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Issue 47 - Liqueurs challenge the old order

Whisky Magazine Issue 47
April 2005


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Liqueurs challenge the old order

Not all liqueurs are over sweet and unpalatable. And some should even justify a place in your drinking repertoire. Ian Buxton reports

Liqueurs – love them or hate them, no genuine whisky lover would let them pass their lips. Right? Well, wrong actually. In the course of researching this article I've had to think again and, if not exactly converted, I've been partly won over by their honeyed charms.

Historically, whisky liqueurs have been seen as purely seasonal, with around half of all sales made pre-Christmas. However, there's a new generation of whisky based liqueurs out there that are challenging the old order and demand your attention. But for all their innovation, these drinks have an honourable heritage, for adding herbs, fruit flavours and sugar to whisky is a longestablished tradition in Scotland. I've been known to drink toddies to combat colds (or even prevent their onset, which is much more fun).

Look back to the 18th century and the practice of taking a toddy (whisky with hot water and sugar) or punch (whisky with sugar, lemons and hot water, then cooled) was commonplace.

Of course, back then the dubious quality of much of the whisky accounted for this practice and, as standards improved, so these proto-liqueurs died out. However, for ‘punch' read ‘cocktail' and some at least of the resurgence in interest can be explained.

Loch Fyne Liqueur is the new kid on the block. Created by whisky enthusiast Richard Joynson he explains that it was developed as a direct result of customer interest at his Inveraray shop (a place of pilgrimage for serious enthusiasts, by the way).

“We had custome...

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