Make your own liqueur « Recipes and cooking tips for classic dishes and ingredients (2024)

A liqueur is an alcoholic drink flavored with fruit, whipped cream, herbs, spices, flowers or nuts and bottled with added sugar.
Each country has its rules about the composition: amount of alcohol, sugar and solids. Some liqueurs have a high alcohol percentage, such as Chartreuse with 71%.
The word 'cordial' is usually used for American drinks. The term 'cream' is usually used for liqueurs with more sugar, in France at least 40%. Not to be confused with 'cream', such as Baileys, where cream has been added.
In addition, there are also liqueurettes. These are liqueur-like products that have an alcohol content of less than 15 percent. In the Netherlands they can therefore also be sold in supermarkets, while liqueurs can only be sold in a liquor store.

Originally, liqueurs are medicinal elixirs and not sweet. As early as the early Middle Ages, Italian monks steeped healing herbs in alcohol. The essential oils of dried plants and herbs dissolved in it. The word liqueur is said to come from the Italian 'liquefare' which means to liquefy.
Later, liqueurs were made to be used in toasting a concluded treaty (called ratafia) and in France liqueurs were made as a tasty aperitif.

From fruit to drinks
Fruit distillates can be made in three ways.
1. It can be done by distillation of fruit wine obtained.
Some fruits have enough sugar that they are suitable for distillation. That is, after the sugars have been converted into 10-15% alcohol through fermentation. This applies to grapes, the wine from which is distilled into cognac or brandy. Or apples, which give Calvados.
2. By steeping fruits in alcohol, also called maceration.
The fruit is mixed with alcohol, where the alcohol ensures that the aromas and essential oils from the fruit enter the liquid. Alcohol and water are the carriers of aromas and essential substances. The liquid result is called tincture.
3 A combination of these two methods is also possible, and this produces the finest liqueur. First the fruits are drawn on alcohol,
after which the liquid is distilled under vacuum and at a low temperature to get the aromas in the final product.

Liqueur homemade
Homemade liqueur is usually simply made with cold extraction. Hot extraction requires equipment and skills. For real fine liqueurs, you therefore go to traditional distilleries such as those that still exist in the Netherlands and Belgium: Van Wees, Zuidam, Rutte, Leukenheid, De IJsvogel, Filliers, Rubbens.
Making your own can still give surprising results and is simple:
1. Choose a bottle of liquor. If you are a beginner, choose a colorless and neutral-tasting drink such as vodka, rum or brandy. Pour into a sealable bottle with a thick neck, half full.
2. Add cleaned fruit and/or nuts, spices, etc. and let it steep for a few weeks.
3. Sieve or filter using a cheesecloth. Let the liquid sit for several months so that solids settle at the bottom as sediment. Pour the clear liqueur into a nice bottle. Add sugar syrup to taste.
Also read our article about itmaking your own rum pot.
The proportions of fruit-alcohol-sugar are not precise. To start with, roughly: 1 part sugar syrup, 2 parts spirits, 2-4 parts fruit. This produces a liqueur with approximately 30% alcohol.

Different terms for the cold and hot extraction of aromas and components:

The maceratorMaceration is a form of cold extraction, in which the liquid absorbs the color and aromas. Example: soaking fruit in alcohol or water. Macerating at a higher temperature, e.g. 70C, is also called digestion. English speakers call it infusion.
PercolerenThis involves (repeatedly) pouring the raw materials into a filter, usually with alcohol over herbs.
Distillation or Hot extractionHot extraction is usually applied to the peels, seeds and flowers of fruits and vegetables. Hot extraction involves soaking the raw materials in alcohol and then distilling the mixture. This is done in a vacuum and at low temperatures to get as much flavor as possible in the end product. Essential oils are also included.
InfusionWhen pouring hot water or oil, it is called an infusion. Think of tea or coffee.
DecoctionDecoction involves cooking the plant or animal material, such as when making stock.

How long to steep
Check the result daily and shake the liquid. The higher the alcohol percentage, the faster the extraction. In a cold environment the process will slow down. According to our information, there is no harm in letting products steep longer than necessary.
Reduce your base products, or increase the surface area, for faster extraction. Cut fruit with hard skins, such as pineapple or figs, into pieces. Chop nuts and seeds. Peel citrus fruit and cut away the white part. If possible, brush the fruit thoroughly to wash off any pesticides. Cut the vanilla bean lengthwise.
Spices, cocoa powder: 1 day – 1 week
Coffee beans (coarsely ground): 15 minutes, the longer the bitterer
Tea leaves (green or black): 12 hours
Fruit: 1-2 weeks
Berries, vanilla bean and dried fruit: 1 week – 1 month
Citrus fruit peels, ginger, chili pepper, lemongrass: 2 weeks – 1 month
Nuts, cocoa beans and seeds: 2 weeks – 1 month

Sugar syrup
Because granulated sugar dissolves slowly and sinks to the bottom, it is more convenient to make sugar syrup first. Boil 500 grams of sugar with a cup of water (200-250ml) and possibly 10ml lemon juice over a low heat. Let it simmer for 20 minutes and then let it cool. The lemon juice ensures that the sugar is converted into invert sugar, which makes the sugar syrup less likely to crystallize during storage.
Read about other types of sugar here.

Liqueurs can be stored for years due to their high alcohol percentage. Creme de cassis usually has a lower percentage and has a shorter shelf life. Creams, liqueurs with cream, in theory have a shorter shelf life. Keep it refrigerated after opening.

