Cordial Possibilities

Cordial Possibilities

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As major ingredients in modern mixology,
cordials & liqueurs provide a wealth of merchandising opportunities for retailers.

By Robert Plotkin

Liqueurs have been instrumental in the ongoing renaissance of the cocktail. With few exceptions, they’re the essential flavor components in most great cocktails and specialty drinks, making them franchise players in modern mixology. The Margarita, Cosmopolitan, Kamikaze, Long Island Iced Tea, Black Russian, B-52, and Mai Tai are among a long list of popular drinks dependent on liqueurs for their identity.

The truth of the matter is that liqueurs are in style any time, at any occasion and in any season. All self-respecting bars — commercial or otherwise — must have a full complement of liqueurs and cordials at the ready if they are to satisfy the wants of parched partygoers.

So, if you’re used to liqueurs gathering dust on the shelves, consider adopting a marketing approach based on emphasizing their diverse range of uses. Often social hosts are looking to make a few special cocktails for a party, or occasion, but lack familiarity with the process. A few timely suggestions may make all the difference.


To that end, here is a description of popular categories of drinks, cocktails and elixirs that you can create at home with liqueurs.

* FRAPPéS — During the Roaring ’20s, frappés were the rage and their ability to draw a crowd hasn’t diminished. A frappé is a mixed drink served over a mound of crushed ice in a champagne saucer or cocktail glass. Essentially it’s a snow cone with pizzazz. Frappés were literally made to showcase liqueurs. For instance, the Green Hooter is made with equal parts of Midori, light rum, orange and pineapple juice, while the Coffee Marnier Frappé features equal parts of Kahlîºa, Grand Marnier and orange juice. For a special twist, prepare in advance a number of frappés and place them in a freezer. A short while later the surface of the ice will form a translucent crust and freeze the short straw in place. It adds the perfect touch.

* ICED COFFEES — There is a vast array of liqueurs that marry beautifully with the robust flavor of coffee. Start with iced versions of known favorites like the Keoki Coffee (Kahlîºa, crî¨me de cacao and brandy) or Spanish Coffee (crî¨me de banana and light rum). Or ice down a Toasted Almond Café (Kahlîºa and Amaretto), Abbey Road (Chambord, Kahlîºa and Amaretto) or Caribbean Dream (Jamaican rum, crî¨me de cacao and banana liqueur). If the drink is good hot, it’ll be delicious cold.

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Frappé (made with Baileys), Vanilla Truffle (made with Carolans
Irish Cream), and Fuzzy Navel (made with DeKuyper Peachtree).

Another creative option to consider is a Mocha Float. Take a scoop of ice cream and drop it into the bottom of a beer mug or thick insulated glass. Pour iced coffee onto the center of the ice cream until the glass is half full, add ice and a dollop of whipped cream. Mix in some Baileys, Kahlîºa and Frangelico, for example, to make a Mocha Jamocha Float. The creative limits are bounded only by the liqueurs you have on hand.

* FROZEN CAPPUCCINOS — Blended cappuccino drinks are tall, cool and delicious. For example, a frozen Mudslide Cappuccino features Baileys Irish Cream and Kahlîºa. For an indulgent variation, substitute French vanilla ice cream and Frangelico. Blend Tia Maria and Chambord into an ice cream cappuccino for a raspberry-flavored specialty, or Kahlîºa and Amaretto to make a frozen variation of the Toasted Almond. Equally tempting are the Sovereignty, which features equal parts of Chambord, Tia Maria and crî¨me de cacao, and Le Bistro, which is made with Benedictine D.O.M., Brandy and a float of Disaronno Amaretto.

* HOT COFFEE DRINKS — Heat is one of a liqueur’s best friends. Take, for example, the Abbey Road, a delicious blend of Chambord, Starbuck’s Coffee Liqueur, Amaretto and coffee; Millionaire’s Coffee, equal parts of Kahlîºa, Baileys or Carolans Irish Cream, Frangelico, Grand Marnier and coffee; and the Foreign Legion, a cappuccino made with Benedictine, Frangelico, Disaronno Amaretto and Brandy. Consider also the Blueberry Tea, a classy combination of Grand Marnier, Amaretto and hot tea, and the Irish Tea, made with Irish Mist, Irish whiskey and tea. Popular also is mixing liqueurs with cocoa, such as combining Baileys or Carolans Irish Cream and crî¨me de banana to make the Jungle Milk, and Godiva, crî¨me de menthe and brandy to make the Carte Blanche.


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