Timeless and resistant in the face of passing trends, many liqueurs have been around for centuries and remain at the forefront of the scene, having become classics. Their secret? An ability to change with the times while retaining their identity. A number of French producers and brands feature among this group of ‘cult’ alcohols such as Rocher (1705), Marie-Brizard (1762), Get (1796), Grand Marnier (1827), Combier (1834), Cointreau (1849) and Bénédictine (1863).
Liqueurs - timelessness and infinite possibilities
Despite their fame and reputation, all liqueurs must meet the challenges of a market that is constantly undergoing change and subject to ruthless competition due to new products, new production techniques and new trends. A new category has emerged: modern liqueurs.
Traditional liqueurs continue to enjoy a considerable advantage thanks to their history, their mystical heritage, their powerful secrets and iconic, evocative backstories.
Between tradition and innovation
Whether it is a new fashion or revival of ancient recipes, cocktail bars and mixologists claim that liqueurs (traditional or not) are making a comeback.
Working within this trend, some old names and brands in traditional liqueur-making are making their expertise and long experience available to other companies in a bid to produce new liqueurs for specific markets (Hpnotiq - USA).
New flavours and recipes thus began to appear on the market in response to demand from a younger, more female-oriented and sophisticated client base. To remain competitive, brands needed to produce two types of liqueur that at first glance would appear contradictory: the avant-garde and the authentic.
A question of sugar
Whether made from fruit, plants, herbs, spices, peel, dried fruit, flowers, roots, seeds or beans, all liqueurs have one ingredient in common: sugar.
Serving as a flavour enhancer, stabilising agent and preservative, sugar plays a key role in the final product: it perfects flavours, preserves red fruit that is often delicate, and adds texture to the finished product. Crystallised white sugar and glucose syrup (or a mix of glucose, sucrose and fructose) are both used, as is honey.
Legally authorised sugar content levels vary enormously from one country to the next. Since 1908, French regulations have set a minimum sugar content level of 100g/litre. This minimum is increased to 250g/litre for crème liqueurs, although there are a number of exceptions (crème de cassis: 400g/litre minimum, gentian: 80g, cherry liqueur: 70g if the alcohol used is a cherry brandy).