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Home-made liqueurs are strong (typically 25-40% alcohol), sweet, highly flavoured after-dinner drinks.
They are usually produced by steeping fruit and/or other basic ingredients in alcohol, with the addition of sugar. Commercially produced concentrates or flavourings can also be used. Sometimes a home-made wine strong in alcohol and flavour is used, with added alcohol, but that is less suitable for herb/spice liqueurs, which should have virtually no acidity.
The alcohol added should usually be an unflavoured spirit, e.g. Polish Spirit or vodka, except where the Show Schedule permits, e.g. gin for Sloe Gin, whisky for Drambuie types and rum for Tia Maria types.
Many flavours and styles are encountered but they can be divided into four general groups:
  1. Fruit base e.g. alcohol infusions using various fruits (approximate alcohol content 24–35%; 35–40%, for orange liqueurs such as Cointreau and Grand Marnier)
  2. Chocolate/coffee base e.g. Tia Maria, cacao types, etc. (approximate alcohol content 25–31%)
  3. Herb/spice base e.g. peppermint, aniseed and more complex blends such as Benedictine types (approximate alcohol content 30–42%, with Green Chartreuse at 55%)
  4. Cream base e.g. Irish Cream, Welsh Cream; cream emulsions with flavourings such as coffee or whisky (approximate alcohol content 17%)

Last updated: 03/12/09
Copyright: 2006 NGWBJ