Licor 43 is billed as the #1 selling Spanish liqueur in the world. Despite the fact that there aren’t that many Spanish liqueurs to begin with, Licor 43 is popular by plenty of other metrics, and in recent years it has started to gain traction as a cocktail companion behind American bars. Licor 43 gets its name from the fact that a whopping 43 ingredients are used in its products including herbs, spices, citrus, and most notably, vanilla. That last one actually places Licor 43 into the category of vanilla liqueur, along with tipples like Tuaca, making it a particularly good companion for coffee and dairy-based cocktails. We briefly examined Licor 43 over a decade ago, but it’s due for a proper revisit. Thoughts follow.
From the aroma alone, I can clearly see why Licor 43 is considered a vanilla liqueur. There’s an immediate, heavy sweetness dominated by a mix of sticky whole vanilla bean and vanilla extract. Secondary notes of herbs and sundry baking spices come and go, along with an oily bit of citrus peel. The palate is syrupy but not saccharine or gummy. The vanilla notes are light and buttery, balanced well with a bit of ginger, clove, and lemon zest. It honestly tastes like a lemon pound cake at first blush, but develops more complexity into the finish, which is clean and bright. It’s enjoyable on its own, but I can see why this works so well in coffee. And plenty of other cocktails could surely benefit from a splash, as well.
A- / $25 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]