Liqueurs are sweetened spirits, flavoured with fruits, herbs, spices, chocolate, coffee, cream, etc. They must have at least 2.5 percent sugar content and many have more than 35 per cent sugar. Confusion can emerge when liqueurs and spirits have similar names. For instance there is a sweetened apricot brandy – which is a liqueur. But there is also an unsweetened apricot brandy – which is a spirit. If it is sweetened, it is a liqueur.
All liqueurs start with a spirit base, the majority with pure, clear neutral-grain alcohol, to which flavours are added, but many start with the flavouring of a particular spirit, such as Domaine de Canton French Ginger Liqueur (cognac). Popular as after-dinner refreshments, liqueurs are now used in shooters, with mixes and as important components of many well-known cocktails, or simply over ice.