As one of the largest categories of spirits liqueurs offer a wide diversity of flavor. Whether dry or sweet, herbal or bitter the first liqueur producers shared a common goal — to preserve the beneficial qualities of the raw product. In the Middle Ages fruits, nuts, herbs, flowers and spices were brought to the still as alchemists attempted to find the secrets to eternal life and monastic orders created medicinal tonics. Sugar, an expensive commodity of the time, would be added to improve the often bitter flavor creating the first examples of what are known today as liqueurs. As sugar became more affordable in colonial times these liqueurs became available to the general populace and soon became popular tipples for a wider audience.
Whether a complex herbal liqueur or a luxurious fruit brandy, the craftsmanship of the makers must be acknowledged as all well made liqueurs celebrate the essence of the initial raw materials in beautiful spirits that can be sipped alone or provide the layers and texture of a well crafted cocktail. Cheers!
– Misty Kalkofen, Brick & Mortar, Boston MA