When someone thinks of Spain, they always have in mind their delicious tapas and their sangrias or summer wine, but people always forget that they have some of the best liqueurs in the world…plus, drinking a liqueur after lunch and dinner is something very unique from the Spanish culture.
Let´s discover the 10 best Spanish liqueurs and spirits:
Of course, we had to start with the most famous Spanish liqueur, the Orujo. It´s a Spanish pomace brandy that although its origin is not 100% sure, most people believe it comes from the north of Spain, being more concrete, somewhere between Galicia, Leon, Cantabria, and Asturias. Nowadays, you are able to enjoy it all over the country.
Without any addition, in its basic shape, the orujo is a strong spirit and contains between 40% to 50% of alcohol.
On many occasions, when you are done eating in a good restaurant, the waiter asks you if you want a free round of shots, and Orujo cream is the one people order the most.
2) Brandy de Jerez
One of the best Spanish liqueurs without any doubt is the Brandy of Jerez, it also comes from the distillation of Spanish grapes, but in this case is from the area of the Jerez in Andalusia.
The Jerez brandies have its origins in the 1500s and it is said that they have become so popular through the years thanks to its strict standards. Of course, to be named Brandy de Jerez, this one must be made in the area between El Puerto de Santa María, Sanlucár de Barrameda and Jerez de la Frontera.
There are three kinds of Brandy de Jerez, the normal Solera, which is the youngest and only needs a year of aging, the Solera Reserva, that needs at least 3 years and last of all, the Solera Gran Reserva, which needs a minimum of 10 years.
On a list of Spanish liqueurs, the one that contains a conjure needs to be included. We are talking about the “Queimada”, and it is as mystic as it sounds.
When we say that its preparation needs a conjure to be done, we are being realistic and that´s the actual reason why you won´t find any “Queimada” bottle on a normal shop. Imagine how strange is everything that its origins are still unknown. Although it is made in the Galician area of Spain, many believe that the ones who invented it were their Celtic ancestors centuries ago.
To make the liqueur, they mix all the ingredients on a cooking pot that is set on fire. Right when the fire is touching the pot, the conjure needs to be said, that way you will chase away the spirits. Then you can start drinking to purify you soul.
4) Coffee liqueur
Once again, we are going to talk about a very typical Spanish liqueur in the north of Spain, and again Galicia, Leon and Asturias are the provinces were it´s made. No matter what kind of meeting you go to (family, work…), in this area of Spain there is always a coffee liqueur on the table.
It´s very common in rural areas and small towns where almost every single family has its own recipe to make it. The ingredients everyone use are schnapps, cinnamon, sugar and of course coffee. The key of this spirit is the flavor produced by mixing the strong taste of the Orujo with coffee.
Some people also add a tiny bit of chocolate to this recipe.
Known as the Spanish orange liqueur, the Pacharan is for many the most common spirit in the whole country. Although it´s associated to Navarra, Basque Country and Castilla y Leon, nowadays you will find it all over Spain (specially from Madrid up to the north).
The Pacharan is made by macerating sloes from the Blackthorn, anis and schnapps are also important for the whole process. This drink is very sweet, and it doesn´t contain as much alcohol as others, just between 25% and 30%.
As a curious fact, you should also know that Pacharan is a very traditional drink that comes from the middle ages.
6) Licor 43
This is the most sold Spanish liqueur on earth and listen carefully to the name because it´s important. The licor 43 is also known as “cuarenta y tres” which of course means forty-three in English, but…Why is that? Well, apparently the authentic recipe needs 43 ingredients to be done.
Although its original recipe is still a secret, what we know is that the result of the “Licor 43” is a sweet golden drink with aromas of multiple citrus fruits, spices and vanilla.
The best of this Spanish sweet liqueur is that it can be everything you want it to be. Many people have it as a digestif, but others prefer to mix it with other drinks and use it as a cocktail.
In this case we are not going to talk about one of those traditional Spanish spirits because as it happens with most of these drinks, Anis doesn´t have a specific origin. The one thing we know is that it´s very common in Mediterranean countries like Greece, France, Italy and of course Spain.
Anis is a drink that can also be served with other drinks, either mixed as a cocktail, or added to a coffee. Of course, you can just have it as a liqueur, mixed with water or ice, but keep in mind that it contains between 40% to 60% of alcohol. It´s very strong.
The distilled drink is mostly flavored with the anise plant and some other botanicals.
8) Ron Miel
To finish our list of Spanish spirits, we are going to tell you about the most famous liqueur of the Canary Islands, which is Rum with honey, or how they say in Spain: Ron Miel.
It´s a unique drink and you won´t probably find it in many places (of course, you may see false imitations). “Ron Miel” is easily recognized for its mahogany color. The key of its sweet taste is the mix of schnapps with honey and sugar.
The way this liqueur is served is very cold (sometimes with ice) and never mixed with another drink.
Do you know any Spanish liqueur names and brands?
That´s it, those are the 8 most popular Spanish liqueurs for us. As you have seen there are many types and almost all of them have a huge history behind.
Before living we are going to test how much you know about Spanish liqueurs: Do you know any other popular liqueur in Spain that we have forgotten to say on the list? If you do, let us know in the comment section below.
Hope you enjoyed reading this article, and if you have any other question or suggestion, please let us know!