These are alcohol, flavoured and usually sweetened, or sometimes distilled from fruit or nuts. Liqueurs are usually drunk straight after a meal.
Advocaat (Holland): Brandy, eggs and vanilla. Sweet and widely popular.
Anisette (France): Colourless, aniseed flavoured. Similar in taste to Goldwasser from Germany, which is laced with particles of gold leaf.
Apricot Brandy (many countries): Speaks for itself. Sweet.
Aquavit (Denmark): Colourless grain or potato spirit, flavoured with caraway seeds. Very potent and fiery. Usually tossed down at a gulp before a meal.
Good for combatting long Scandinavian winters.
Benedictine (France): Probably the oldest and still one of the best liqueurs.
First distilled by the Benedictine monks in the early sixteenth century as a medicine for malaria — and a tonic to revive tired clergy. Flavouring includes arnica, hyssop, vanilla, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg, mace, saffron and cardamon.
Calvados (France): Apple Brandy from Normandy. Sold at six years old or over — making it superior to the American Applejack.
Crème de Cassis (France): Very sweet and blackcurranty. Often confused with the non-alcoholic cordial called Sirop de Cassis.
Chartreuse (France): Made by Carthusian monks near Grenoble.
Comes in two colours — green and yellow. The latter is less potent and much sweeter.
Cherry Brandy (many countries): Speaks for itself. Very sweet.
Cointreau (France): Colourless, orange-flavoured liqueur, similar to Grand Marnier.
Crème de Cacao (France): Very sweet, tasting strongly of chocolate. Made from cocoa beans.
Crème de Menthe (France): Strongly peppermint-flavoured. Usually drunk well iced.
Curacao (West Indies): Similar to Cointreau. The colour is either golden or a delicate blue.
Drambuie (Scotland): Whisky, honey and herbs. The recipe is said to have been a gift to an ancestor of the present proprietors from that noted drinker, Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Forbidden Fruit (America): Orange and honey flavoured, with a Brandy base. The colour is a beautiful golden brown.
Framboise (France): Colourless, dry, and distilled from raspberries. Delicious served chilled or otherwise.
Galliano (Italy): Pale yellow. Somewhat similar in flavour to Strega.
Grand Marnier (see Cointreau.)
Grappa (see Marc).
Kirsch (Germany): Colourless. Distilled from the juice and kernels of German cherries. Extra dry and good. Maraschino is similar but sweet.
Kahlua (Mexico): Like crème de Cacao, made with cocoa beans and grain spirit. Popular in the USA and good poured over ice-cream.
Kummel (Baltic States): Vodka and caraway seeds. Fine if you like caraway seeds.
Marc (France): Made from the pressing of skins, pips and stems of grapes of the Burgundy and Champagne districts which have already been pressed to make wine. Similar to Grappa (Italy).
Mirabelle (France): Plum Brandy from golden-yellow plums. Resembles Slivovitz (Yugoslavia), but without the latter’s fiery quality.
Sloe Gin (Britain): Sugar, sloes and gin, and very good indeed, especially for people who don’t drink but who need something sweet to hold at parties and festivities.
Southern Comfort (USA): Made from Bourbon and peaches, presumably to console the South for defeat in the American Civil War.
Strega (Italy): Said to be flavoured with aromatic herbs and barks, but some people claim that it’s more like very sweet!
Tia Maria (Jamaica): Rum flavoured with coffee beans. It will transform the dullest vanilla ice-cream into a treat.
Van der Hum (South Africa): The colour is russet brown and the flavour a rich tangerine.