October 16th is National Liqueur Day. This is a day to celebrate the myriad classes and flavors of liqueur. Liqueur, not to be confused with liquor, is a type of sweet alcoholic drink made from flowers, nuts, spices, herbs and some type of alcohol. They are bold enough to stand on their own but also make great mixers.

Here is a list of the most common liqueurs you’re likely to come across. Examples: Amaretto, Baileys Irish Cream, Campari, Cointreau, Frangelico, Kahlúa, St-Germain, RumChata, and Sambuca. These can be consumed as shots or included in a mix of other juices, coffees and other liquids (both alcohol and non-alcohol). In some parts of the United States, schnapps is considered a liqueur. You can find this type of liqueurs in three different subcategories: chocolate, chocolate cream, and crème de cacao. Each of these subcategories can help you to find the most appealing drink more easily, as they will give a better description of what’s in the drink or what the texture is like.

The word liqueur comes from the Latin liquifacerewhich means to liquefy. A liqueur is an alcoholic beverage made from a distilled spirit. Distillers flavor the spirit with fruit, cream, herbs, spices, flowers, or nuts. Next, they bottle it with added sugar or other sweeteners. While liqueurs are typically considerably sweet, distillers do not usually age their product long. They do, however, allow a resting period during production, which allows the flavors to marry.

With the broad selection of spirits available in seasonal, fragrant, and often curious flavors (vodkas and rums in particular), there is often confusion of liqueurs and liquors. In the United States and Canada, spirits are frequently called liquor.  The most reliable rule of thumb to follow suggests that liqueurs comprise a sweeter, syrupy consistency, while liquors do not.  Most of the liqueurs have a lower alcohol content than spirits. However, some do contain higher levels of alcohol.

After work stop by Ellwoods Steak and Seafood for a drink of the day. Wednesdays are ladies’ night and there is a variety of liqueurs for the tasting. Ask Bartender Wes Galvin to make a traditional Bailey’s and coffee (with or without the whipped cream) or one of his favorite specialties, Cafe Con Ron. This rum based cocktail drink is much greater than its parts. Instead of using just one type of rum, this coffee cocktail layers two different rums on top of each other. At the base, there’s a delightfully heady shot of Bacardi Gran Reserva 8 Year, a vanilla-rich dark rum. And on top there’s a hefty float of creamy RumChata, which gives this cocktail its creamy, spiced edge. Similar to an iced latte but much more decadent (and boozy).

Ellwood Steak and Fish House   •   2219 Sycamore Rd., DeKalb, Il.   •   Tel: 815.901.0270

A great home party idea will be to host a hot chocolate party with a variety of the Liqueurs listed above as shots or toppings.

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