These days, you don’t need a special occasion or national holiday to pop open your favorite liquor and enjoy a glass or ten. The on-going coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on everybody’s mental well-being that it’s now perfectly okay to let yourself go and have a few drinks every now and then to calm the nerves. Not that you haven’t been doing it before. Coincidentally, October 16 is National Liqueur Day. It’s one of the many drinking holidays that give people a reason to drink.
Don’t be confused with liquor and liqueur, though. While both define alcoholic beverages, there is a bit of difference between liquor and liqueur aside from their spelling. Liquor is a distilled beverage made from plants or grains with an alcohol content of 20 to 40 percent. Examples of liquor are your favorite tequila, brandy, rum, whiskey, vodka, and gin.
Liqueur, meanwhile, are less potent and has a sweet taste. On the average, liqueur has an alcohol content of only 15 percent though there a few that goes up to 55 percent. The most distinguishing feature of liqueur is its sweet flavor. This is done by incorporating cream, fruits, herbs, nuts, or spices into the process. Some examples of liqueurs are Kahlúa, Jägermeister, Chartreuse, Schnapps and Bailey’s Irish Cream.
Fix Yourself A Drink
The simplest way to celebrate National Liqueur Day is grab a drink. It doesn’t have to be a party and you shouldn’t be going out to drink at the nearest bar. You can enjoy a glass of your favorite concoction while reading a book or swiping left and right.
Sombrero Cocktail With Kahlua
This is a pretty simple drink from The Spruce Eats has Kahlua as the main attraction, which is quite obvious based on the name of the drink. In case you don’t have a Kahlua lying around at home, you can use coffee brandy or other coffee liqueur syrup brands such as Torani or DaVinci.
Here’s everything you’ll need:
2 ounces Kahlua Coffee Liqueur or coffee brandy
2 ounces cream or milk
This one’s pretty simple. Fill your glass with ice then pour in the Kahlua. Next, add the cream or milk into the glass. The last step is to enjoy your drink.
Blood Orange Old Fashioned
Add a different fruity twist to your favorite old fashioned. This cocktail recipe by Kelly Bakes substitutes the usual orange slice with blood orange. Okay, so it’s still orange but it gives it a stronger and slightly bitter taste. Blood orange also has a more intense aroma and will give your old fashioned different look.
What you’ll need:
2 ounces rye or bourbon whiskey
1 blood orange, half for the juice and the other half cut into wedges for serving
1 teaspoon sugar
Few drops of bitters
2-3 good maraschino cherries
Start off by mixing a few drops of bitters and 1 teaspoon sugar in a whiskey glass. Pour half for the juice of one blood orange fruit into the glass and mix. Add two ounces of rye or bourbon whiskey and ice. Finish it off with two to three good maraschino cherries and voila! Serve with a slice of blood orange wedge if you’re feeling a little fancy.
Make Your Own Liqueur
As we mentioned, liqueur is sweet. It’s a no-brainer then that fruits are common ingredients of many homemade liqueurs. This particular recipe by The View From Great Island uses five different fruits to make five different alcoholic drinks. In particular, the author used strawberries, apricots, rhubarb, pluots, and white peaches. This should give your liqueur locker some variety. Plus, your solo National Liqueur Day party will be a sure hit. Yeah, you can’t really have guests over so you’ll be partying solo.
To make fruit liqueurs, you will need the following:
1/2 lb or 8 ounces fruit of your choice
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups vodka
Fine mesh strainers or cheesecloth
First, clean and slice the fruits you’ll be using. Remove the parts that need to be removed such as pits, stems and rough ends. If you’re using stone fruits, don’t peel the skin off. The skin will add more flavor and color to your homemade liqueur.
In a saucepan, combine the bite sized pieces of fruits, sugar, and 1/4 cup of water. Bring to a boil while continuously stirring to completely dissolve the sugar. Add water if the fruit has dried up. Cook for another 5 minutes or until fruit becomes soft.
Use an immersion blender to puree the fruit. Once done, pour the fruit puree into the vodka and stir. Cover then set aside for 24 hours.
Once ready, pour the vodka mixture through layers of cheesecloth and into a jar or bottle. Squeeze all the fluid out then discard the solid residues. Seal the bottles then store in refrigerator.
Coffee and alcohol in one drink? Count me in! If you’ve tried Kahlua before, you’ll love this coffee liqueur recipe courtesy of The Spruce Eats.
To make your homemade coffee liqueur, you will need the following:
3 cups sugar
2 cups water
2-inch piece vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
8 tablespoons instant coffee
1 750ml bottle rum (or vodka)
Fine mesh strainer
Mason jars or resealable bottle
Make a simple syrup by combining the sugar, vanilla bean and water in a saucepan. If you don’t have a vanilla bean, use vanilla simple syrup instead. Simply combine 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract with two cups sugar and 1 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Make sure to stir continuously until the sugar dissolves completely.
Let simmer until the simple syrup is reduced by half. This takes about half an hour. Once reduced, remove the saucepan from the heat then add 8 tablespoons of instant coffee. Stir to mix then set aside to cool.
Pour the simple syrup and rum or vodka into a Mason jar or any resealable bottle. Cover the jar and shake well to mix the ingredients. Set aside the jar aside somewhere cool and dark for ten days. Check and shake the jar every one or two days.
After ten days, it’s time to separate the liquid. Pour the contents of the jar through a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer into another resealable jar or liquor bottle. You can use the empty bottle of rum or vodka that you used to make the liqueur. Dispose of the leftover coffee granules and vanilla bean properly. Store your homemade coffee liqueur properly and enjoy whenever you wish.
Here’s something a few of you may be aware of – alcoholic Nutella. No we’re not talking about Cinderella going nuts and becoming a drunk. We’re all about making a DIY liqueur using Nutella as the main ingredient. This recipe is also courtesy of The View from the Great Island.
To make your Nutella liqueur, you’ll need:
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup vodka
Pour the cream into a saucepan and heat until it comes to a simmer. Alternatively, you can warm the cream in a microwave oven
Add the Nutella to the cream and wait for one minute before completely blending the two ingredients using a whisk. If you can’t mix them completely, you can place the pan over heat to warm up the mixture. This should make it easier to incorporate the Nutella into the cream completely.
Next, gently stir in the vodka into the mixture. Mix thoroughly then pour into a jar or bottle. Put the jars inside the refrigerator and wait for two to three weeks. Once ready, enjoy your Nutella-flavored alcoholic drink.
Go ahead and experiment on different homemade liqueur recipes to celebrate National Liqueur Day. It’s nice to have something sweet or creamy to drink after a day of hard work and coping with all the issues surrounding us. It’s also nice to have a little buzz every once in a while. Just be sure not to turn into an alcoholic. Check out Gentleman Pirate Club for tips on how to make your own alcoholic beverages. If you have your own liqueur recipe, why not let us have a taste. Go on and share your secret recipe in the comment section.