Everybody loves the occasional sip of their favorite liqueur, whether it is as a rare Christmas treat or a regular tipple after a great meal, the luxury of a liqueur never disappoints. Good liqueurs are sheer indulgence and their unique flavors and tastes liven up the palette like no other drink. The most popular liqueurs tend to be the classic ones and also the oldest, and here are a few of the best loved all over the world.
Benedictine is one of the most popular liqueurs that is enjoyed all over the world, sometimes it is called D.O.M and as well as being one of the most popular it is also one of the oldest. Around 1500 at the Benedictine abbey in Fecamp there was a monk who loved to experiment with spices.
Don Bernardo Vincelli was also up-to-date with the distillation methods of the Dutch, and the monk invented what we now know as Benedictine. It contains twenty-seven herbs and spices which are macerated in spirit and then distilled in copper stills before resting in oak barrels for a further three months. The Benedictine we drink today is from a recipe that was unearthed from Philippe La Grande in the 1860’s. Each bottle is marked with the distinctive D.O.M (Deo Optimo Maximo) and takes three years to produce.
Once a medical elixir, Chartreuse is one of the imbibed liqueurs in the world today. Unlike our former liqueur, Chartreuse is still being made by monks today. This time the monks in question are from the Carthusian order who were given the order of the boot during the French Revolution.
During these turbulent years, Chartreuse was made in Spain, until 1991 when production started once more in France. Today Chartreuse is offered in two types, Green and Yellow, with the former being the strongest at 55% and the Yellow being a tad more sober at 40%. Interestingly there is also a higher grade of Chartreuse made of both colors that is labeled VEP.
Changing from spirits made by monks, our next liqueur comes from Scotland, and of course has to contain whisky. Drambuie is actually a Gaelic word that translates into the drink that satisfies, and along with whisky it contains herbs, and heather honey.
Today as always Drambuie is produced by the MacKinnon family which has been making this sweet elixir for generation after generation. First registered in 1892, the liqueur started being made in 1906, and production has never stopped since.
This famous orange liqueur can be drunk by itself and is a favorite ingredient in many cocktails including the highly popular Margarita. The origins of Grand Marnier date back to 1827 just outside Paris. It is a blend of wild bitter oranges together with fine cognac, and the name was coined by the famous hotel owner Cesar Ritz after sampling it for the first time. It is estimated that a bottle of Grand Marnier is bought somewhere in the world every two seconds, which makes it one of the most popular liqueurs on the planet.