Hazelnut liqueur - Drink Secrets

Hazelnut liqueur

Hazelnuts - Italy's Gift to the World


Hazelnut liquor was first produced over three hundred years ago in the Piedmont area of northwest Italy by Christian monks living in the hills of the region who used the local hazelnuts and other ingredients to make their food and drink. Being Monks, their skills would have included distilling alcohol and they had only what was handy to work with. The hazelnut is also known as the filbert, named after Saint Philbert, upon whose day of celebration coincides with day that harvesting nuts begins for the year.


In order to make hazelnut liquor, hazelnuts are shelled, toasted, and crushed. Once prepared thus, they are then poured into a mixture of water and alcohol. Part of this mixture is made into a hazelnut distillate by, of course, distilling part of the mix. Often cocoa, vanilla, and other extracts are added to the concentrated version of the liquor to complete the flavor profile of the beverage. It is then mixed with alcohol, sugar and water and is allowed to blend in vats for six to eight weeks. This makes a rich, earthy sweet flavor accompanied by the aroma of hazelnuts. Tonda Gentile hazelnuts are used for the ease in which their shells are shed which, incidentally, makes them sweeter than other hazelnuts. They are also bigger and more regular in their shape and size, making them highly sought after by all commercial manufacturers of hazelnut products.


Hazelnut liquor can easily be enjoyed in coffee, as coffee is one of the bean flavors that is infused into the liquor during its making. It can also be had straight warm in the Winter months to warm up or over ice in the Summer time to cool down. For an alcoholic treat, try the Alaskan Polar Bear, which includes amaretto almond cream, chocolate syrup, ice cream and whipped cream and of course, hazelnut liquor. The Better Than Sex and Brazillian Monk recipes are also excellent, sweet, thick, creamy indulgences that should be experienced at least twice!

Drinks with: Hazelnut liqueur

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White Italian

Category: Cocktails


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