Boozy Fun at Your Dessert Table

Hosting a dessert party during the holidays? After you plan that decadent menu of sugary sweets, fruits and cheeses, take a little time to complement your holiday Viennese table with your favorite liqueurs. Marry the flavors of your lite bites with a little boozy fun and get the party started.


Often served at the end of a meal during the dolce hour, liqueurs add understated flair to a festive table when complemented with little thoughtful add-ons. I love to add a small cup of fresh espresso beans for Sambuca or Anisette lovers. Try serving fresh raspberries or Blackberries for the fruit liqueurs. Citrus slices quartered and dipped in sugar alongside small sprigs of fresh rosemary for Grand Marnier or Limoncello look so pretty. Plan ahead and try anything you can imagine to make the liqueur offering that much more inviting including chilling some of the cordial glasses with a frosted sugary rim. Even coffee lovers may be tempted to embellish their drink with a little liqueur. Add a dish of shaved chocolate, a cocoa shaker, a cinnamon shaker and a little bowl of fresh cream alongside some Bailey’s or Godiva.

Liqueurs are so diverse. They can be nutty, fruity, herbal, spicy, chocolaty or creamy. Some are best served straight up and others are best on ice or in a hot beverage. However you prefer your holiday liqueur, thank the host and hostess for going the extra mile to include this little luxury and enjoy the party!


Here are 15 of my favorite liqueur staples to serve at the dessert table. I know some of you will ask why I did not list your family faves. Also, keep in mind that this list does not include Ports, Sherrys and Brandys. My apologies to our Great Grandpa Stephen from Slovakia who remains in our families hearts but there is no mention of Slivovitz Plum Brandy in this blog. These are liqueur staples I use for entertaining, cooking, baking and enjoyment listed in alphabetical order:

  1. Amaretto (Almond)
  2. Anisette (Licorice)
  3. Bailey’s Irish Cream
  4. Chambord (Raspberry)
  5. Crème de Cassis (Black Currant)
  6. Curacao (Bitter Orange)
  7. Drambuie (Scotch Whiskey with Honey, Herbs and Spices)
  8. Frangelico (Hazelnut)
  9. Grand Marnier (Orange)
  10. Godiva (Milk, White or Dark Chocolate)
  11. Jägermeister (Swiss Herbs)
  12. Midori (Melon)
  13. Kahlua (Coffee)
  14. Limoncello (Lemons)
  15. Sambuca (Licorice)

I would be remiss if I did not mention this. While some liqueurs have seen popularity shifts over the years, others remain timeless and even more have dissipated into oblivion. Does anyone out there remember Vandermint or Cheri Suisse? Those little blue delft and milk glass bottles were so cute and the liqueurs were especially delicious on ice cream. Maybe Santa will return them to us one day.