The good folks at Wikipedia tell us that a liqueur is an alcoholic beverage made from a distilled spirit that has been flavored with fruit, cream, herbs, spices, flowers or nuts and bottled with added sugar or other sweetener. Typically they are sweet and syrupy (which separates them from flavored liquors like raspberry or lemon vodka which are not as sweet and definitely not syrupy). You can serve liqueurs by themselves (straight up or on the rocks) or you can add them to mixed drinks to create some pretty great tastes. The possibilities are endless.
I’m not usually a liqueur sipping gentleman. I would say the places I most like to see a liqueur is in my margarita (Grand Marnier or Cointreau make an excellent complement to tequila) or in my espresso martini (which will inevitably include Kahluha and Bailey’s Irish Creme). I looked inside our liquor cabinet today to see what we had for liqueurs. Not much to be honest. We had some watermelon schnapps which was something I used to make watermelon margaritas over the summer. We had a generic brand coffee liqueur (probably a professional sample that made it’s way home with me), a bottle of Bailey’s which was a holdover from Thanksgiving after dinner drinks and of course the obligatory bottle of Jägermeister, because I don’t know why.
I figured the natural way to really celebrate National Liqueur Day would be to just sip a nice drink after dinner, so that was the plan. Lola wanted no part of this one (and to be honest, neither did I, but the quest must go on). Working in restaurants, you grow accustomed to having the proper glasses for whatever you are making. I went in search of a good rocks glass for my drink and the best I could come up with was a holiday-themed stemmed punch glass which looked like it would do the trick, plus it was festive. I plopped some ice in there filling it to the brim (always fill your glass to the top with ice). I poured in some of the coffee liqueur so there was a nice dark liquid at the bottom as the base of my nightcap. Then I found a leftover nip (do you know what a nip is or is that a local thing? It’s the small “airplane” size bottles of liquor) of Bailey’s Espresso Creme Liqueur. I had picked these up at the liquor store one time as they had the bottles on the counter as an impulse item. I like espresso, so I figured I’d give it a try. I poured the whole bottle over a spoon into my drink (pouring it over the spoon allows it to float on top of the coffee liqueur so I could have a nice layered drink). Voila! Looked pretty celebratory if you ask me.
This was pretty good. I sipped it in our easy chair watching the Cubs game and peeking out at the full moon that was illuminating the sky. I’ve never really been a fan of cream drinks (your White Russians, Toasted Almonds, etc), but maybe my palate is changing because I found it tasty. It was like an espresso martini but not quite as boozy. I think this has a place in the rotation. I wouldn’t call it my ace, but it would be really adequate in a situational save circumstance (sorry, I think baseball is in my brain now). The only problem will be the availability of the Espresso Creme because it’s hard to find and I really want that espresso flavor.
I’m not sure if the drink was solely responsible, but I had really weird, vivid dreams last night. I guess that can happen when you drink an espresso product after 9 PM. But wow – wasn’t expecting that.
What I learned from National Liqueur Day:
- I like a nice Bailey’s and Kahluha drink
- Liqueurs make nice little drinks for the end of your day and can be festive.
- At some point, we need a few rocks glasses.
- Espresso at night gives me crazy dreams.
- After 25 years in the restaurant industry, I still need spellcheck to spell liqueur.
- Beautiful full moons make everyday a holiday.
Next Up: National Pasta Day