Visually, the fruity liqueurs are also eye-catchers, because among the spirits, the fruit liqueur is the one that advertises itself with probably the most intense colors. Compared to other distillates, the fruity liqueurs also differ from their counterparts in the production process. In our country, fruity liqueurs are often prepared in private households. The manageably short production process of a few weeks increases the pleasure of the final product. Only fruit, alcohol, sugar, water and sometimes spices such as vanilla beans or cinnamon sticks are needed for production. In the case of fruit-based liqueurs available for purchase, a fruit content of at least about 20 percent is assumed. The fruitier these liqueurs taste, the higher they are valued. According to the EU directive, the alcohol content must be at least 15 percent by volume.
What is a fruit liqueur, what is its history, how it is made, how long it can be kept and how to drink it, all this you will learn in the following explanations.
The history of the fruity liqueur
The production of the fruit liqueur probably originated in Italy and dates back to the 13th century. Even then, mainly in monasteries, people put medicinal plants in alcohol to extract their active ingredients and used the alcohol water as a remedy. Thus, a papal personal physician is said to have administered medicinal herbal liqueurs even then.
It was also in the 13th century when Arnaldo of Villanova, who was personal physician to kings and popes, brought the distillation technique to France and thus to Europe in the course of the Crusades. Now it was possible to produce the first liqueurs due to the already known maceration and the new distillation technique. However, the production of liqueurs was reserved only for monasteries and pharmacies, and exclusively as medicine for the treatment of the sick. Liqueur only became a stimulant when sugar, which was very expensive, was added to it.
In the 14th century, liqueurs were composed of alcohol, sugar and aromas and were consumed as a stimulant. Even to the French royal court, with the marriage of King Henry II to Catherine de Medici, a native of Italy, knowledge of liqueur making was brought through her retinue. Thus, newer and more refined methods were developed.
It was not until the 17th century that the fruity liqueur became widespread. At that time, however, only privileged classes such as the nobility and priests could enjoy it due to the high price of sugar. It was not until prices fell in the wake of the discovery of new export opportunities and colonization that even the middle classes of the bourgeoisie were able to treat themselves to a fruity "liqueur" at moderate prices.
Since the 19th century, fruit liqueurs have also made a name for themselves all over the world. Today there are liqueur brands that have a very long tradition and have created delicious liqueurs from almost any fruit. How many there are, you can guess if you take a closer look at our fruit liqueur store.
Fruit liqueur - What does it mean?
Fruit liqueurs belong to the group of liqueurs. They are a mixture of high-proof alcohol, fruit and sugar. They get their own taste and consistency by macerating, that is, by putting fruits, juices and other spices into the distillate (alcohol) and the extracts obtained from it. This results in the macerate having a fruit content of at least 20 percent. However, it is often much higher, with a percentage value of 40 to 50. The spirits must have a minimum sugar content per liter of 100 grams and an alcohol content of at least 15% by volume. However, there are also occasional fruity liqueurs that have up to 40% vol. Fruity liqueurs are divided into fruit juice liqueurs, fruit flavored liqueurs and fruit brandies.
Fruit juice liqueurs
In the case of fruit juice liqueurs, the proportion of the type of fruit after which the liqueur is named is dominant in the taste. Here, the proportion from 100 liters of finished product must be at least 20 liters. The addition of other fruit juices and natural flavors or the use of fruit wine is also permitted. However, the addition of colorants is not permitted. An example of fruit juice liqueur is Hödl Hof Original Weichsellikör, which can be purchased in our Fruit Liqueur Shop.
Fruit aroma liqueurs
Fruit flavored liqueurs are also named after the fruits from which they get their flavor. However, artificial flavors may not be used here either. Ethyl vanillin is an exception. However, the use of artificial colorants to color the spirit is permitted. Examples of fruit flavored liqueurs include cherry, currant, blackberry, apple and strawberry liqueurs, as well as the popular cassis.
Fruit liqueurs that get their flavor from a fruit spirit (minimum five liters of 40-percent fruit spirit per 100 liters of finished product), which must come from the fruit that gives the liqueur its name, are called fruit brandies. Probably the best known are sherry brandy and apricot brandy, cherry brandy, cherry brandy, curacao, cherry whiskey and whiskey liqueur. However, these are only examples.
The production of fruity liqueurs
As with many other products, the production of fruit-based liqueurs requires extensive knowledge. It is quite an art to match the flavors of the ingredients needed for a liqueur so that the result is a high-quality spirit. The maceration process is used in the production of fruit-based liqueurs. The ingredients needed for the production are alcohol, sugar and fruit. By the way, you can also make a fruity liqueur on your own initiative. In this case, maceration is called "preparation".
The most suitable alcohol for liqueur production is 96-percent pure alcohol, the so-called monopoly spirit. Distilleries that have their own distillery usually produce their own distillate for liqueur production. However, this must be distilled several times to improve the taste.
