Apricot Liqueur (Schnapps): 14 Things You Should Know [The Ultimate Guide]

1. What is Apricot Liqueur (Schnapps)?

Apricot liqueur, often known as apricot brandy or apricot schnapps, is a sweet, fruit-based liqueur. Its flavor profile is predominantly apricot, ranging from rich and sweet to tangy and refreshing, depending on the brand.

Typically amber or golden in color, this liqueur’s base alcohol is usually a neutral spirit or brandy, infused with apricot fruit or flavorings. Production involves maceration or distillation, and it comes in various types: pure, creamy, or blended.

Serving suggestions include sipping neat, over ice, or in cocktails like Apricot Sour or Apricot Fizz. In cuisine, it enhances desserts and sauces.

Originating in Europe, apricot liqueur is popular worldwide, with an ABV ranging from 20-30%. Brands like Rothman & Winter and Marie Brizard are notable. Prices vary, usually between $15-$50 in the US.

Apricot Liqueur vs. Schnapps vs. Brandy

Apricot liqueur is also commonly referred to as apricot brandy or apricot schnapps, though these names can sometimes indicate different products. As the name suggests, the base alcohol in an apricot brandy is brandy, which makes it less sweet and more complex and robust. In comparison, apricot schnapps liqueur tends to be lighter, sweeter and with more apricot-forward flavor.

2. Factsheet for Apricot Liqueur (Schnapps)

  • Flavor Profile: Sweet, rich apricot; varies from tangy to syrupy.
    • Aroma: Fruity, with distinct apricot notes.
    • Appearance: Amber to golden color.
  • Production Process: Maceration/distillation with apricots.
    • Base Alcohol: Neutral spirit or brandy.
    • Ingredients: Apricots, alcohol, sugar, sometimes additional flavorings.
  • Types: Pure, creamy, blended.
    • Top Brands: Rothman & Winter, Marie Brizard.
    • Price Range: $15-$50 (US).
  • Serving Suggestions: Neat, over ice, in cocktails.
    • Cocktail Examples: Apricot Sour, Apricot Fizz, Apricot Martini.
    • Cuisine Use: Desserts, sauces.
  • Shelf Life: 1-2 years after opening.
    • Storage: Cool, dark place.
  • History: European origins.
    • Popularity: Globally enjoyed.
  • ABV: 20-30%.
    • Sugar Content: Varies, generally high.

3. What Does it Taste Like?

  • Flavor Profile: Apricot liqueur (schnapps) offers a sweet, fruity palate with a balance of apricot flavors, from fresh to candied. The finish is often smooth with a lingering sweetness.
  • Aroma/Nose: The aroma is predominantly of apricots, with possible hints of almond and vanilla.
  • Appearance/Color: Its appearance is usually a clear amber or golden hue, reflecting its apricot infusion.

4. How is it Made?

The primary ingredient is apricots, combined with alcohol (neutral spirit or brandy) and sugar. Additional flavorings can be included.

The general process involves macerating apricots in alcohol or distilling them with the base spirit. Some traditional methods may use actual apricot kernels for a more nuanced flavor. Modern techniques often focus on capturing the essence of apricot while balancing sweetness and alcohol content. Regional variations can influence the taste and texture, with some producers emphasizing the fruit’s natural tanginess or the smoothness of the liqueur.

5. Types of Apricot Liqueur

Apricot liqueur (schnapps), a sweet and fruity beverage, is available in various styles. Types of apricot liqueur include traditional, creamy, and brandy-based.

  1. Traditional apricot liqueurs, like Marie Brizard Apricot, are clear and purely apricot-flavored.
  2. Creamy variations, such as Orchard Apricot Cream Liqueur, blend apricot with a creamy texture.
  3. Brandy-based types, like Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot, merge apricot flavors with the richness of brandy.

Key Differences

Main variations in apricot liqueurs stem from their base spirit and added flavors. Traditional liqueurs use a neutral spirit base, emphasizing the apricot’s natural sweetness. Cream-based liqueurs are richer, often less sweet, suitable for dessert pairings. Brandy-infused options offer a sophisticated, deeper taste profile, ideal for connoisseurs.

6. Brands of Apricot Liqueur

Top brands in the apricot liqueur (schnapps) market are diverse.

  • Marie Brizard Apricot: (traditional) is known for its authentic apricot flavor.
  • Giffard Abricot du Roussillon: (traditional) is praised for its use of Roussillon apricots.
  • Luxardo Apricot: (spicy and nutty) is recognized for its rich and robust flavors, with sugar beet alcohol base, mild cinnamon spice notes and light almond finish, ideal for sipping or cocktails where the liqueir is a key player.
  • Orchard Apricot Cream Liqueur: (cream-based) offers a unique creamy twist.
  • Bols Apricot Brandy: (brandy-infused) stands out for its smooth blend of apricot and brandy notes.
  • Rothman & Winter Orchard Apricot: (brandy-infused) is a top choice for its sophisticated palate.

