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Liqueurs have a long history dating back as far as 800BC. The ancient Chinese distilled spirits from fermented rice wine and possibly mixed this with fruit and spices to produce the earliest liqueurs. We know for certain that 13th Century monks grew herbs and spices in the monastery gardens which they then soaked in alcohol to preserve them. These concoctions were made for medicinal purposes, but were definitely the ancestors of today’s herb liqueurs, such as Chartreuse & Benedictine.
There are many different liqueurs on the market. It’s also common to distinguish types based on flavour profile. Some of the most common tastes are coffee, nuts, chocolate, fruit and berries. Liqueurs in all categories are usually made through a similar process, though the quality of ingredients used and intensity of the distillation process can lead to a great variety in taste and overall smoothness. Regardless of specifics, all tend to be enjoyed in about the same way, too. Most of the choice between types is a matter of personal preference…
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