But not every alcohol is suitable for every liqueur. Grain, for example, is the ideal companion when it comes to liqueurs with berry aromas. Rum is suitable for processing plums or damsons. Brandy is the most suitable alcohol for mirabelle plum or quince liqueur, and vodka gives a very special taste when combined with citrus fruits such as orange, tangerine and lemon. Apples and pears are especially good in whiskey.
To prevent the macerate from becoming cloudy when the fruit and alcohol meet during maceration, either enzymes or gelatin should be added to it.
Invert sugar, which consists of equal parts of fructose and glucose, is very popular in the production of fruity liqueurs. Normal household sugar consists of 100 percent sucrose, which means that this type of sugar must first be converted in order to be used for liqueur production. In addition, normal household sugar is not only different in taste from invert sugar, but it also has a different consistency.
The sucrose of household sugar is broken down into fructose and glucose by boiling the sugar for 15 minutes in water to which a little citric acid has been added. One calculates 450 milliliters of water per kilogram of household sugar. This causes the sucrose to split into glucose and fructose. The resulting foam should be skimmed off and the liquid allowed to cool. Only when the sugar solution is cold is another liter of water added and the resulting invert sugar stored in a cool place.
Fruits are essential for the special taste of the liqueur. Whole fruit, fruit juice and even fruit wine can be used to make the liqueur. If whole fruits are processed, then they must not be overripe, as the taste of the liqueur would be negatively affected. When using freshly squeezed juice, the liqueur gets a fruity aroma. Whereby, already during the pressing, care must be taken to ensure that the turbidity caused by the enzymes is treated accordingly. If fruit wine, which is the result of the fermentation of the fruit or fruit juice, is used, there is a difference compared to the taste of liqueurs produced from fruit juice. If flavors such as vanilla, cloves, ginger, chili, etc. are added, the fruity liqueurs acquire a special taste.
The maceration process or preparation of fruit at home
In the maceration process, fresh fruit is placed in a sealable container, usually made of copper or stainless steel, and mixed with alcohol. Through this so-called "maceration infusion", the fruit aromas are extracted and absorbed by the alcohol. This process can take several weeks, depending on the type of fruit. Soft berry fruits such as currants, blackberries, blueberries and strawberries, for example, largely take three to four weeks, pome fruits such as apples, pears and rose hips four to six weeks and stone fruits such as cherries, plums and peaches even up to eight weeks. Only at the end of the maceration is the sugar added to the macerate by the master distiller.
How high the dose is is the secret of the master distiller and depends on the type and quantity of fruit used. The sugar dose is also very important when it comes to the quality of the fruity liqueur. At the beginning of the maceration, the infusion is gently stirred from time to time to accelerate the dissolution of the sugar. The maceration period can last up to six weeks, because it is only when the aromas and color have been fully absorbed by the alcohol that the spirit acquires its appropriate flavor.
Once the maceration process is complete, the infusion is filtered to remove the fruit residue and bottled. However, there are also producers who spend the liqueur in large wooden barrels to let it mature for some time and to refine it with the barrel aromas. However, these are usually fruity liqueurs that are higher in percentage.
Making liqueurs from fruit at home
As already mentioned, you can also prepare or make a fruity liqueur at home. In addition to blackberries, black elderberries, birdberries and raspberries, apples, pears and quinces as well as sea buckthorn, rose hips and mirabelles are also suitable. For the preparation is suitable appropriately sized vessel, which can be sealed. Before you pour the alcohol over the fruit, you should chop it as much as possible and mix it with the sugar. You should know: the higher the percentage of alcohol, the more the flavors are extracted. The taste of the liqueur will be more intense and the product will be of higher quality.
Once you have mixed the fruit with sugar and poured alcohol over it, the jar should be closed. Now you need to put the jar in a dark, cool place for three to four weeks and wait until the extracted flavors have completely combined with the alcohol. For better dissolution of the sugar, do not forget to stir the mixture a few times at the beginning of the resting period. Once the resting time is over, separate the mixture from the fruit residues by filtering it through a sieve, or even better, through a coffee filter or a fine cloth. Then you can bottle the fruity liqueur and enjoy.
Sweet liqueurs from fruits - their use
Fruity liqueurs are included in many aperitifs, digestifs and drinks with alcohol. For example, an aperitif with a fruity liqueur drunk before a meal stimulates the appetite. A Kir Royal, in which cassis liqueur (currant) is infused with champagne, is sure to go down well with your guests at festive affairs such as receptions or weddings. But the use of other fruity liqueurs, such as elderberries, oranges, mirabelles or plums and raspberries are also good tastemakers.
A pure fruity liqueur as a digestif after a sumptuous meal is the optimal partner and ensures that digestion is boosted. But also to a sweet dessert and or to the afternoon coffee with cake, a pure fruity liqueur is the optimal complement. However, a fruit juice liqueur not only cuts a fine figure as an accompaniment to cake, but is also popular over vanilla ice cream and as an ingredient in cakes and pies as well as in sweet sauces. For example, in the traditional French dessert crêpe suzette, fruity orange liqueur such as Cointreau should not be missing.
