A cocktail of liqueurs

No longer the preserve of Auntie Ethel on Christmas night, liqueurs have broadened their appeal as an integral part of the trending cocktail culture. But they were never the shrinking violets of the spirits world anyway. Liqueurs are the fourth-largest selling spirit after vodka, whisky and gin here. Our Industry Report looks at the revival of the liqueur market.


Liqueurs are the fourth-largest-selling spirit after Vodka, whiskey and gin here.

Liqueurs are the fourth-largest-selling spirit after Vodka, whiskey and gin here.


Perhaps the most famous liqueur in Ireland is one of its very own.

Irish cream liqueurs sold 7.92 million cases around the world last year – up from 7.52 million in 2017 and the genre seems to be on the up once again.

According to the latest Irish Spirits Association report on Ireland’s spirits industry, following a lost decade for Irish cream liqueur, 2017-2018 saw a continued return to growth. This confirms Irish Cream as one of the EU’s top spirits exports while it also enjoyed a growth of 2.9% in Ireland last year to 103,500 cases from 100,550 cases in 2017, giving it a 4.4% share of the Irish spirits market overall.

Liqueurs in general are responsible for 23% of the €1.5 billion export market in beverages according to Bord Bia figures for 2018.

Domestically, they form nearly 10% of our overall spirits sales which used to merit a third place in the overall spirits market here until gin stole that third place, breaking and entering into the spirits market and awarding itself an 11.5% share which demoted liqueurs to fourth in line for the crown.


Cocktail liqueurs

Liqueurs are a useful starting point for many-a cocktail innovation and have been the standby for barmen the world over, not least in the UK.

“In the on-trade, it’s non-cream liqueurs that are advancing growth in value thanks to our thriving cocktail industry,” comments Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association there.

Indeed it’s the sheer variety and range of liqueurs out there that adds such vibrancy to the new and exciting cocktail offerings available today at the bar.



Chambord is a 16.5% ABV Raspberry liqueur crafted in the province of Chambord with the finest ingredients. Inspired by a luxurious Raspberry liqueur produced for King Louis XIV during his visit to Chateau Chambord in the 17th Century, this Raspberry liqueur was the epitome of luxury at the time. It’s sweetened with honey and flavoured with Madagascan Vanilla and XO Cognac.

Chambord’s distinctive orb-shaped bottle gives the brand a true sense of beauty and indulgence and this beautiful orb has long taken pride of place in bars and drinks cabinets alike.

The demand for sparkling presents a real opportunity for on-trade outlets to grow profits by transforming a simple glass of bubbles into a fun and tasty cocktail thanks to the addition of the premium liqueur.

Chambord’s hero serve, the Chambord Royale, taps into this trend.

By simply adding 15mls of Chambord to a glass of sparkling wine, you have a light and fruity fizz-based cocktail completely on trend.

Chambord, distributed in Ireland by Edward Dillon & Co, is available in 500ml & 200ml bottles.


A little bit of honey, a whole lot of Jack…

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey is a 35% ABV whiskey liqueur made from a blend of Jack Daniel’s Old No 7 and a unique Honey liqueur of our own making, for a taste that’s one of a kind and unmistakably Jack. With hints of Honey and a finish that’s naturally smooth, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey offers a taste of the unexpected.

Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks or if you’re looking for a refreshingly simple long serve for your outlet, why not try listing our Bee’s Knees serve?

Fill a mason jar with cubed ice.

Add 35ml Jack Honey, 25ml Lemon juice and 25ml Orange juice.

Top with Lemonade, and finish with a Lemon wedge or two.


Available in 700ml & 200ml bottles Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey is distributed in Ireland by Edward Dillon & Co.



Original triple sec-spirit lovers, both past and present, recognise Cointreau as a core building block in premium cocktail creations. Distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam, Cointreau is the cornerstone of more than 350 internationally-renowned cocktails including the Margarita, Sidecar and Cosmopolitan.

A masterpiece crafted through the unique distillation of all-natural sweet and bitter Orange peels results in a crystal-clear liqueur that strikes the perfect balance between sweetness and freshness. For more than 30 years the finest Orange peels carefully selected by Master Distiller Carole Quinton have created the definitive Orange liqueur.

