Cordials/Liqueurs make all the difference in an “ordinary” drink and a special “cocktail”. They come in a variety of flavor profiles. The following descriptors are meant to help inspire you to get creative with your cocktails. In addition, many of these are enjoyed “neat” or over ice as a before/after dinner treat. Experiment and enjoy!
While this is not an exhaustive list of all cordials in the world. This list represents the most commonly available in our local market. Many are available under more than one brand name. Our experienced staff will be happy to assist you in navigating the satisfying world of cordials.
[one_half]Absinthe- An anise-flavored liqueur that was originally 136 proof and was outlawed for years in most countries. Abisante, Pernod and Herbsaint can be used to replace absinthe in cocktail recipes.
Agavero- A tequila-based liqueur flavored with the Damiana flower. It was created in 1857, uses a blend of 100% blue agave anejo and reposado tequilas that have been aged in French Limousin oak. It is popular to drink straight, on the rocks, or in cocktails.
Amaretto- An almond flavored liqueur made with apricot pits. This liqueur is commonly paired with a coffee liqueur in drinks like a Toasted Almond or used as a smooth liqueur in shooters like the Alabama Slammer.
Barenjaeger- A honey-flavored liqueur produced in Germany whose beginnings were in medieval Europe.
Benedictine- Made of herbs, roots and sugar with a Cognac base.
Blackberry Liqueur, Blackberry-flavored Brandy- The flavored brandy is sweeter than the liqueur and makes a wonderful blackberry sour.
Butterscotch Liqueur, Butterscotch Schnapps- A liqueur made from a mix of butter and brown sugar that tastes like butterscotch candy. Sometimes referred to as Buttershots (brand name produced by DeKuyper).
Campari- A bitter Italian apèritif made with a unique blend of herbs and spices with orange being the dominant flavor. The secret recipe was originally developed by Gaspare Campari in 1860 for his Cafè Campari in Milan. Campari is often served on the rocks either by itself or mixed with club soda and is also a key ingredient in many apèritif cocktails such as Negroni and Americano.
Chambord- A liqueur that dates back to 1685 when Louis XIV visited Château de Chambord. Chambord is produced in the Loire valley in France and is made from red and black raspberries, honey, vanilla, and cognac.
Chartreuse- An herbal liqueur produced by Carthusian monks in the French Alps. It is available as either Green or Yellow Chartreuse and as a special V.E.P. bottling of both varieties, which is aged for a longer period of time.
Cherry Heering- A naturally flavored cherry liqueur from Denmark that is used in a variety of cocktails.
Cherry liqueur- A tart fruit accent made of cherries and pits. A great on the rocks sipper as well.
Cinnamon Schnapps- An often clear, higher proof distilled spirit that is flavored with cinnamon and used often in cocktails and shooters.
Coffee liqueur, Crème de Café- Coffee-flavored liqueur. The most popular coffee liqueur is the Mexican Kahlua. Others include Tia Maria from Jamaica, Expresso from dark-roasted Italian coffee, crème de café , and Pasha from Turkey. Any of the coffee liqueurs are great served ice-cold with heavy cream floating on top and are popular ingredients in a variety of cocktails.
Cointreau- A brand name orange-flavored liqueur that is considered a premium triple sec.
Crème d’ Almond- A pink liqueur flavored with almonds and fruit stones. Similar to crème de noyaux.
Crème de Bananes, Banana Liqueur- Cream of banana liqueur that is usually quite sweet and is true to the fruit’s flavor.
Crème de Cacao- Cacao (chocolate) and vanilla bean based liqueur. Available in both white and brown varieties. The white is used in a Grasshopper while the brown is used in an Alexander.
Crème de Cassis- A sweet, low-proof liqueur made from French blackcurrants. It can be found in cocktails such as the Chimayo, Vermouth Cassis, Kir, and Cardinal Cocktail, and is often paired with wine.
Crème de Framboise- A crème liqueur with a raspberry flavor.
Crème de Menthe- This sweet liqueur flavored with mint leaves and is either white (clear) or green.