Ratafia is an alcoholic drink originally from Catalonia (Roussillon in France and Spain) that is drunk as an aperitif. Originally, the term referred to any drink consumed during the ratification of an agreement or treaty. Later the drink was also made in other regions.
Ratafia is made by adding sugar, spices and alcohol to grape must (sometimes also must from other fruits). The addition of alcohol stops the fermentation process, so not all sugars are converted. The ratafia therefore remains sweet in taste. The percentage of alcohol in Ratafia is between 16 and 22%.
Most ratafias are not widely sold. There are two with an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée; the Ratafia de Champagne and the Ratafia de Bourgogne.
The Ratafia de Champagne is made with grapes from champagne cultivation, to which a neutral-tasting alcohol is added. The best Ratafia de Champagne is made with Marc de Champagne. The Ratafia de Bourgogne is made with grape juice and Marc de Bourgogne.

An essence is the liquid obtained after distillation, or after reduction of a plant infusion, or after maceration. So it is another word for extract. A well-known example is vanilla essence.

The result of hot extraction by alcohol with fruit peels and other vegetable materials is called esprit. In the Netherlands, distillery A. van Wees/De Ooievaar makes dozens of different esprits. They are precious distillates with a strong concentration of aromas. They are used, among other things, in pastry.

Often 1-2 teaspoons of glycerol (also called glycerin) is added to 1 liter of liqueur to thicken it. The thick liquid is colorless, odorless and tastes sweet. For sale at drugstore, pharmacist, health food store, homebrew store.

Nuts and seeds
Some well-known liqueurs based on nuts and seeds:
Kummel (Netherlands & Germany) uses caraway seeds.
Anisette (France), Sambucca (Italy) use anise.
Malibu uses coconut pulp.
Amaretto (Italy) uses bitter almond oil and ground apricot kernels.
Noisette (France) uses green hazelnuts.
Nocino (Italy) uses green walnuts.
Madrono (Spain) uses the essential oil of walnuts with alcohol.
Almonds are used in Bombay Sapphire Gin.
In the recipes the quantities vary from 40 grams to 500 grams per liter of liqueur. If you are using a drink with a strong taste of its own, such as brandy or bourbon whiskey, you can use less. For 1 bottle of coconut liqueur (malibu) you can use the coconut from 1 coconut.

How many herbs?
The overview below gives an impression. If combined, reduce dosage.

SpicesQuantity (gram/liter)
Orange peel50-100
Lemon peel60-250
Bitter orange peel2,5-50
Star anise3-20
Bay leaves0.5-2
Black pepper2-24

Amaro means bitter in Italian. It is an herbal tea in alcohol and Amari (plural of amaro) are still popular in Italy as a digestif, or after-dinner drink. There are many brands on the market. The bitter taste is achieved by wormwood, gentian root, quinine, centaury, bitter orange peel, rhubarb, hops, cascarilla, nettles. Aroma is given by juniper, anise, coriander, hyssop, fennel, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, rosemary, lavender, caraway, chamomile, peppermint, turmeric, vanilla, lemon balm, sage, marjoram, oregano, angelica, orris root, thyme, spice calmus carrot.
'Fernet Branca' produced in Milan since 1845, contains aloe, laurel, wormwood, anise, bitter orange peel, basil, cardamom, licorice, nutmeg, peppermint and saffron.

Well-known homemade liqueurs

Limoncello recipe for 1 liter

  • 10 (organic) lemons
  • 1 bottle of vodka
  • 300 ml sugar syrup

Brush the lemons with a soft brush under the lukewarm tap and peel the lemons with a vegetable peeler.
Place the peels in a preserving jar with the vodka, close and leave for at least a week.
Filter the liquid and mix with the sugar syrup. Pour into a nice bottle.
Store the limoncello in the freezer before serving it ice cold.

Amaretto recipe for 1 liter

  • 1 bottle of vodka (or partly replaced by vieux)
  • 300 ml sugar syrup from brown caster sugar
  • 100 grams apricot kernels, chopped
  • 100 grams of almonds, optionally with skins, chopped
  • 100 grams dried apricots, cut into pieces
  • 100 grams of (dried) cherries
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • spices of your choice: cinnamon, nutmeg, fennel seeds, ...

Let the fruit and nuts steep in the vodka for 4 weeks. Shake daily. Filter it and mix with the sugar syrup.
Let it sit for a month so that the sediment settles. Pour into a nice bottle.

Creme de cassis / Kir
Creme de cassis is alcohol-based blackcurrant syrup.
The best-known application is in the Kir, an aperitif consisting of a glass of white Burgundy Aligote with a dash of creme de cassis.
Traditionally, cassis is made by soaking the berries in Eau-de-vie de Marc, a clear alcohol distilled from the lees of wine grapes.
If Marc is not available, use a similar alcohol: Italian grappa.

  • 900 g blackcurrants and 3 to 4 leaves
  • 1 clove
  • 1 cinnamon pipe of 8 cm
  • 450 g icing sugar
  • 1 liter Marc’s brandy

Mix blackcurrants, leaves, cloves, cinnamon, sugar and Eau-de-vie in a large glass jar and let the fruit macerate for 1 month.
Turn the jar regularly during the first week so that the sugar is evenly distributed.
Rub the mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl.
Filter the collected juice through a damp muslin into another bowl.
Place the syrup in attractive jars or bottles and store in a cool place.