Cointreau Blood Orange, a line extension to Cointreau and a bold variation of the recipe, makes use of blood Oranges from Corsica along with the peels of sweet and bitter Orange found in the traditional Cointreau. The blood Oranges are harvested when the peels are packed with the highest concentration of oils, resulting in rich, expressive citrus notes all the way through. The perfect balance between sweet, bitter and blood Orange peels, Cointreau Blood Orange is like tasting a ripe fruit, a new taste experience, both tangy and rich in aromas.

Check out for a selection of cocktail recipes.



Tia Maria

Tia Maria dates back to the mid-17th Century when a beautiful young Spanish aristocrat fled the turmoil that colonial war brought to the island of Jamaica. Her maid saved one family treasure, a small jewellery box with black pearl earrings and an ancient manuscript with the recipe for a mysterious liqueur. The recipe was named after the courageous woman. Tia Maria was born.

The recipe lay dormant for many years before being rediscovered in the 1940s by Dr Kenneth Leigh Evans who began to produce and market it.

From this day forward Tia Maria has been a favourite for coffee cocktail lovers the world over and it was even used in the very first Espresso Martini recipe over 40 years ago.

Tia Maria is a sweet liqueur with a strong coffee character and a complex aromatic structure. There are three significant elements:


Tia Maria Coffee

Provides the distinctive roasted, full-bodied rich taste.


Madagascar Vanilla

Provides a pronounced but delicate, fragrant back note.


Jamaican Rum

The ingredient that gives body, depth and structure.

The Espresso Martini is just one of many cocktails that can be made using Tia Maria. Other favourites include the Tia Mint Americano, the Tia Iced Popcorn Frappe or the Tia Cappuccino. Distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam Tia Maria is made using cold brew coffee with Jamaican coffee beans from the blue mountains of Jamaica.

Tia Maria can also be enjoyed over ice with tonic water and a slice of citrus (Lemon or Grapefruit).

The Jaffacake – A 50:50 split of Tia Maria and Disaronno.

Tia Maria and Cointreau create a one-of-a-kind combined shot.

Check out for more cocktail inspiration.




Disaronno is an Amaretto made in Saronno, Italy. The original ‘secret formula’ is unchanged since 1525. Disaronno is amber in colour with an infusion of apricot kernel oil with absolute alcohol, burnt sugar and the pure essence of 17 selected herbs and fruits. The liqueur is sold in an oblong glass decanter designed by a craftsman from Murano and does not contain any almonds or other nuts. Disaronno is popularly served on the rocks and enjoys true style status as the world’s favourite Italian liqueur. With over 100 perfect mixes, the brand and fan base continues to grow. Disaronno Sour is one of the favourites at the moment – this is a unique refreshing drink in which the distinctive notes of Disaronno blend with the scent of freshly-squeezed Lemons. It’s easy to make too. All that’s required is 50ml Disaronno, 25ml fresh Lemon juice, 5ml Sugar Syrup and egg-white.

Shake all ingredients with ice and serve with a garnish of Lemon for a beautiful cocktail.

For more cocktail ideas check out Distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.



Bols, rooted in the past, ready for the future

Lucas Bols, one of the oldest distilled spirits companies in the world, started over 440 years ago when the Bols family opened a small distillery in Amsterdam to make their first liqueurs.

Bols carefully selects ingredients to create liqueurs perfect for use as cocktail ingredients. The most important ingredient of a liqueur is the flavour component. Bols liqueurs are made from ingredients such as herbs, spices, seeds and fruits. For each liqueur the Master Distiller defines the exact flavour characteristics of the original ingredient and uses various techniques such as distilling, macerating and percolating, to create this specific flavour for the liqueur in such a way that it works perfectly in a cocktail.

Since 1575 Bols has been mastering the art of mixing, distilling and blending. Its expertise and craftmanship have made it the world’s oldest distilled spirit brand.

Flavours and products are constantly being refined and so Bols Liqueurs rank as the Number One liqueur collection in the world, containing 40 unique flavours.

In the Lucas Bols Distillery the expertise and knowledge is passed on by Master Distiller to Master Distiller to keep the quality of these products ‘Semper Idem’: always the same.

Low Bols are becoming quite popular – such as the ‘Cool Cucumber’- mixing Bols Cucumber 17% ABV over ice with tonic water and a slice of Cucumber – a refreshing alternative to a G&T.




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