Brand Comparison

Comparing major apricot liqueur brands, Marie Brizard and Giffard focus on the purity of apricot flavor. Bols and Rothman & Winter offer a deeper, brandy-enhanced taste. Orchard’s cream-based liqueur provides a unique, dessert-friendly option. Luxardo Apricot is in its own category because of its rich flavor and texture with hints of spice and nuts.

7. Buying Guide for Apricot Liqueur

Price Range

Apricot liqueurs (schnapps) typically range from $15 to $50. Traditional liqueurs are generally more affordable, while brandy-infused and cream-based ones can be pricier.

For budget-conscious buyers, Marie Brizard is a great choice. Mid-range consumers might prefer Bols Apricot Brandy. For a premium experience, Rothman & Winter is ideal.

Buying Tips

When selecting apricot liqueur, consider taste, ingredients, and production quality. Traditional liqueurs are best for pure apricot flavor, while cream-based are for richness, and brandy-infused for depth. Assess the brand reputation and price to ensure value for money.

Premium apricot liqueurs are often worth the investment for their superior ingredients and sophisticated flavor profiles. They are ideal for discerning palates and special occasions.

8. How to Drink it?

Serving Guide

Apricot liqueur (schnapps), versatile in its use, shines both as a solo drink and a cocktail ingredient. Ideal serving: neat or over ice, accentuates its rich flavors. Glassware choice: snifter or a small tulip glass, enhancing aroma exposure. Recommended temperature: slightly chilled, around 15-18°C (59-64°F), to balance the sweetness and intensify flavor nuances.

Tasting & Appreciation

To properly taste apricot liqueur, start by observing its color and viscosity. Swirl gently to release aromas. Sip slowly, letting it coat your palate, and savor the balance of sweetness and apricot essence. Evaluate its quality based on flavor depth, the harmony of sweetness and acidity, and the lingering finish.

9. How to Use it in Cocktails?

Popular cocktails featuring apricot liqueur (schnapps) include the Apricot Sour, Apricot Fizz, Apricot Martini, and the Apricot French Martini. Its sweet-tart profile complements citrus and herbal notes in mixed drinks.

For cocktails, select a brand that aligns with the drink’s character. Luxardo and Giffard offer robust flavors, ideal for cocktails where the liqueir is a key player. Lesser-known brands can be used in drinks where a subtle apricot hint is desired.

As for substitutes, for an alcohol-free option, apricot syrup or nectar can be used. In alcoholic alternatives, peach or plum liqueurs offer a similar fruit-forward experience but with distinct flavor nuances.

Pro Tip: When mixing, balance is key. Pair apricot liqueur with ingredients that complement or contrast its profile. For a harmonious blend, match it with lighter spirits like vodka; for a bold twist, pair with darker spirits like bourbon.

10. How to Use it in the Kitchen?

Beyond cocktails, apricot liqueur (schnapps) enhances culinary creations. Use it in desserts like fruit tarts or drizzle over ice cream. Incorporate into savory dishes like glazes for poultry or pork, adding a sweet and fruity dimension.

When pairing food with apricot liqueur, match it with foods that complement its sweet and tart profile. Cheese platters, especially with creamy cheeses, provide a delightful contrast. It also pairs well with almond-flavored desserts and chocolate, creating a harmonious blend of flavors.

11. How to Store it?

Optimal storage of apricot liqueur (schnapps) enhances its longevity and flavor. Before opening, store it in a cool, dark place. Post-opening, refrigeration is advisable, though not mandatory. Apricot liqueur doesn’t freeze, making it safe for freezer storage, enhancing its viscosity.

Regarding shelf-life, unopened apricot liqueur can last for several years due to its high alcohol content. Once opened, its quality is best within 6-12 months. Proper storage plays a key role in maintaining its rich, fruity essence.

12. History & Popularity

  • Origins:

Originating in Europe, apricot liqueur’s creation dates back to the 18th century. Initially crafted in France and Austria, its production involved infusing apricots in brandy, capturing the fruit’s essence. Historical figures and regions played significant roles in its development.

  • Cultural Significance:

Apricot liqueur holds a revered place in European culinary traditions, often associated with hospitality and celebration. It’s a symbol of refinement and elegance in various cultures.

  • Popularity:

Its popularity spans globally, valued for its versatility in cocktails, culinary recipes, and as a standalone drink. Apricot liqueur’s ability to blend with diverse ingredients makes it a staple in bars and homes.

13. Making it at Home

Homemade apricot liqueur (schnapps) offers a personalized taste experience. Essential ingredients include ripe apricots, quality brandy, sugar, and water. Tools needed are a jar, strainer, and bottles. The process involves macerating apricots in brandy, adding sugar syrup, and aging to perfection.

14. Nutrition

  • ABV Content: Typically, apricot liqueur (schnapps) contains an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 20-30%, making it moderately strong.
  • Carbohydrate and Sugar Content: It’s relatively high in sugars, primarily from apricots and added sweeteners, contributing to its carbohydrate content.
  • Dietary Restrictions: While generally gluten-free, vegans and individuals with allergies should verify ingredients. Each brand varies, and self-awareness is crucial for dietary choices.


Responsible consumption of apricot liqueur is crucial. While this guide provides information, personal research and decision-making regarding dietary choices and alcohol consumption are essential.

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