Liqueurs (from the Latin “liquor” meaning “liquid”) are aromatic spirits with a relatively high sugar content (at least 100 grams per liter). The alcohol content is normally between 15 to 40% by volume, but there are also weaker and stronger liqueurs, such as Wiener Blut with 55% by volume.
Liqueurs produced in the EU must have a minimum invert sugar content of 100 grams per liter. Other sugars can also be used, but the level of sweetness must be the equivalent of at least 100 grams of invert sugar per liter. Every spirit that contains at least this sugar content is considered a liqueur.
In addition to the classic technique of maceration, today some liqueurs are also made by simply mixing fruit syrup and/or flavors with sugar, alcohol and water. Food coloring is used to give most liqueurs their color. Both natural and artificial color additives can be used.