Home > Useful Info > Liqueur Making

Liqueur Making

The word Liqueur is the generic term for alcoholic beverages with high sugar content and a variety of flavourings consisting of fruits, herbs, berries, spices, nuts, peels, seeds, beans, pods, pits, etc.

According to Danish legislation a commercially produced liqueur must have a sugar content of at least 100 grams per liter. 

But many well known liqueurs have a much higher sugar content - usually 300-400 grams per liter.

Traditionally, liqueurs - also known as cordials - are thicker and more smooth than other alcoholic beverages.

Very old and famous liqueurs are Grand Marnier, Benedictine, Chartreuse and Drambuie. Usually served as after-dinner drink, poured over ice cream, or used in desserts.

Liqueur making based on the schnapps recipes here on my site is easy.

Just add a simple sugar syrup to your schnapps - or schnapps blend - and store it for a while.

How to make the sugar syrup...

  • Combine equal parts white, granulated sugar and water in a saucepan.

  • Cover it and slowly heat over medium heat.

  • Stir occasionally.

  • Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes until the sugar is completely dissolved.

  • Do NOT boil.

  • Add a little lemon juice to prevent crystallization.

How to make the liqueur...

  • Let the sugar syrup cool to room temperature.

  • Combine equal parts sugar syrup and schnapps.

  • Blend it well. Shake it, don't use whisk or blender.

  • Leave your liqueur for a couple of days to settle - in a dark place at room temperature, 18-20°C (64-68°F).

  • Taste it again, it might need some more.

Other sweeteners

Most liqueurs are sweetened with white sugar, which does not impart a distinctive taste of its own.

However, you can substitute white sugar for other sweeteners such as fruit sugars, brown sugar, cane sugar, a mix of different sugars, corn syrup, or honey.

These substitutes are interesting alternatives, if you wish to experiment. Just remember that the kind and amount of sweetener you choose will affect the taste and flavour of your liqueur.

Another option is glucose syrup. It's not as sweet as the simple sugar syrup.

Never use artificial sweeteners - NEVER! You'll ruin the taste of your liqueur completely.

How to add body and smoothness

Traditionally, liqueurs are thicker and more smooth than other alcoholic beverages.

And even though sweeteners add some body and "mouthfeel", they cannot always create the full-bodied texture that's associated with liqueurs.

So, to give additional body and smoothness to thinner liqueurs you can add pure glycerine. Add it little by little until you have achieved the desired thickness and "mouthfeel".

Pure glycerine does not affect the colours or flavours of your liqueur. You can get it at online or local liqueur and wine making shops.

Most liqueurs will last for a long time and improve with age if you keep them in a dark place at room temperature before and between servings - tightly closed to prevent oxidation.