Fine liquor is enjoyed best as an after dessert drink. Liquors have been in existence since centuries. Initially used as herbal medicine the term originated from the Latin word “liquifacere” meaning “to dissolve”. A liquor is called so because all the flavors used to make a liquor are dissolved together. It is a sweet alcoholic drink which can have a number of flavors such as that of fruit, seeds, flowers, roots, plants, spices and even alcohol itself.
Most fine liquors are known to contain 15% to 30% of alcohol. But in some liquors the alcohol content can go up to as high as 55%. While it is easy to confuse a fine liquor with a fine spirit the primal difference between the two lies in the fact that liquors are loaded with added sugar. So just because your alcohol is flavored such as flavored vodka or flavored gin, it cannot be classified as a liquor. Some people do try and make a difference between liquors and cordials but the two are essentially the same.
A fine liquor can be divided into two main and broad categories namely, generics and proprietaries. Generics are liquors that can be made by a number of manufacturers. Crème de menthe is the best example of this category. This is a cream based liquor but can be made by a number of manufacturers. A proprietary on the other hand, is a liquor that can be made by brand names alone.
The Grand Mariner and Kahlua are classic examples of this liquor type. It is between these two categories that the different flavors of liquors exist. The flavors of these liquors mainly depend on the amount of time they are allowed to mellow and also upon the ingredients that are used to make these liquors.
The distillation and the redistillation process are very important in making a fine liquor. There are four basic flavor types of fine liquors. These are seed, herbal, plant and fruit. A very small minority also makes liquors using whisky and brandy as the base spirit giving the liquor an extended sweet alcoholic flavor.
Herbal liquor was first made in 1510. In fact Benedictine and Chartreuse are one the most famous French ‘monastery liquors’. It was made by the Benedictine monks to fight malaria bouts. This is a proprietary liquor. The production of this liquor dispersed because of the French Revolution. It was in 1860 that production of this fabulous liquor was started once again by Philippe La Grande who accidentally found the recipe of Benedictine. He built an extraordinary distillery and resumed production of the drink.
The other fine liquor that was meant to be used as a medicine but was converted to a liquor was Chartreuse. Though it is still produced by the monks they had been expelled from France during the French Revolution. This order of monks called the Carthrusian order was once again allowed to come back to France once Napoleon was defeated. But this order was ousted from the country once again and moved to Spain where they continued production till 1991. It was then that the order was restored back to France.
You can enjoy your favorite fine liquor in many different ways. You can drink it neat or pour it over ice, use it for cooking or in desserts or as a cocktail and enjoy it the way you like it best.