Spirits Close-Up: Herbal Liqueurs

A bottle of herbal liqueur will make your home bar more versatile and seasonally appropriate. These liqueurs are made with a wide assortment of ingredients—barks and roots, herbs and spices—that add up to something woodsy, warming, and bittersweet. Here are three made locally, their constituent flavors, and some ideas on how to use them.

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Dampfwerk Helgolander

Named for the inhabitants of a small island in the North Sea, Helgolander is Dampfwerk’s nod to the many local and regional varieties of herbal liqueurs that were once popular throughout Germany. The warming spice and sweet-to-bitter profile is a great nightcap on its own, in a spritz with ice and club soda, or on the rocks with an equal portion of rye whiskey.


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Norseman Olympia

Olympia is a proofy (55% ABV) herbal wallop that can sub in for Chartreuse in classic cocktails like the last word and the bijou. A little dose will add an herbal funk to Manhattans. Rinse your glass with it instead of absinthe in a sazerac. Or make Norseman’s Swampwater: 50mL Olympia, 60mL pineapple juice, and 25mL lime juice, stirred in a highball with crushed ice.

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Tattersall Amaro

Tattersall’s Amaro is less sweet than many amari. This combination of 26 botanicals is rested in used bourbon barrels, making it an obvious mixing partner for your favorite bottle of brown. Try it in a whiskey sour, a black Manhattan (use it in place of Averna), or a brandy hot toddy. Or, put up your wool-stockinged feet in front of a fireplace and sip it neat.

About John Garland

John Garland is the Deputy Editor at the Growler Magazine. Find him on twitter (@johnpgarland) or in every coffee shop on West 7th Street.