Crème de Noyaux- A pink liqueur has a distinct almond flavor and is made with the stones of plums, cherries, peaches and apricots. This is not a very common liqueur, but is found in cocktails such as the Pink Squirrel.
Curaçao- Made of the dried peels of laraha oranges and was the original orange liqueur, used in many classic cocktails. Normally it is orange in color but can also be white, blue or green.
Cynar- An artichoke-based bitter liqueur that was launched in 1952. Despite its base, it does not have the distinct flavor of the artichoke because it also includes a blend of thirteen herbs and plants. The aperitif is commonly paired with orange juice and soda or tonic and has been used in a number of modern cocktails including Fall from Grace, Game Set Match, Happily Ever After, and Warm Fuzzies.
Damiana- A lightly-flavored herbal liqueur produced in Mexico. The primary ingredient is the damiana herb grown in Baha California, Mexico that has long been used as an aphrodisiac. Try this liqueur in a Margarita
Drambuie- The guarded formula for this liqueur includes Scotch (at least 10 years old), heather honey and herbs. The name comes from the Gaelic dram buidheach which translate to “the drink that satisfies.”
Dubonnet Blanc, Dubonnet Blond, White Dubonnet- One of the two styles of Dubonnet, a French wine based aperitif. Blanc is made by adding herbs and botanicals to fortified dry white wine. Dubonnet Blanc and Rouge are similar to dry and sweet vermouth respectively, with the primary difference being that Dubonnet uses quinine (also used to make tonic water) in its recipes.
Dubonnet Rouge, Red Dubonnet- The sweeter, richer of the two styles of Dubonnet. Rouge has a red wine base that is flavored with spices. Used in the aptly named Dubonnet Cocktail, as well as the classic Weep No More.
Frangelico- A hazelnut flavored liqueur made from the infusion of toasted hazelnuts into alcohol and water. It is receives additional flavors from toasted coffee, cocoa, vanilla berries and rhubarb root.
Galliano- A smooth, spicy liqueur with overtones of anise and vanilla from Livorno, Italy. Though not used much, it is found in a few favorite cocktails including the Harvey Wallbanger and Golden Dream.
Ginger Liqueur- A ginger-flavored liqueur that is made with a variety of ginger. Herbs and honey are also often added to a brandy, rum or neutral spirit. Domaine de Canton is one of the most popular brands.[/one_half][one_half_last]Godiva- A line of chocolate liqueurs produced by the renowned Godiva Chocolatier
Goldschlager- A clear-colored cinnamon schnapps that contains 24K gold leaf flakes. It is a fun liqueur to play with and appears in many cocktails and shooters.
Grand Marnier- A distinguished orange liqueur from France with a Cognac base that is considered an essential for a well-stocked bar.
GranGala Triple Orange- An orange liqueur with a Italian VSOP brandy base and flavored by Mediterranean oranges. A substitute for Grand Marnier.
Hpnotiq- This ocean blue tropical liqueur is a nice blend of vodka, cognac and just the right fruits (a family secret) that is a great substitute for blue curaçao.
Irish Cream Liqueur- A creamy liqueur made of Irish whiskey, cream, and chocolate that is used in many cocktails and shooters. Bailey’s is a well-known brand.
Irish Mist- A sweet, aromatic blend of Irish whiskey, honey, herbs and other spirits made with a recipe that dates back more than 1,000 years. One cocktail that features Irish Mist is an Irish Canadian.
Jagermeister- An herbal liqueur produced in Germany with a somewhat notorious reputation and is often served in shooters but can also be enjoyed in finer cocktails.
Lemoncello- A sweet, lemon-flavored Italian dessert liqueur made from lemon zests.
Licor 43- A vanilla-flavored liqueur produced in Spain. This liqueur contains 43 ingredients with vanilla being the dominant flavor, while others include citrus, other fruits, herbs, spices, and other secret ingredients in the proprietary recipe. It makes an occasional appearance in cocktails including Ebony & Ivory, Brotherly Love, and Pumpkin Punch.
Maraschino- A clear, dry cherry-flavored liqueur made from the Marasca cherry and pits. This is a popular cocktail mixer, including many of the classics.