Apricot liqueur
Recipe source: Van Gilse

  • 500 g apricots
  • 400 g Van Gilse White Candy
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 clove
  • 1 piece of mace
  • 1 l old gin
  • 1 orange peel

Wash the apricots and pat dry with kitchen paper. Halve the fruit and remove the seeds. Break approximately 5 apricot kernels with a hammer. Place the apricots layer by layer with the candy in the 2 liter preserving jar. Add the cinnamon stick, cloves, mace leaves, crushed seeds and orange peel. Pour the gin on top. The apricots should be at least 2 cm below the liquid. Close the jar tightly and let it sit for 8 to 12 weeks. Shake the jar once every fourteen days so that all the candy dissolves. Strain the liqueur through a cloth and pour into cleaned bottles. Close the bottles properly. Leave the liqueur for at least another month.
If you like it extra spicy, you can replace the gin with cognac or armagnac. The alcohol percentage of the end result will then be higher.

Chocolate peppermint liqueur
Recipe source: Van Gilse

  • 200 g white sugar
  • 50 g brown sugar
  • 1 dl water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 150 g cocoa powder
  • 4½ dl cognac
  • 1 dl crème de menthe

Bring the sugar and water to the boil in a pan. Stir in the lemon juice and let the syrup simmer for about 6 minutes. Let the syrup cool. Place the cocoa in a cleaned bottle. Add the sugar syrup, crème de menthe and cognac, close the bottle and shake well. Let the liqueur stand for about 6 weeks. Shake the jar once every fourteen days so that all the sugar dissolves. Shake the bottle well before each use.

Coffee liqueur
Recipe source: Van Gilse

  • 250 g Dark Caster Sugar
  • 750 ml water
  • 50 g ground coffee
  • 1 packet of vanilla-flavored sugar
  • 450 ml canning brandy
  • 2 glasses of cognac

Bring 250 ml of water with the caster sugar to the boil. Let it boil until the liquid becomes syrupy. Make coffee from ground coffee and 5 dl water. Mix this with sugar syrup and vanilla sugar. Allow the mixture to cool and add brandy and cognac. Pour the liqueur into a cleaned bottle. Close the bottle tightly. This liqueur is ready to drink.


  • 700 gram morellen
  • 700 mlalcohol 40%
  • 200grams of sugar
  • 1 amandelpit
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 20 coriander seeds

Destem and pit the fruits.
Mash a quarter of the kernels finely and macerate them separately in a jar in some alcohol for 1 month with the almond kernel.
Place the morello cherries with the sugar, alcohol and herbs in a jar and later add the kernel extract.
Allow the liqueur to mature for a few more weeks.
Strain everything and put it in the bottle.

Nut liqueur
Recipe source: Van Gilse

  • 100 g peeled, fresh, wet walnuts
  • 200 g Van Gilse Brown Candy
  • 5 dl cognac
  • ½ cinnamon stick

Immerse the nuts in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain and remove all skins. The skins would make the liqueur bitter. Place the white meat of the nuts in a preserving jar with the candy, cognac and cinnamon stick.
Shake the jar once every fourteen days so that all the candy dissolves. Strain the liqueur through a cloth and pour into cleaned bottles. Close the bottles properly. The liqueur is ready to drink.

Dutch liqueurs
We collected the following information from the internet:

Aever & Ooi(Oats and Hay)
Liqueur from Zeeland with a strong aniseed flavour.

Small inconvenience
Herbal liqueur from Hoorn. 30% almond liqueur with cinnamon and herbs. Schermer Distillers.

From Drenthe, with brandy, cardamon seeds, lemon and saffron.

Anisette(Anise liqueur)
20 gr anium
1 sticks of cinnamon
1 gr foil
10 g ground coriander
.1 clove
1 apple juice
0,4 ltr alcohol (96%)
0.4 ltr flat spring water
300 grams of sugar
Add the herbs and the juice of 1 orange together with the alcohol in a jar and close it. Allow to macerate for 1 month. Boil the sugar in the water gently for about ten minutes (while stirring). This is called “inverting” sugars. Let cool. After the waiting time, filter the alcohol until it is pure. Add 3 teaspoons of glycerin. Add the sugar syrup and store it in a nice closed bottle for at least 1 month.

Be(e)renburg is a herbal Dutch (Frisian/Groningen) distilled drink with an alcohol content of around 30%.
If the herbs are drawn from gin, it is called Berenburg. However, if the herbs are steeped in brandy, it is a herbal bitter or herbal liqueur.
The original Beerenburg (with a capital letter, two e's in the first syllable and a g at the end) was made in the early 17th century by Amsterdam gin distillers who used a secret herb mixture from the herb trader Hendrik Beerenburg. This had a shop on the Amsterdam Stromarkt near the Haarlemmersluis. These herbal packets became especially popular among skippers, who attributed a beneficial effect to the drink brewed from the herbs. It is not surprising that several pharmacists started making their own brew.
Several dozen different herbs may be used for the drink. Mentioned are centaury, licorice, sandalwood, gentian root, bay leaf and juniper. Local variants of Beerenburg soon emerged, which were not allowed to use this name. That is why various spelling variations on the name Beerenburg have arisen, such as Berenburg and Berenburger.

