Enjoy a unique tasting journey around one of Europe’s most stylish countries with our liqueur tours. Discover the humble beginnings of the spirit and enjoy the authentic taste of some of France’s best liqueurs.
French liqueurs are some of the most popular sweetened spirits across the world, and the revival of cocktail culture means that many distinctive labels now feature in drinks that are served everywhere.
A classically European drink, French liqueurs stand out from the rest because of their strong alcohol content and rich flavour. The lush, rural French countryside is absolutely perfect for growing the sweet fruit and aromatic herbs that feature prominently in liqueur ingredients lists, and centuries of distillery knowledge have perfected the art of creating the spirit.
Our holidays are personally designed to suit your needs and interests and ensure you enjoy yourself throughout your trip. Whether you’re new to liqueur or something of a connoisseur, we combine expert French knowledge of the product and process with fine dining and luxurious accommodation, crafting a tasting tour that is unlike any other.
Whilst France is perhaps best known for its wine, liqueurs play an important part in the country’s culinary history, with many household name liqueurs being exclusively distilled in French regions.
Despite liqueur having originated in 13th century Italy, the history of French liqueur extends back almost as far and is believed to have begun in the 1500s when Benedictine monks first distilled the alcohol that later became Bénédictine; one of the finest liqueurs in the world. Whilst spirits were initially infused with medicinal herbs, French liqueurs now are blended with a wide range of distinguished flavours, and distilled multiple times to ensure a high-quality drink.
As well as the classic herbal Bénédictine, Normandy is also home to the iconic naturally green Chartreuse liqueur, which gets its famous colour from the multitude of herbs and plants that it is infused with. Another famous liqueur that is exclusively brewed in the Pays de Loire region of France, and shipped globally, is the classic bitter orange Cointreau, which has become a signature ingredient in many popular cocktails.
The Cognac region in France is one of the most popular places to travel for a variety of tasting tours and is also home to the Grand Marnier distillery which produces a range of liqueurs that contain a blend of the area’s finest cognac alongside other ingredients. France’s liqueur industry has been thriving for a long time, and there are many more iconic liqueurs to discover across the country.
From the elegant capital city of Paris to the stunning French Alps and beautiful, rural Provence, there are so many places to visit in France that make it an ideal destination for a liqueur tasting holiday. With Wine Paths, explore areas such as the Loire Valley, Normandy and Auvergne-Rhône-Alps for vineyards, châteaux, coastal towns and mountains as well as distillery tours and expert tastings.
As well as liqueur tours we also offer bespoke wine and vodka tasting holidays in these French regions, and tours in Cognac tasting the eponymous Cognac brandy.
There are established liqueur distilleries across France, and our team have found the finest experts in the business to take you through the complex process of creating a liqueur. From spirit infusion to the tasting experience, our tours feature only the best products and distilleries that highlight why French liqueurs are so popular today.
The best time to visit France is in the spring or autumn, as this is when the weather is most pleasant. Summer is peak tourist season in the country and you are likely to find most places flooded with visitors, whereas the shoulder season offers both milder temperatures and a quieter atmosphere.
French liqueurs tend to be some of the strongest, with most having an alcohol content of around 40%. For a drink to be classed as a liqueur it must contain at least 15% alcohol, but many French liqueurs are a lot more fortified than this, reaching up to 60% proof.
The traditional French ‘digestif’, a drink served at the end of a meal, is typically a liqueur such as Bénédictine, Cointreau, Chambord or Crème de Cassis. The custom of drinking after dinner came from the belief that your stomach could better handle strong alcohol when it was full, and that a small amount of alcohol actually improved the digestion process.
At Wine Paths we pride ourselves on creating the best tasting itineraries for our clients, and our liqueur tours are no exception. Normandy has an incredibly rich history and culture that pairs perfectly with a schedule of fine food, premium liqueur, and fascinating distillery tours, and our trips will guarantee you a memorable holiday experience.
Contact one of our local travel experts today to start planning your tasting tour of some of France’s most exceptional distilleries.