include anise and peppermint. Herb flavors include ginger and mixed herbs. Common nut or seed flavors include almond, caraway, hazelnut, and others. A liqueur can be served as an after dinner drink, as a combination of blends served as a cocktail, or used as flavorings for a variety of desserts. Alcohol content ranges from 50 to 110 proof in liqueurs. Also referred to as cordials.