Beerenburg + Coffee
A Frisian specialty with Beerenburg is Dockum coffee.
Pharisäer is coffee with a dash of rum and topped with whipped cream. The hot alcoholic drink is a regional specialty of North Friesland, a district in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein.
also called: Sailor hat.
For 4 glasses of Dockumer coffee cup
8 teaspoons brown caster sugar
4 shot glasses Sonnema Berenburg
5 deciliters of fresh hot coffee
1½ decilitres of whipped cream
2 teaspoons of sugar
fine brown candy dust
Place the brown caster sugar in the glasses. Add the bearburg. Then pour the hot coffee on top and stir everything well. Beat the whipped cream with the sugar until semi-stiff and let the whipped cream run over the convex side and a spoon onto the coffee.

Bitter consolation
Unpleasantly surprised ladies overcome with sorrow were advised by well-meaning housemates to take 'enlightening' stimuli in the form of this liqueur.
Made from the finest roasted wine, exquisite bitters, the spirit of all types of Caribbean orange apples and bourbon. Bitter in the mouth, makes the heart healthy.

Bitter cookies
This liqueur is made from fine almonds and an esprit of persico kernels, drawn from fresh peaches and bitter almond esprit. After a number of happy years, people drank this liqueur to wash away bitter memories on later 'holidays'. But: after all, fooling around means telling the truth.
Bride's Tears Bride's Tears is a drink that is drunk at the wedding, but should also be served by a smart woman every time she does not like something. In doing so, she reminds her groom of the wedding day and the promises he made while drinking the bridal tears.

Forest walk
A recently developed cream liqueur of 15% alcohol with tropical ingredients.
Self-mixers do it with equal parts pina colada, cream, pisang ambon and malibu.

A Gelderland wedding drink (recipe
The word cassia here refers to cassis, and has nothing to do with the cinnamon-like cassia, or cassia blossom.
500 g cleaned blackcurrants
375 g cleaned raspberries
5 dl sugar syrup
1 l brandy
Place the cleaned fruits with sugar syrup and brandy in a 2½ liter bottle and leave for 8 days. Shake the bottle every day. Strain the liqueur through a cloth and pour into cleaned bottles. Close the bottles properly. Let the cassia ripen for a few more weeks.

Catz elixir
A native bitter that has completely stood the test of time is the traditional Catz Elixer, 'the purest and healthiest stomach bitter in the world'.
This table bitter is still quite well known. In addition to Catz Elixer, Catz is the only one in the Netherlands that still produces Red and Green Pommeranz and also carries Angostura Bitters in its own range. In addition to well-known bitters such as orange bitters, which are still made in the Netherlands and England (Gordon's), and stomach bitters, Angostura Bitters is undoubtedly the elixir that claims the greatest international fame.

Curaçao was developed and marketed as 'Blue Curaçao' in the 18th century by the Amsterdam distiller Bols. Lucas Bols was a VOC shareholder and obtained the necessary components from the then colonies.
The liqueur has also been made in Landhuis Chobolobo on the island of Curaçao since 1896. An important ingredient of Curaçao is the laraha, a sour orange from Curaçao. In Chobololo, to prevent oxidation, the laraha is cut open with a wooden knife. After preparing this liqueur, the bottles are filled manually and corked.
The liqueur is available in red, green, yellow, blue, orange and colorless. The best known variety is blue curaçao. The liqueur is originally colorless, the tinted liqueurs owe their color to dyes. That of blue curaçao is patent blue V (E131). All colors of Curaçao basically have the same taste, although the orange variant of Bols, for example, is drier.

Danzig gold water
Danziger Goldwasser (German, literally Gold Water from Danzig) is a gold liqueur with herbs that was originally produced by the company Der Lachs zu Danzig. Danziger Goldwasser was mainly known for the fact that particles of gold leaf were mixed into the drink. The Der Lachs company was founded in 1598 by Dutch immigrant Ambrosius Vermollen.
Although Danziger Goldwasser can still be purchased in that present-day Polish city of Gdańsk, the spirit has not been distilled locally since the end of World War II. The original Der Lachs brand is now produced by the German company Hardenberg-Wilthen AG in Nörten-Hardenberg.

3x 3 = 9, everyone sings their own song, an ancient saying to get rid of a lot of nonsense.
In other words:
a perfect drink to quickly change the minds of depressed and sad people.
And to deal with those people who always have something to say about others.
As seasonings, all kinds of fruits from the Leeward and Leeward Islands, as well as elixirs such as angostura, are used in that region.

My aunt's water
A drink of Dutch cherries and Belgian cherries, drawn in brandy, 1 year old infusion of fresh peaches in eau de vie, the juice of fresh raspberries, mixed with eau de vie de framboise and Zuger Kirsch.

Els La Vera, also simply called Els, Elske, Aels or Aelske, is a herbal bitter from Dutch Limburg.
In 1821 G.J.H. started Hennekens is a distillery on the Genbroek estate in Beek. In 1828 it moved to the center of Beek. Els La Vera is based on an almost two-centuries-old family recipe. The Hennekens family and the related Sangers family remained active until 1980, after which the rights to the herb bitter brand were taken over by the Amsterdam gin producer Lucas Bols, causing production to disappear from Limburg.
The drink contains wormwood, which gives it a bitter taste. It also contains star anise. The alcohol percentage is 34%.
Els La Vera, in addition to coffee, is an essential ingredient for the preparation of a Limburg coffee.

