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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.
"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.
"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.
"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.
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.