Liqueurs, delicious refreshments with a wide array of different flavours, have been beloved digestives for hundreds of years. Often enjoyed neat, on ice or in cocktails, they prove extensive multifunctional characteristics. Especially appreciated are Italian liqueurs, artisanal masterpieces, that are truly spirits of the spirit. And as Christmas is already caroling with frost-pinched rosey cheeks on our doorsteps, liqueurs can be a wonderful and warming gift for a loved one. Here in Tallinn, in Heldeke, we have a splendid selection of liqueurs – from Lemoncello to Ratafia. But what exactly are liqueurs? Which one to choose? What even is Ratafia? Let’s get into it!
What is a Liqueur?
A liqueur is an alcoholic beverage that, historically, are the successors of liquid herbal medicines. Liqueurs have been produced from as early as the Gothic period, and back in those days only monks knew the recipes and produced these drinks. Liqueurs are built on a distilled spirit base (i.e gin, vodka etc) and their distinctive, unique tastes are created by adding flavours. Usually herbs, fruits or sugar is introduced to the base. The additional flavour is what makes the liqueur different and gives it their distinguishable personality.
What’s Up with Italian Liqueurs?
As for Italian liqueurs, they are cherished worldwide for their incredible craftsmanship, gorgeous aromas and vivacious history of traditions. Many liqueur-flavours we enjoy today, like limoncellos or amaros, were originally recipes created in Italy, by taking into consideration local flora. By using regionally grown citruses and botanicals, these liqueurs encompass a certain Italian essence, vibrant and luscious.
Santo Spirito Liqueurs
Just in 2020, the Santo Spirito company landed in Tallinn and introduced themselves as the greatest Italian liqueurs. Their liqueurs are made by traditional Abruzzo recipes. Some of the recipes still used today were passed down by the monks of Santo Spirito! The liqueurs stand out with their exquisite, aromatic taste, potent and rich in essence. The company’s name pays homage to the location – the Santo Spirito hermitage, a source of spiritual inspiration. The liqueurs are handcrafted from the finest local fruits and herbs. Made with passion and dedication to the art of liqueur-making by a family-owned business.
Santo Spirito Liqueurs to try:
For those who favour vigorous, zesty and citrusy flavours, the Santo Spirito Lemoncello is impeccably refreshing! The liqueur is made with Sorrento lemons, ones that have little acidity and high quality essential oils. Fresh lemons are soaked in pure alcohol, then the liqueur is left to mature for approximately a month. The Lemoncello has a fierce, pure, sweet lemony character. A product of intricate dexterity and one to utterly enjoy.
Oranges are regarded as the symbols of creativity, adventure and ambition. The Santo Spirito Aurantium will take you along on an exciting journey boasting of refreshing aromas. This type of orange liqueur is an art of ancient origin and is a true testament of time. Aurantium is a fragrant harmony of wild and distilled orange peels. It is a light, crisp and elegant liqueur that offers a graceful orange essence. An exquisite and effortless sipping experience.
The Belle of the ball, the cherry on top of the cake… Santo Spirito Ratafia! This liqueur is loved by many local artists and performers, including the Burlesque Estonia dancers! Ratafia is an intense, smooth and vibrant liqueur that bursts of flavour. This rich liqueur is an enticing, blood red colour that immediately captivates with its lusciousness. It is an excellent marriage of fermented, dark sour cherries and red wine. Perfectly balancing sweet and bitter aromas, the Ratafia is a liqueur you just have to try! It’s just cherrific!
Remember going to the countryside during summertime, strutting along the evergreen forest trails and finding a patch of wild strawberries? The Santo Spirito Fragolino embraces an essence of everlasting summer days! This liqueur is made by infusing wild strawberries in Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo rosé wine. Their idyllic unity renders a rich, stunning liqueur, with a distinct strawberry flavour. Since strawberries are known to activate metabolism, the Fragolino serves as an ideal digestive.
Santo Spirito Crema di Pistacchio must have been the nectar of the Greek Gods of Olympus. It is as heavenly and divine as it gets! This cream-based liqueur is made with carefully selected Bronte eco pistachios. Simply delicious and delightfully rich in flavour, it’s excellent for all pistachio-lovers. Perfectly enjoyed as a digestif or as a dessert, the Crema di Pistacchio is one exquisite liqueur to try!
Liqueurs have been indulged in for centuries because of their versatile utility, bountiful options of flavours and undoubtably tasty richness. For authentic local qualities, beautiful craftsmanship and diligence to the artistry, Italian liqueurs are ones who stand out. From cherrybombs like Ratafia to ambrosially piquant Crema di Pistacchio, Santo Spirito offers an inexhaustible range of liqueurs for you. So, raise a glass and give a go to the fantastic world of liquers, that take you on a neverending journey of flavours. To have a taste of some wonderful liqueurs, visit Heldeke! bar for a wide variety of choices. Cheers!