Fladderak, also written as fladderac, is a typical Groningen spirit. The liqueur is made with lemon, cinnamon, anise and cloves, among other things.
Fladderak is named after the family name of a Groningen tax collector from Onderdendam, but nowadays it is made by Hooghoudt in the city of Groningen under the name Hoogholtje Fladderak, since 2010 under the name: Hooghoudt Liqueur Fladderak, the unique flavor of the city of Groningen. The liqueur is distilled according to a secret recipe from the Hooghoudt family, which originated at the end of the nineteenth century.
However, the drink is hardly consumed. The taste is very specific due to the cinnamon. When the manufacturer announced in 1997 that it wanted to stop production, a veritable mini boom took place. Many, especially old and former Groningen residents, wanted to taste it again. This (slightly) increased demand has prevented the demise of the product. The fact that it is marketed as a regional product also helped.

  • 150 grams of sugar
  • 2 lemons (scrubbed)
  • 1/2 liter brandy
  • spices to your liking

Peel the lemons thinly, do not include the white. Squeeze them and heat the juice, dissolve the sugar in it. Stir together the syrup, lemon peels and brandy and pour into a glass jar. Wait at least two weeks and strain before use.

Raspberry brandy/ raspberry liqueur
Mix 500 grams of raspberries, 500 ml of brandy and 200 grams of sugar.
Let it steep for a few weeks, then strain and pour into a clean bottle.

Gold liquor(Goldwasser)
Gold liqueur is a transparent liqueur that is made in different variants in different countries. Most have a sweet taste of cinnamon and citrus fruit. Flakes of 22- to 24-carat gold leaf float in this drink. Since these flakes are extremely thin, you cannot taste them or barely perceive them in the mouth.
Other names for this drink are Goldwasser and Gold Liqueur. Variants on the gold liqueur are Danziger Goldwasser and Goldstrike. “Bruidstranen” is a Dutch nickname that was coined by certain producers and to which a tradition is attached.

Hail and thunder
Brandy with anise and fennel, from the Northern Netherlands.

Hansel in the cellar
Peel of Spanish and Sicilian lemons, esprit distilled from the finest cherries, bourbon sticks, cardamom, cinnamon and Bulgarian roses.
Hansje in the cellar was drunk from a special goblet when the pregnancy turned out to be a fact. Family and friends were invited to this occasion.

Fifty fifty
Half and half. A beautiful non-sweet and actually dry liqueur. Perfect as an aperitif, ideal after dinner with coffee or chocolate.
Originated around 1880 due to incorrect execution of a work assignment. The assignment was to mix fine Triple sec with a three-year-old wine brandy to make Oranje Curacao.
A product that looked like cognac was added by mistake. It was a Longae Vitae, a particularly bitter one, which was only used in good distilleries to make liqueur. Good for the stomach and intestines, which are immediately brought to order, a kind of stomach bitter, so to speak.
The initial shock turned into enthusiasm when the typical bitter, pleasant taste was experienced through the mouth. Half and half became a new product.

Heaven on earth
It really is as if an angel is peeing on your tongue.
This exceptionally fine Jordanian liqueur is prepared from brandy, sugars, palm sugar and honey.
Special bitters made from aged rum.
Various eaux de vie, the very best cocoa couverture, various types of cherries and blossoms.
The noblest types of nuts including almonds.
It couldn't be more heavenly.
A liquid cherry bonbon. Separately after Christmas dinner.

Shirt lights up
Haiti and Jacmel peels, citerij made from dry and wet lemon peels and some 'binding flavors' form the ingredients of this age-old recipe.
In the days of sailing shipping, this drink was used as a remedy for intestinal disorders.
It made it easier to go to the toilet. It was also drunk to suppress the nerves of a first meeting.
On English ships people drank something similar, the Limey Juice. That's where the swear word for the English comes from: limeys..

The longer the better
High-quality cognac, the must of unfermented grapes, licorice, coriander, lovage, Indian nails, cinnamon and horseradish determine the taste of this spicy liqueur. A drink for people in love who want nothing more than to keep up with the times and stay together.

Hopping oil
Huppelolie is a refined herbal bitter made from the finest ingredients,
Not comparable to Hendric van Beerenburg from Van Wees, Huppelolie has a fuller taste and is sweeter.

Missy in green
A liqueur made from peels of various types of citrus fruits, Aalst buds, star anise flowers and peppermint leaves.
The mutual flavor connections are created through herbs, including cinnamon. The drink is drunk by 'innocents'.

Juttertje is a herbal bitter from the Wadden Island of Texel. The herbal bitters contain 30% alcohol and are a registered trademark of De Wit Dranken BV in Den Burg. The drink can be drunk neat, but can also be used in cola or in/along with coffee. Juttertje should not be confused with the Terschelling variant Schylger Jutters-Bitter.

Cherry liqueur
Recipe from Gilse

  • 200 g firm cherries, pitted
  • 200 g white candy sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole clove
  • ½ orange peel
  • 1 l brandy

Wash the cherries, dry them and pit them. This can easily be done with a cherry pitter, but you can also halve them and scoop out the pit with a small teaspoon. Smash a few cleaned cherry stones. Place this together with the candy, cherries, cinnamon stick and cloves in a 1½ liter preserving jar. Pour the brandy on this. The cherries should be at least 2 cm below the liquid.
Close the jar tightly and let it sit in a cool, dark place for 6 to 8 weeks. Shake the jar every two weeks so that all the candy dissolves.
Strain the liqueur through a cloth and pour it into spotless bottles. Let the drink continue to flavor in the bottle for at least a month.

