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Consumers say 'cheers' to 'sweet alcohol'

Last updated on: August 18, 2009 

Consumers say 'cheers' to 'sweet alcohol'

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The alcohol market in India might be a bastion of wines and beers, but the lesser known alcoholic beverage 'liqueur' is slowly carving a niche among consumers with its unique aroma and lower alcoholic content.

The word 'liqueur,' derived from the Latin 'liquefacere' means 'to disolve or melt'. Often synonymous with cordials, liquers are available in different flavours and sweetened through distillation with a base of alcohol.


Image: A French merchant presents Kapsi, a 5 ml mini bottle of high quality liqueur, at Vinexpo in Bordeaux, southwestern France.
Photographs: Regis Duvignau/Reuters
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"Liqueurs are slowly becoming popular," says Nischal Gurung, director, Boozemechanics, school of bar and beverages based in the national capital.

Experts in the industry feel that the liqueur market has been steadily growing in India with a prosperous future ahead.


Image: Chief executive Gunter Heise of Rotkaeppchen-Mumm winery poses for the media with a bottle of bioegg liqueur.
Photographs: Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters
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Consumers say 'cheers' to 'sweet alcohol'

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"Liqueurs individually and in cocktails have a 20 per cent market share in India because of its class and aroma," says M S Kiroula, group beverages manager of Welgrow Group.

Sadly not enough liqueur is produced on Indian soil.


Image: A Salvadoran coffee farmer sells samples of coffee liqueur during a coffee festival in Santa Ana, 56 km from San Salvador.
Photographs: Luis Galdame/Reuters
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"We have just launched a unique fruit based liqueur which is made from Murrela fruit in Africa. There are hardly any Indian liqueurs, you mostly have imported brands in the market.

"There is a possibility of liqueurs being produced in India but nobody has given a thought to them," says Arun Kumar, director, Aspri Spirits.

Kiroula says there is no rocket science for making liqueurs and if produced with the right price tag they will surely be a success.


Image: Contestants pose during a drinking competition for women at a mall in Bangkok.
Photographs: Sukree Sukplang/Reuters
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Liqueurs like 'Irish Bailey' are hot favourites among club-goers who are slowly opting for the flavoured beverage instead of drinks like vodka and tequila.

"From a bartender's point of view Orange liqueur is one of the most vital alcohol in the bar but Irish Bailey with its easy-going and sweet characteristics is a winner from the consumer's point," says Gurung.

"These days consumers go for liqueur-based shots rather than vodka shots because it it works as an appetiser as well," Kiroula says.


Image: Ex-German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder tries some herbal liqueur from the Eifel region.
Photographs: Michael Urban/Reuters
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