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Is blackberry brandy and blackberry liqueur the same thing?

Blackberry brandy and blackberry liqueur are two popular blackberry-flavored alcoholic drinks. While they share some similarities, there are important differences between the two. In this article, we’ll take a close look at blackberry brandy and blackberry liqueur, comparing and contrasting how they are made, their alcohol content, flavors, uses, and more. We’ll provide quick answers to common questions about blackberry brandy vs. liqueur. By the end, you’ll understand if these two drinks are the same thing or not.

What is Blackberry Brandy?

Blackberry brandy is made by distilling fermented blackberry wine. The blackberry wine is first made by crushing ripe blackberries and fermenting the juice and pulp with water and sugar. Once the wine is fermented, it is then distilled.

The distillation process concentrates the alcohol and flavor. Blackberry brandy typically contains between 30-60% alcohol by volume (60-120 proof). It has a fruit-forward taste with jammy blackberry flavors and aromas. The brandy also has notes of vanilla, caramel, honey, and warm spice from oak aging.

Quick Facts on Blackberry Brandy:

  • Made by distilling fermented blackberry wine
  • Alcohol content ranges from 30-60% ABV (60-120 proof)
  • Jammy blackberry flavor with vanilla, caramel, honey, and spice notes
  • Aged in oak barrels
  • Used in cocktails or served neat/on the rocks

Some popular brands of blackberry brandy include E & J, Arrow, and Lairds.

What is Blackberry Liqueur?

Blackberry liqueur is an cordial made by infusing blackberries in a neutral spirit along with sugar. The blackberries give the liqueur its signature jammy flavor and deep purple color.

Unlike blackberry brandy, liqueurs are not made by distilling fermented fruit wine. Instead, the blackberry flavor is extracted by soaking mashed blackberries in a base spirit. Vodka or brandy are common base alcohols used. Sugar syrup is also added to sweeten and smooth out the liqueur.

The alcohol content of blackberry liqueurs ranges between 15-30% ABV (30-60 proof), which is lower than brandy. The flavor profile tends to be sweeter and more fruit-forward. Popular brands of blackberry liqueur include Chambord, Mathilde, and Arrow.

Quick Facts on Blackberry Liqueur:

  • Made by infusing blackberries in neutral spirit + sugar
  • Alcohol content typically 15-30%
  • Very sweet, jammy blackberry taste
  • No aging, consumed soon after production
  • Used in cocktails, desserts, or alone

Comparing Production Methods

Let’s compare how blackberry brandy and liqueur are made:

Blackberry Brandy Production

  1. Blackberries are crushed and fermented into wine with water and sugar
  2. The blackberry wine is distilled to concentrate the alcohol and flavor
  3. The distilled spirit is aged in oak barrels for years to develop complex flavors

Blackberry Liqueur Production

  1. Blackberries are mashed and steeped in a neutral base spirit like vodka or brandy
  2. Sugar syrup is added to sweeten and smooth out the flavor
  3. The liqueur is bottled and consumed shortly after production

So in summary, brandy goes through a much more complex production process involving fermentation and distillation. Liqueurs take a simpler approach by infusing the fruit.

Alcohol Content Difference

One of the biggest differences between blackberry brandy and liqueur is their alcohol content:

  • Blackberry Brandy: Typically 30-60% ABV (60-120 proof)
  • Blackberry Liqueur: Typically 15-30% ABV (30-60 proof)

Brandy has a higher alcohol concentration thanks to the distillation process. Liqueurs tend to be lower in alcohol due to dilution with added sugar syrup.

The higher alcohol content gives blackberry brandy a more potent boozy kick. Blackberry liqueurs have a lighter, more syrupy mouthfeel.

Flavor Profile Differences

In addition to varying alcohol contents, blackberry brandy and liqueur have slightly different flavor profiles:

Blackberry Brandy Flavors

  • Jammy, concentrated blackberry taste
  • Oak barrel aging lends vanilla, caramel, and spice notes
  • Slightly drier finish

Blackberry Liqueur Flavors

  • Very sweet, jammy blackberry flavor
  • Higher sugar content makes it quite viscous and syrupy
  • May have chocolate, citrus, or herb notes depending on recipe
  • No oak aging, so younger tasting

While both have dominant blackberry notes, liqueurs tend to be sweeter and more one-dimensionally fruity. Brandy has extra complexity from barrel aging.