Coriander liqueur

  • 15 grams coriander seeds
  • 5 grams of pipe cinnamon
  • 4 cloves
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 1 liter of brandy
  • 200 grams of granulated sugar

Place coriander seeds, cinnamon sticks, cloves and juniper berries in a preserving bottle.
Add the brandy, close the bottle and leave in a cool, dark place for about 6 weeks.
Shake occasionally.
Now dissolve the sugar in 1 dl of water over low heat.
Let the syrup cool and add it to the brandy.
Strain the drink and transfer it to bottles with a screw cap.
Let the liqueur stand for at least 3 months before use.

Anise or anisette is a liqueur made from the seeds and buds of the anise plant. Maternity anise is, as the name suggests, a maternity drink. The young mother was given the drink during childbirth.
Kraa anise is in fact a liquid, alcoholic variant of the rusk with mice. Originally – around the seventeenth century – it was given by the nurse to the maternity woman immediately after childbirth. At the time, anise had the reputation that it could quickly return the uterus to its original size after birth, and it was also said to exorcise evil spirits (see also witch's herb).
Poppy anise is made from seeds and buds of the anise plant. Other beneficial ingredients included valerian, chamomile, star anise and the anesthetic wormwood. An effective way to calm a tired maternity woman... The very first anisette may have had a soothing effect, but it did not taste good. The recipe was later adjusted and the maternity visitors also received a glass. Pretzels are served with maternity anise, as a symbol of eternal life as they have no end.
Anisette cannot be made yourself, at least not easily, as it must be fired. It is still for sale here and there.

Herbal bitters
A bitter (also herbal bitter or a glass of bitter) is gin or brandy in which a mixture of herbs has steeped. The drink contains less than 100 grams of sugar per liter, otherwise it is called a herbal liqueur.

Kummel has caraway seed as a flavoring agent. This seed has been used as a medicinal herb and stimulant for more than 2,000 years. This is how this colorless liqueur gets its name. Kummel is served after the meal.

Fifteen minutes after five
The spirit of Pommeranz apples, infusion of fresh oranges and the juice of lemons mixed with brandy.
This liqueur was served in every cafe during drinks hour and thus owes its name.

Mowing the shelves
Flemish liqueur served with pregnancy news.

Mandarine is made from a distillate of mandarin peels. The color is orange-red.

Navel exposed
Originally drunk at family gatherings where an impending birth was announced.
Or during conversations about the health status of the expectant mother, and of course during childbirth. Made from real curaçao peels, Sicilian lemon, bitter orange peels, the juice of fresh limes, bourbon, caraway seeds and the like.

Everything that is distilled or distilled is completely transparent, white, colorless when it comes off the kettle as spirit. That is why Curaçao was initially white. Over the centuries, different types of esprits with color have emerged. This almost always had to do with the purpose for which it was used. For example for co*cktails. Many varieties were also colored, because the nature of the liqueur and especially the preparation method, such as perculation (not distillation), gave a color. Orange Curaçao was colored orange with brandy aged for years and drunk as a festive drink. The Dutch have been making Curaçao from oranges from Curaçao for centuries. At the moment, apples from Curaçao are very rare, and therefore very expensive. However, many different types of orange varieties and the wild Pomeranz apple grow in the Caribbean, which offer a good alternative. In addition, both bitter and sweet Sevilles and Cuban oranges. A total of 7 different types are used, which vary considerably in taste and quality. This diversity creates the challenge every time to achieve a complex, balanced taste. The result is a full, round, intense orange flavor.

Orange bitters
Ingredients for 1 liter:

  • 4 grams of alantcarrot
  • 1 gram anise seed
  • 3 gram kalmoes
  • 1 gram cardamom
  • 5 pieces orange peels (without white) or
  • 10 pieces of mandarin peels (without white) or a combination of these
  • 2 grams dried lemon peel (without white)
  • 6 pieces lemon seeds, crushed in a mortar
  • 5 grams of lemon juice
  • 255 ml alcohol of 94%
  • 70 grams of white candy sugar or less as needed
  • Add ± 700 ml of water to 1 liter

Wash the citrus fruit and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Then peel thinly (no white), if necessary let it dry on kitchen paper near the heater. Break the cardamom, calamus and lemon seeds into coarse pieces (mortar) and place in a jar together with the other ingredients, except the sugar. Add alcohol and water. After three weeks of steeping (macerating) in a fairly warm place (shaking twice a day), filter through a sieve with a linen cloth (carefully squeeze the cloth). Place the collected liquid in a cool place for two days and then carefully filter it through a coffee filter. Then add the sugar as needed and, if necessary, top up with water up to one liter. Now store the liqueur in a cool place for three weeks and then carefully siphon off a thin layer of sediment. It is possible to add a larger amount of sugar to disguise the bitter taste. If necessary, siphon again fourteen days later.

Oudenbosch doll

Parrot soup
A special liqueur distilled from almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, chestnuts and peanuts. The drink has the color of weak tea and owes its name to the fact that enthusiasts wanted to disguise the fact that they were drinking alcohol.

Perfect love
Perfect love is said to be the result of drinking this Old Dutch liqueur during conflicts that threaten to disrupt the love relationship. Given its composition, this liqueur belongs to the so-called fantasy liqueurs.
The liqueur is made from Curaçao peels, vanilla pods, almonds and raisins. The raw materials are processed by infusion, distillation, percolation and maceration in alcohol with the addition of sugar syrup. The drink is usually lilac or purple-red and is flavored with violet aroma.
It is a special exotic liqueur, which was also popular among women (and still is to a limited extent) because of its sweet taste. After the 1940-1945 World War, interest in it decreased noticeably. After the arrival of premixes, interest in them declined even further. Now still nice as a gift with a story, especially around Valentine's Day. Can be used pure or as a seasoning in co*cktails and long drinks.

