Review: Frangelico Liqueur

frangelico 199x300 Review: Frangelico LiqueurConsider the hazelnut.

Best known as a secondary ingredient in a popular chocolate-flavored spread, it’s also long been the only way to get hazelnuts into a cocktail (though newer options have recently availed themselves).

Frangelico is a classic spirit that reportedly dates back more than 300 years to a bunch of Italian monks who made the stuff — hence the distinctly monk-shaped bottle. The liqueur is indeed made from roasted hazelnuts, steeped in alcohol, distilled, then flavored with cocoa and vanilla (among other proprietary flavorings) before being sweetened with sugar. Caramel color is added.

Surprisingly light in color, the toasty character of freshly roasted hazelnut really comes through here. It’s particularly hefty on the nose, a bit dusty and smoky, like fresh-baked pecan sandies. As you sip through the liqueur, the hazelnut evolves into more of a peanut butter character, with the vanilla element growing and becoming distinctive on the finish.

Frangelico is easy to like but difficult to truly love, a relatively simple spirit that works fine in a handful of cocktails and thrives with coffee. For the record, the distiller’s serving suggestion: On the rocks, with a squeeze of lime. Curious.

40 proof.

B+ / $24 / frangelico.com

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5 Responses to Review: Frangelico Liqueur

  1. Curious? As in you tried it, but didn’t like it? Or you just think it an odd combination tasting?
    I find it personally strange to me that a recipe that is over 300 years old has carmel coloring added to it. That just sounds like something food/beverage manufactures would do in the last 25 years. Any word on whether it is a chemical dye add or natural?

  2. Curious? As in you tried it, but didn’t like it? Or you just think it an odd combination tasting?
    I find it personally strange to me that a recipe that is over 300 years old has carmel coloring added to it. That just sounds like something food/beverage manufactures would do in the last 25 years. Any word on whether it is a chemical dye add or natural?

    Sorry double post…forgot to put in email addy……

  3. Eric – I didn’t try it, was out of limes. It just sounds curious that it’s the official serving suggestion, that’s all. Readers, feel free to chime in with your thoughts.

    As for caramel color, it can be made upteen different ways and no one discloses how theirs is produced. Check out wikipedia on the matter: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caramel_color

  4. Add it to maple syrup and eat with waffles/pancakes. You’re welcome.

  5. Chuck Schauberger

    It seems to be the only hazelnut liqueur of commercial note in the US. Why no US makers? Are nut-flavored liquers more popular in Europe?

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