Cocktail and Food Uses

Blackberry brandy and liqueur both add nice blackberry flavor to cocktails and cooking, but tend to be used in slightly different ways.

Blackberry Brandy Cocktails

  • Old Fashioned
  • Sidecar
  • Brandy Crusta
  • Brandy Sour
  • Brandy Alexander

The higher proof of blackberry brandy makes it ideal for holding its own in spirit-forward cocktails. It can stand up to other robust ingredients.

Blackberry Liqueur Cocktails

  • Champagne Cocktail
  • Kir Royale
  • French 75
  • Lemon Drop Martini
  • Long Island Iced Tea

Since blackberry liqueurs have a lower alcohol content, they are commonly used as flavorful sweeteners in fruitier, light cocktails. The viscosity also allows it to float nicely when layered in drinks.

In cooking, blackberry brandy works nicely in sauces, marinades for meats, and baked goods with chocolate or nuts. The complexity pairs well with savory flavors.

Blackberry liqueurs shine in desserts like mousses, custards, and ice creams. The sweetness and viscosity also make it ideal for drizzling over cakes and fruit.

Price Differences

There is often a noticeable price difference between blackberry brandy and liqueur. Some average prices per 750mL bottle:

Blackberry Brandy

  • E&J Brandy: $12
  • Arrow Blackberry Brandy: $20
  • Lairds Blackberry Brandy: $25

Blackberry Liqueur

  • Arrow Blackberry Flavored Liqueur: $16
  • Mathilde Blackberry Liqueur: $28
  • Chambord Black Raspberry Liqueur: $30

As you can see, blackberry liqueurs tend to cost a bit more. The added expense comes from the high amounts of blackberry juice and sugar used in their production. Blackberry brandy derives more flavor from the distillation process.

However, both types of liquor come in a range of price points. Bottom-shelf versions can start under $10, while premium craft brands go upwards of $50 or more.

Legal Classification Differences

Blackberry brandies and liqueurs fall under different legal classifications:

  • Blackberry Brandy: Classified as a fruit brandy
  • Blackberry Liqueur: Classified as a liqueur or cordial

Brandy is also a controlled and protected term in many countries. To legally be called a “blackberry brandy” it must meet specific production requirements including being distilled from fermented blackberry fruit wine.

The legal definition of liqueur is more open. Anything combining a base spirit and added sugar syrup can be sold as a liqueur. No fermentation or distillation is required.

Summary of Blackberry Brandy vs. Liqueur

To wrap up, here’s a quick summary comparing these two blackberry-flavored alcohol products:

Comparison Blackberry Brandy Blackberry Liqueur
Production Method Distilled from fermented blackberry wine Blackberries infused into neutral spirit + sugar
Alcohol Content Typically 30-60% ABV Typically 15-30% ABV
Flavor Profile Jammy blackberry with oak, vanilla, caramel notes Very sweet, viscous, jammy blackberry
Cocktail Uses Stronger cocktails like Old Fashioned or Sour Fruitier cocktails, often as flavor sweetener
Food Uses Savory cooking with meats, sauces, chocolate Desserts, drizzled over fruit
Price Range $10 – $50 per 750mL $15 – $50 per 750mL
Legal Classification Fruit brandy Liqueur/cordial

So in summary:

– Blackberry brandy is made by distilling blackberry wine, resulting in higher alcohol content and more complex flavor.

– Blackberry liqueur infuses blackberry flavor into a spirit and has lower alcohol content and a sweeter, fruitier taste.

– While both provide blackberry flavor, they have distinct production methods, alcohol content, tastes, and ideal uses.


Blackberry brandy and blackberry liqueur are often confused for each other. However, they are distinctly different products:

– Blackberry brandy is a fruit brandy made from distilled fermented blackberry wine. It has a higher alcohol content around 30-60% ABV. The flavor profile is jammy with concentrated blackberry taste plus oak, caramel, vanilla, and spice notes. It’s ideal for robust cocktails.

– Blackberry liqueur is made by infusing blackberries into a spirit along with added sugar. It has a lower alcohol content around 15-30% ABV. The flavor is very sweet and intensely fruity blackberry. It works well in light cocktails or desserts.

So in summary, blackberry brandy and blackberry liqueur are not the same thing. While they are both blackberry-flavored alcoholic beverages, they have distinct production methods and flavor profiles. When choosing between the two, consider the alcohol content, sweetness, and flavors you want. Both can add nice blackberry flair to cocktails or food!