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Cooking Q&A: Liqueurs and Cordials?

Q.

What are liqueurs and cordials?

A.

Both words cover the same, broad category of sweetened spirits that are infused with the flavor of herbs, fruit, nuts, honey, and other plant extracts. Think: amaretto (almond), curacao (orange), Frangelico (hazelnut), Kahlua (coffee), pastis (anise), schnapps. There are four general categories: Proprietary brands made from secret recipes, like Cointreau, a high-end curacao; generic types, like anisette or schnapps; cream liqueurs, like Kahlua and Baileys, which have been mixed with cream; and sweet, syrupy creme liqueurs, like creme de menthe. Liqueurs provide the sweet counterbalance to straight spirits in many cocktails, but they’re also perfectly sip-able aperitifs or after-dinner drinks, served on the rocks or neat.

-- Colleen Rush

See More: Bar & Cocktails