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In this lesson, we will go over the final part of the Liqueurs series. This lesson will focus on the liqueurs that are usually at a bar, but used less frequently. However, they are important to know since 10-15% of your customers will order these liqueurs on any given night.
With regards to liqueurs, if you haven't read the first two parts, I would recommend you go through them before reading this post:
That being said, let's finish off this lesson on liqueurs.
Unique and Less Used Liqueurs
Galliano - An Italian liqueur that tastes like a bit like licorice. It is yellow in color, and has a relatively expensive price tag. The bottle is said to be indestructible, so it can be a deadly weapon in a bar fight. The most representative cocktail using Galliano is the Harvey Wallbanger, a cocktail that we covered in our highball lesson.
Dom's B&B - A liqueur that's good for sipping. It is a mix of brandy and Benedictine, hence the name B&B. The liqueur is easy to sip since it's a bit sweet, and it doesn't have the harshness of a whiskey or brandy. If you're just starting out to drink whiskey, this might be a nice way to ease into things. The sweeter flavor will help to acquire a taste for whiskey, cognac, brandy, and scotch.
Drambuie - Drambuie is also similar to B&B in its taste. I will go as far as to say that I have a hard time telling the two apart. I do like to drink it though in a brandy glass like the picture below, or "on the rocks" in a rocks glass. It goes well with a cigar, so if you're smoking one, you might want to try Drambuie. The sweet taste of Drambuie tends to go well with the strong cigar flavors. Drambuie is considered a bit of an old man's drink (like the Dom B&B), but it's actually pretty good to drink.
Frangelico - A hazelnut flavored liqueur. It is usually used to make a cocktail with. You don't usually drink Frangelico on its own. It has a pleasant, sweet hazelnut taste, so when mixed properly, Frangelico makes a killer cocktail. Frangelico usually mixes well with creamy liqueurs, coffee liqueurs, and chocolate liqueurs.
Campari - Campari is one of those liqueurs that's an acquired taste. When you first try it, it'll taste like crap. It basically has a off-licorice taste. However, upon getting used to it, Campari will for some reason, start to taste pretty good. A representative cocktail using Campari are, Campari & Soda, and Campari Orange. They become a bit addicting after getting used to the taste of Campari.
Hpnotiq - Hpnotiq is a pretty new liqueur in the United States, and to be honest, I've never personally tried it. I'll need to go out and grab myself a bottle this weekend. According to Wikipedia, it is a liqueur with a blend of natural exotic fruit juices, premium vodka, and a touch of cognac. It was created in 2001, but has gained popularity in recent years. Created by a college dropout in 2001, it was sold for $50 million in 2003. Pretty interesting story.
Limoncello - An Italian liqueur that's lemon flavored. Usually served chilled as a shot or as a sipping drink after dinner. Lately, you see Danny DeVito with his own brand of it selling in restaurants.
99 Bananas - Obviously a banana liqueur. The only catch, it is 99 proof, or almost 50% alcohol content. It's a pretty strong liqueur. 99 Banana has gained some popularity in recent years as well.
Ouzo - Another licorice flavored liqueur. Greek people drink this a lot. I personally thought the flavor of Ouzo was a little too powerful for me. However, this is also an acquired taste, so once you get used to it, you can probably go party on down in Greece. Ouzo is intended to be served straight. There are a few cocktail recipes using Ouzo, but they are generally not very popular in the United States.
Zen - Green tea flavored liqueur found at some bars these days. It is made by Santory, the same company as the Midori. You may see this liqueur at an Asian restaurant, or Asian themed bars. There are several cocktails using Zen found on its website, but they are not well known in the United States. Only bars that have specific menus will likely make Zen cocktails.
All right, so that about wraps up the lessons on liqueurs. I hope you enjoyed learning about all the different liqueurs out there in the market today. And as a note, these are liqueurs that are known in the United States. There are many more varieties of wonderful liqueurs around the world that you will encounter as a bartender. Beverage companies also come up with a new liqueurs every year.
As always, I would recommend going out and trying out each of these liqueurs one at a time. It really helps to know what your ingredients tastes like when you bartend. You don't want to over mix something that's too sweet, or something that too strong in flavor.
As a bartender, you must become familiar with all of the liqueurs that I've mentioned, since that is what you will be working with when you become a bartender.
So good luck studying, and till next time, Cheers!