Liqueurs: Twist the classics

Tia Maria, too, isn’t putting everything behind the massive popularity of the Espresso Martini at the moment. “Classic coffee liqueur cocktails such as the Espresso Martini continue to grow in popularity and other serves such as the Irish Coffee and White Russian are returning to cocktail menus,” says Illva Saronno’s Monaghan. “We now offer cocktail lovers a variety of innovative serves, such as the Tia Flat White Russian and Tia Iced Popcorn Frappé.”

Luxardo isn’t merely relying on its association with a number of classics either. “We have been successfully introducing the Fresco, which is a long drink mix of Luxardo Maraschino, tonic water, lemon juice with a cucumber slice, fresh rosemary and a spray of absinthe,” says Franklin.

St-Germain might have only been launched in 2007, but it has earned the right to be considered a modern classic, primarily by focusing on cocktails and the on-trade. As global brand ambassador Camille Ralph Vidal puts it: “St-Germain was created for bartenders to be the most versatile ingredient for them to express their creativity. Supporting bartenders and their talent has been our focus from the start and still is to this day.”

The Teichenné range of liqueurs, with history dating back to the 19th century, has its place in the world of contemporary cocktails, says Thomas Bennett, trade marketing controller at Global Brands. “As the cocktail category grows, consumers are demanding more innovation than ever before, so cocktails provide the perfect stage on which to develop new creations,” he says. “We understand how it’s not solely the ingredients that create memorable cocktails, but the theatre of serve, flavour combinations and techniques used from start to finish.”


For liqueurs brands old and new, it doesn’t have to be all about complicated cocktails when there’s a far more straightforward trend to tap into – tonic. Rising interest in tonic serves, for Monaghan, is the result of the growth of both the premium mixer and gin categories. “I think more and more people are exploring the different options that the delicious quinine flavour can offer. We tapped into this trend with our popular Tia & Tonic serve,” she says.

For Chartreuse, being served with tonic isn’t anything new in its native France, where it’s otherwise usually consumed neat. But Chartreuse & Tonic could be seen more frequently in other markets soon, where it’s most often considered a cocktail ingredient. “It’s something I’ve been trying to introduce, like in spring and summer this year, to get people to make more refreshing Chartreuse Highballs,” says UK brand ambassador Jenny Griffiths. “Obviously Gin & Tonics are the mainstay of most bars now, so we’re tapping into that market a little bit. And Chartreuse has similarities with some gins too.”

Tonic isn’t the only consumer trend working in favour of classic liqueurs, or liqueurs in general. Provenance can play an important role. “Over the past year both French spirits and cognac have seen a rise in popularity in a wider, younger, more mainstream audience. This is great news for us given the fact that Grand Marnier is obviously French but also a blend of 51% cognac,” says Nick Williamson, marketing director at Campari UK. “Older millennials are also beginning to align themselves more with brands that have an authentic story and rich heritage,” he adds.