Liqueurs are mysterious in character and expansive in variety. Produced in all corners of the world, many have a storied history. Most liqueurs are bottled at a much lower “proof” than liquors. These concoctions contain a wide variety of herbs, fruits, barks, spices, flowers, nuts and
more —most with recipes that are very much protected.
Some are very sweet (St. Germaine), herbal (Chartreuse), or bitter (Campari); many are citrus forward (Aperol) and others taste of menthol (Fernet Branca). Quite a few liqueurs stand alone and can be enjoyed as an aperitif (before meal) or as a digestif (after meal). Others are best suited for cocktails.
The most important rule for building your collection of liqueurs? Don’t stock anything you won’t drink.