Liqueurs – fundamental to growing cocktail culture

In our Industry Report we review the demand for liqueurs in light of the increasing significance of the cocktails market.

What is a liqueur? There’s no set definition but the word is derived from the Latin ‘liquefacere’, meaning ‘to dissolve or melt’, which is handy because liqueurs today are most often the result of dissolving ingredients in a neutral distilled spirit.

And then there’s the question of appellation – ‘liqueur’ or ‘cordial’? You decide (depending on which side of the Atlantic you hail from).

But one thing’s for sure, liqueurs have the potential to make considerable sales ground over the next few years as their use in cocktails becomes even more widespread.

For one thing, with the possible exception of cream liqueurs, there’s no need to store them in a cool place once opened. Even cream liqueurs don’t need refrigeration any more and are good to go right up until the ‘Best Before’ date. The advances made in preservation technology mean that there’s no longer any requirement to keep them refrigerated.

Changes in temperature or humidity mean little to the survival of liqueurs thanks to the high levels of alcohol and sugar therein which ensure their shelflife still further. However the caveat about avoiding keeping them – or any other drink – in the line of direct sunlight still holds true though.


Liqueurs in cocktails

While today’s consumer may not be so familiar with the liqueur as a drink on its own, it represents the bread-and-butter of a mixologist’s repertoire when designing up cocktails for a number of reasons.

Mixologist Alan Kavanagh is firmly of the opinion that liqueurs can be great as they give the mixologist the ability to be able to put a little bit of a flavour into something that he or she wouldn’t be able to get so easily outside of the season or in such a concentration.

“If you wanted to produce something that was elederflower-based, for example” he says, “to include in a cocktail, it would be very difficult to include it in its natural form. But the liqueur version allows the mixologist to introduce that flavour into the drink consistently and all-year round and it allows him or her to decide how heavily-flavoured that cocktail is going to be in that direction. You can now give a new flavour profile to the cocktail via the liqueur.”

And he agrees, “Long gone are the days of downing liqueurs after a meal with cubes of ice”.




St-Germain is an all-natural, artisanal French liqueur with notes of tropical fruits, grapefruit and pear, with a hint of honeysuckle.

The world’s first hand-crafted liqueur, St-Germain is made from 100% fresh hand-selected elderflower blossoms picked once a year during a four to six week period in the late Spring when at their peak level of flavour and aroma.

Once picked, the flowers are swiftly macerated with an eau de vie and pure cane sugar to maximise freshness and enhance the fruit-driven character of the elderflower. A low sugar content, roughly half that of other liqueurs, provides St-Germain with a balance of subtle yet complex flavours.

Extremely versatile, St-Germain adds character to many cocktails and mixes well with a variety of base spirits including tequila, gin, vodka, whiskey, scotch, rum, pisco, wine and especially Champagne.


The perfect St-Germain Cocktail

The perfect apéritif calls for 2 parts Brut Champagne, 1 ½ parts St‑Germain, 2 parts sparkling water and a lemon twist.

Fill a tall Collins glass with ice. Add Champagne first, then St-Germain, then Club Soda.



The Tia Maria revolution


Coffee liqueur par excellence, Tia Maria stays in step with the times by following, setting and anticipating the trends of the moment. Now the brand has chosen to go into revolutionary mode to make a major impact on prime global markets in the sector by leading the pack on the new coffee cocktail culture scene.

Heightening the Tia Maria allure is exquisite new packaging featuring an elegant new bottle with a contemporary twist where the perfectly smooth and harmonious lines give definition to a timeless silhouette.

Tia Maria is coffee liqueur with a charismatic personality and an important aromatic structure.

What creates the unique bouquet is the interaction between fine 100% Arabica coffee and the unmistakable notes of Jamaican rum and Madagascar vanilla.

So today Tia Maria is all set to enter outlets across the globe with an array of cocktails that make the most of this classy liqueur’s extraordinary mixability and versatility.

Tia Maria is the ultimate coffee liqueur!




Baileys is the most loved spirit brand in the world, with 0.5 million Irish adults enjoying a Baileys in December according to Nielsen Ireland data from last August.

It’s an incredibly versatile spirit which can be enjoyed in a whole host of serves and it caters for all sorts of festive occasions from the casual festive get-together to a post-meal moment of luxury.

68% of people are likely to drink a cocktail after a meal states CGA’s Mixed Drinks report from last April and for a delicious variation on the classic hot chocolate drink, add some Baileys Original, whipped cream and chocolate shavings for a fabulous rich, creamy dimension – an indulgent treat for the Festive Season.

Alternatively, a Baileys and Coffee is the perfect combination when dining out over the holidays while a Baileys Flat White Martini with Baileys Original, Smirnoff No 21 Vodka, espresso and coffee beans to garnish is sure to impress the most discerning guests.


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