Fruity liqueurs - their shelf life
The shelf life of liqueurs with an alcohol content of more than 30 percent is several decades. Liqueurs with an alcohol content below 30 percent but with a high sugar content can also be stored and enjoyed for several months or years. Sugar preserves in a similar way to alcohol. This also applies to home-made liqueurs made from fruit. Only cream liqueurs should be stored in the refrigerator after opening and consumed quickly.
Fruity liqueurs - the drinking culture
Fresh fruity liqueurs are among the most popular among liqueurs and have been increasingly drunk for more than 30 years. Due to the fresh taste, which the liqueurs get from the individual fruit additions, they are a pleasure both drunk purely and as a cocktail. However, you should not serve the fruity spirits too cold or too warm, because then they do not taste as aromatic. Therefore, the liqueurs made from fruits should always have a drinking temperature of 15 to 18 degrees Celsius.
Only then can the aromas fully develop in the nose and mouth. Should it ever happen that the liqueur is too warm, then you should pre-cool the glasses in which the liqueur is to be served. But before you pour the liqueurs, you should shake the bottle slightly. This will dissolve the sugar that can settle on the bottom of the bottle if it has been standing for a long time, and it will reconnect with the alcohol, thus ensuring that you get the best possible enjoyment.
Another important criterion for the full development and distribution of the aromas is the right glass from which you drink the liqueur. You will get the full drinking pleasure if you serve the sweet, fruity spirit in style in a liqueur glass. These bulbous glasses with stems are very similar in shape to a classic white wine glass, except that the wine glasses are a little larger. In these glasses, the collected fragrance particles reach the nose in a concentrated form and enhance the taste experience by fully developing the flavors and fragrances.
However, cocktails with fruity liqueur should also be presented in a glass with a larger volume. Elegant cocktail bowls, margarita glasses, flute glasses and the iconic martini glasses are particularly popular. But long drink glasses and fancy glasses also find their use, depending on the type of cocktail. Which glass you choose, of course, depends on the occasion you want to serve a cocktail.
Brands in our fruit liqueur store
In our fruit liqueur store you can choose from over 250 different fruity liqueurs from 104 different brands from almost 20 countries. Each of these spirits captivates with its own bouquet, fragrance spectrum and taste. In addition to the traditional brands Berentzen and Bols, these include Monin, Nardini, Amarula, Bottega, Domenis 1898, Gschpusi, O'Donnell Moonshinev and Jeni Raki, to name just a few.
Berentzen liqueurs are very popular because of their strong fruity aromas. These are enhanced with finely selected alcohol, such as vodka or wheat grain. The traditional house Bols produces liqueurs with local fruit notes, but also refined exotic flavor creations, such as Coconut, Blue Curaçao or Banana. The Monin brand holds a wide range of products and is the classic for preparing long drinks, desserts and sauces. The Italian supplier Nardini has, among other things, a unique lemon liqueur in its repertoire, which also tastes excellent in cocktails.
Alizé liqueurs are a blend of mostly exotic fruit juices and cognac, which makes them very special liqueurs. The Amarula brand, which creates wonderful liqueurs from the fruit of the Marula tree (elephant tree) native to Africa, with which many mysterious myths, legends and rituals are associated, also comes up with various liqueurs. Unique-tasting, fresh and aromatic fruity liqueurs are offered by the Bottega brand and the liqueurs presented by Domenis 1898 are spirits made from selected raw materials and characterized by a fine, unique aroma.
With the liqueurs of the Gschpusi brand, any party fun is guaranteed. Also the brand O'Donnell Moonshine (German Mondlicht) presents itself with liqueurs with fresh-fruity and full-bodied, but also tangy-fresh taste. Even the Turkish brand Yeni Raki, which has been producing its liqueurs in Anatolia for 300 years, is present with its "Lion's Milk", as the Raki is also called, in different variants. In addition, many other well-known brands are represented in our fruit liqueur store. Here you can certainly find the fruity liqueur of your favorite brand and buy your fruit liqueur.
Involving the flavors of fresh fruits in liqueurs is already an art to be taken seriously. Since manufacturers handle diverse components, the product portfolio offered on the market is enormously diverse when it comes to fruit liqueurs. You can already see this in our fruit liqueur store. Here you can buy fruit liqueur made from whole fresh fruits, freshly squeezed fruit juices or extracts that come from fruits preserved in alcohol.
Each liqueur has its own individuality, whether it is a very complicated creation with mysterious spices and alcohol mixtures that have been carefully tuned, or a homemade liqueur. Fruity liqueurs are a delight pure or in cocktails. But also as an aperitif, digestif or with desserts and sweet sauces, as well as an ingredient in cakes and pies, they are indispensable. In our fruit liqueur store you will find a wide range of fresh fruity liqueur specialties from all over the world. Here you can buy your desired fruit liqueur - just take a look, you will be amazed at the huge selection.