A liqueur is an alcoholic beverage that has been flavoured with fruit, herbs, nuts, spices, flowers or cream and bottled with added sugar. Liqueurs date back centuries and are historical descendants of herbal medicines, often those prepared by monks, as Chartreuse or Bénédictine. Liqueurs were made in Italy as early as the 13th century and their consumption was later required at all treaty signings during the Middle Ages. Nowadays, liqueurs are made worldwide and are served in many ways: by themselves, poured over ice, with coffee, mixed with cream or other mixers to create cocktails, etc. They are often served with or after a dessert. Liqueurs are also used in cooking. Liqueurs are typically quite sweet and they are usually not aged for long but may have resting periods during their production to allow flavours to marry; they also have a lower alcohol content than spirits. The distinction between liqueurs and spirits is not always simple because many spirits are available today in a flavoured form - flavoured vodka, for example.

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