Peppermint liqueur

  • 200-300 grams of sugar
  • 50 grams of fresh mint leaves or 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint essential oil
  • 1 bottle of vodka
  • 4-6 drops green food coloring (optional)

Orange liqueur

Plum prick in
A delicious liqueur of Rhein plums and green claude, combined in taste with honey and bourbon sticks.

Rose without thorns
A liqueur made from roses. A difficult process, because the taste quickly becomes pungent. But when made correctly, the 4 different types of roses give a very nice taste.

Haddock brine(Vlaardingen)
Haddock brine is a strong, spiced alcoholic drink that can be classified as herbal bitters. The drink contains 35% alcohol. It is therefore not a saline solution in which haddock is preserved, as the name suggests. The drink was originally mainly drunk by fishermen from Vlaardingen to protect themselves from the cold when they went fishing at the Dogger Bank.
Originally (before 1900) the fishermen made the drink themselves from brandy and spices, such as cinnamon and nutmeg. The drink was then left to steep for a long time (at least 6 weeks) in stone steeping pots in the galley. In the infusion pots the spices release their aroma and flavor to the brandy. After adding sugar to the extract, the haddock brine is ready. The name seems to have originated as a cover name for the drink, which fishermen used to conceal from their wives that it was spirits.
Nowadays, haddock brine is only distilled by the H van Toor & Jzn distillery in Vlaardingen.

Lemon gin

Schrobbelèr is a Tilburg liqueur. At 21.5%, it has a slightly lower alcohol content than most herbal bitters and is therefore relatively sweet. The drink is sold in a stone jar and is drunk cool from its own glass, a tall and narrow chalice that is larger than a Jägermeister glass.
Schrobbelèr was created in 1973 when the Tilburg entrepreneur and liqueur enthusiast Jan Wassing started experimenting with a drink with a reduced alcohol content that had to be suitable for his weak stomach. The result turned out to be a hit at the home bar that he had baptized “Bij de schrobbelaar”. The drink is now distilled at the Loven business park in Tilburg by the Eindhoven company Schrobbeler BV, without a dash on the last syllable. The drink is mainly consumed during carnival.
The name is taken from a profession in the textile industry, the scrubber. This almost forgotten profession reflects the centuries-long tradition that gave Tilburg the nickname Wolstad: the scrubber fed the newly dyed wool into the scrubbing mill, which scrubbed the fibers clean with brushes and straightened them slightly. , a process similar to carding that is done before dyeing. After scrubbing, the fibers went to the pre-spinning machine. The scrubber was an unskilled, low-paid worker. To the extent that the profession still exists, it is a supervisory position in the mechanical processing of wool.
Another well-known Tilburg herbal liqueur (with a slightly higher alcohol percentage) is Peerke's Nat.

Blackthorn gin
Blackthorn fruit is also used for making Slivovich.
English: Sloe Gin
Fr: Prunelle (with fine champagne)
Spanish: Patxaran is a liqueur based on anise and sloe berries
The blackthorn is a wild plum species that also occurs in our region.
It grows on small trees or dense shrubs usually found in neglected hedgerows.
The deep blue fruits are 1 to 2 cm in diameter and have such a bitter taste that they are inedible fresh.
In England they are used to flavor gin.
The sloe gins are harvested in October and the first sloe gin can be drunk around Christmas.
In traditional recipes, the amount of sugar varies from a few tablespoons to 1/2 kg per kg of fruit.

  • 500 g sloes
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 bottle (750 ml) gin or young jenever
  • 1 to 2 bitter almonds.

In a 1 liter jar, mix the sloes with the sugar, gin or jenever and the almonds and store the mixture in a cool, dark place for 2 to 6 months.
During the first weeks, the jar must be shaken at least once a week to distribute the sugar evenly.
Filter the liquid through a sieve lined with a double layer of damp muslin and collect it in a bowl.
Discard all solids.
Pour the sloe gin through a funnel into a bottle with a screw cap or close with a cork.
The drink will last indefinitely.

Steernties(Drentse anise liqueur)

  • 1 bottle of brandy
  • 15 grams of star anise
  • 5 threads of saffron
  • 400 grams of sugar

Shake regularly. Filter after 4 weeks.

Tip from Bootz
Orange liqueur

Triple sec(Curaçao)
Orange liqueur

Venus oil
Language use and lifestyles were very different at the time of the VOC than they are today. Venus oil was a common drink in some coastal regions of China and was used as a stimulant.
Amsterdam liqueur distillers, following the example of these Chinese, prepared a similar product at their own discretion.
The raw materials came from the Far East: cloves, cardamon, fragrant flowers, pomegranate, etc.

Do not forget about me
Melancholy at the Schreierstoren: women and other loved ones said goodbye to the seafarers and as a souvenir they gave a 'bottled anchor' with the label 'Forget me not'.
The sailor was supposed to open the bottle in the first port far from home.
A very fragrant, longea vitea liqueur.
The smell of well-cared for is dominated by the aroma of violins and the alcohols that were always on board at that time: rum and cognac.
The many types of kernels, including peaches and almonds, and an addition of distilled lavender give this liqueur its special character.

