Saturday, August 17, 2013

Italian Liqueurs

(Part 5 of my Wine Education.  I saved the best for last.)

Liqueurs, or cordials, are highly flavored, sweetened wines served as after-dinner drinks.  They are ordinarily served at room temperature in very small liqueur glasses, for a little of them goes a long way.  Italians feel that a liqueur after a heavy meal aids the digestion.  Whether it does or not, the custom of sitting with friends, talking quietly, and sipping a fragrant liquore is without doubt a pleasantly relaxing way to end a good dinner.

Anisette:  Colorless, with an anise flavor.  Use it to flavor icings and cookies.  Sometimes added to highballs, pickles, frappes, and flips.

Caffe Sport:  Coffee colored and coffee flavored.  Use it in icings and as a sauce over ice cream and puddings.

Cream de Menthe:  Green or white, with a peppermint flavor.  Use it in sour mixed drinks, frappes, cocktails and icings, or as a sauce for ice cream and puddings.

Grappa:  Grape flavored, with a brandy base.

Maraschino:  Red, cherry-flavored liqueur.  Use it in icings, soufflés, and sour drinks.

Strega:  Yellow, with an orange flavor.  May be added to caffe espresso, or used in aromatic drinks, icings, and cake fillings.

Rosolio:  Ruby colored, with a very sweet rose flavor.  Made from the petals of fresh roses.  Use it to flavor sour drinks, cake fillings, icings, and as a sauce over ice cream.  Try a very little of it in iced tea.
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