Midori- A light green-colored liqueur that has a sweet honeydew melon flavor. It’s a versatile liqueur for cocktails including the Grinch and Vanilla Vixen.
Ouzo- A popular Greek apéritif liqueur flavored with anise that is usually over 90 proof. Normally mixed four parts water to one part ouzo. Used in cocktails such as the Mussaka and Zorbatini.
PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur- A super-sweet, red liqueur infused with pomegranates. This premium spirit makes a great POM Martini and is a nice accent for a variety of food dishes.
Patron Citronge- An orange liqueur produced by Patron Spirits, making it ideal for tequila cocktails. Use it as a substitute for other orange liqueurs as well.
Patron XO Cafe- A tequila-based liqueur with the flavor of coffee essence. The liqueur is drier and not as sweet as other coffee liqueurs but is stronger at a much higher 70 proof.
Peach Liqueur- Made from an infusion of whole, fresh and/or dried peaches in brandy or a neutral spirit base.
Peppermint Schnapps- Similar to crème de menthe, but uses less sugar and more alcohol. This mint-flavored liqueur has a strong, snappy mint and is often used in winter cocktails.
Pimm’s Cup- A brand of liqueurs that combines a secret recipe of fruit and spices and adds it to a variety of base liqueurs. The most common is the gin-based, Pimm’s No. 1 Cup, which is featured in a favorite mixed drink of Southern England, the Pimm’s Cup.
Pineapple liqueur, Licor de Piña- A pleasant tart fruit liqueur from the Caribbean or Hawaii.
Pumpkin Liqueur- A pumpkin-flavored liqueur that is usually produced during the autumn and winter months only.
RumChata- A cream liqueur made with Caribbean rum and Wisconsin dairy cream with cinnamon, vanilla, sugar, and other ingredients.
St. Germain- A French elderflower liqueur with an eau-de-vie base.
Sambuca- An Italian liqueur made from the sambuca plant. The flavor is similar to a subtle anise (black licorice) and is showcased in cocktails like the Licorice Stick and the Sammy Jager shooter.
Schnapps- Not typically a liqueur by strict definition, but a distilled spirit that is produced usually with fruits in the fermentation. Schnapps come in many flavors, with apple, cinnamon, and peppermint being favorites.
Sloe gin- A red liqueur, which is not a gin at all, made from the sloe plums of the blackthorn bush. Some types will produce a creamy head when shaken with ice, this is indicated on the bottle label. Used in cocktails such as the Sloe Gin Fizz and Sloe Screw.
Southern Comfort- An American liqueur made from a whiskey base flavored with peaches. It is an excellent mixer and is 100 proof, adding to its comforting qualities. Two popular cocktails are the Scarlet O’Hara and Rhett Butler.
Strega- An Italian liqueur made of 70 herbs and spices including mint, cinnamon, juniper, saffron, fennel, and iris. It has a distinct yellow color and is the Italian name for ‘witch.’
Tequila Rose- A strawberry-flavored liqueur made in Mexico. It is a mix of strawberry liqueur and tequila and is used in many cocktails like the Strawberry Kiss and Black Rose shooter.
Triple Sec- An often colorless orange-flavored liqueur that is often used as a generic name for orange liqueurs and called for in many cocktail recipes. Cointreau and Combier are premium brands of triple sec.
Tuaca- An Italian liqueur supposedly created for the Renaissance era ruler, Lorenzo the Magnificent. The flavors are a subtle blend of vanilla and citrus.
TY KU- A pale green liqueur with sake and Asian vodka base. The flavor is a mix of over 20 all natural fruits and botanicals including pomegranate, ginseng and damiana.
X-Rated Fusion- A pink liqueur from France that infuses mango, Provence blood oranges and passion fruit in premium vodka.
Yukon Jack- A popular Canadian whisky based honey liqueur that is commonly mistaken as a straight Canadian whisky, though it has a distinct sweetened taste. It is used in drinks like Northern Lights and the Snake Bite shooter. The brand also produces a peppermint schnapps called Permafrost.