LeaverLeave disputes

Perfect happiness
This liqueur was drunk by 'people of both stripes' after great excitement.
Prepared from many types of seeds, extracts and flowers and, very special, fermented bourbon vanilla and nuts.

The liqueur was sold in other countries besides the Netherlands. Initially under the same name in its own language, later and now under a fantasy brand name, such as a well-known Scottish liqueur.
Besides the very old genever that Van Wees uses as 'spirit', the ingredient honey is clearly recognizable.
The distinct aroma is enhanced by the herbs coriander and juniper, which are normally never used in liqueur.

Wadwater liqueur
The Hooghoudt Wadwater is a rum with beautiful full flavors of apricot and vanilla. A Dutch-made rum that is often confused with a liqueur, this rum is often sought after among liqueurs due to its soft and slightly syrupy texture.

Well-known foreign liqueurs

Benedictine 43%
Ingredients for 1 liter: 1 gram angelica root, 1 gram amica flowers, 2 grams mugwort, 1 gram lemon balm, 2 grams calamus, 0.25 grams cinnamon stick, 5 grams cardamom, 1 gram coriander, 0.25 grams cloves, 1 gram lime blossom, 0 , 25 grams of nutmeg, 2 grams of peppermint, 0.1 gram of saffron, 4 leaves of verveine (lemon verbena), 15 ml of glycerin, 250 grams of sugar, 460 ml of alcohol at 94 AV%, ± 375 ml of water, make up to 1 liter.
Preparation: put the crushed herbs (mortar or blender) in a jar and add the alcohol and water. After macerating for 14 days in a moderately warm place, filter through a paper filter. Press the herbs lightly into the filter. Then measure the volume and alcohol content of the filtrate, which should be 835 ml of almost 52 AV%. correct if necessary. Then add the sugar and glycerin and shake until the sugar has dissolved.
The original bénédictine contains 350 grams of sugar per liter and is therefore even sweeter. If you have a sweet tooth then you should definitely try this out, the amount of water to be added is approximately 315 ml. The intermediate measurement of volume and alcohol percentage for the sugar and glycerin addition should be 775 ml of almost 56 AV%.

Campari1 L
Ingredients: 10 g regular orange peel (unsprayed and as little white as possible), 2 g cinnamon, 2.5 g angelica (angelica), 2 g anise, 3 cloves, 0.5 g gentian, 1 g calamus root, 4 juniper berries, 0, 65 liters of Vodka or Brandy, juice of ½ grapefruit, 75 grams of sugar (or adjusted to your own taste). Red wine.
Preparation: Gently grind or crush the herbs flatter and finer and add them to a jar or bottle together with the Vodka or Brandy. Let it steep for 2 weeks at room temperature. Shake every now and then. After maceration, filter the decoction through a double coffee filter. Dissolve 75 g of sugar in this mixture, add grapefruit juice and pour everything into a 1 liter bottle. Fill with red wine up to 1 liter. Can be used immediately. However, further ripening improves the taste. (Adjust sugar to your own taste needs).

Chartreuse – Yellow 38.4 OFF%
Ingredients for 1 liter: 0.2 gram ambret seed, 0.5 gram angelica root, 0.2 gram amica flowers, 0.15 gram cinnamon stick, 0.2 gram cardamom (the peeled kernels), 0.2 gram caraway seed, 0.15 gram saffron, 1 gram star anise, 0.1 gram thyme, 0.5 gram fennel seeds, 300 ml alcohol of ± 90 AV%, 700 cl sugar syrup from 450 ml water and 300 grams of sugar.
Preparation: let the herbs macerate in the alcohol for at least three days. Then filter through a cloth then through a paper filter (coffee filter). Then add the cooled syrup to make 1 liter. Mix the syrup and alcohol well and then let it mature for another month.

Chartreuse – Green40% OFF
Ingredients for 1 liter: 3 grams of angelica root, 0.2 grams of anise seed, 1 gram of mugwort, 4 grams of lemon balm, 3 grams of pine tops, 0.1 gram of mace, 1 gram of hyssop, 0.25 grams of cardamom, 10 grams of coriander, 0.25 gram cloves, 1 gram lavender flowers, 1 gram mint, 1 gram poplar buds, 0.1 gram saffron, green food coloring, 15 ml glycerine, 400 grams sugar, 425 ml alcohol of 94 AV%,
± 320 ml water, make up to 1 liter
Preparation: grind the herbs in a mortar or blender and put them in a jar, add the alcohol and water. After macerating for 10 days in a moderately warm place, it can be filtered through a paper filter (coffee filter). Press the herbs lightly into the filter. Then measure the volume and alcohol content of the filtrate, this should be 745 ml of almost 54 AV%, correct if necessary. After this, add the sugar and glycerin and shake until the sugar has dissolved. If you find the liqueur too sweet, try it with 200 grams of sugar per liter. The amount of water to be added will then be ± 440 ml.


  • anise 10 grams
  • star anise 5 grams
  • fennel seeds 2 grams
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • alcohol 80% 0,5 liter
  • water 0,5 liter
  • sugar to taste

Crush all the herbs in a mortar and add the alcohol.
Let this macerate for a week in a jar in a warm place, shaking occasionally.
Add the water and distill everything until 0.5 liter is released.
Now measure the alcohol content and add enough sugar water until the alcohol content is 40% and the sugar content is about 10 to 15%.
If the liquid remains cloudy, add some strong alcohol until it becomes clear.

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Make your own liqueur « Recipes and cooking tips for classic dishes and ingredients (2024)


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