How to make your own liqueur!

We are confident at the Hebridean Liqueur Company that you will be satisfied with our liqueurs and will want to come back for more, either for your own enjoyment or for lovely presents for birthdays, special occasions, Christmas or just as a treat. However, if you would like to create your own liqueur, this is what to do….

First, have an idea of what you want to make. I found the best way has been to pore through old recipe books from days gone by. Try and find a combination of flavours that no one else has thought of. This should not take longer that about 1 year.

Next, make up some liqueur using the spirit that you have in mind – make sure you write down the ingredients that you use and remember that when you make commercial quantities, it will not be possible to use the ingredients that you use at home – I found this out the first time I tried to buy these goods.

Once you are happy with the recipe, adjust it a so that the resulting liqueur is not too sweet or strong, and that almost everyone who tastes it likes it. Leave another year for this.

Now you can focus on the packaging. Choose a bottle that you like and try and find out who makes it. This may take some time. Alternatively, attend a few Trade Shows in UK and Europe to see if you can find a reliable bottle supplier that can get the glass you want when you need it. You may have to order 2 years worth in one order and pay for it prior to delivery. The supplier may be able to supply corks-only the best Class ‘A’ cork will do, so it may take a while to find who can supply a cork to fit your bottle, and then to get them to make one for you.

While this is happening, you will have thought of a name for your liqueur. You will have checked with the Patent Office that the name is available – if not, think of another one. Apply for the Trademark – this takes at least 3 months – more if someone objects, then perhaps years if you have to keep adjusting the name and reapplying. Buy the Domain name too.

Labelling is important, so find a designer whose work you like – visiting some more, different Trade Shows, to see who use whom for what. Decide on the style you want and how the story of the brand will come across in your packaging. Now you will need to write the copy for the label, back label and neck tag, ensuring that everything meets with UK and EU packaging regulations.

Find a label supplier who can also make the neck tags. If you are using string for the necktags, find a curtain and embroidery accessory supplier who can supply what you want.

Once you have ordered your bottle, labels and necktags, now order the spirit and cases. You will of course have developed relationships with a number of companies who can provide what you want – you have to tell them what you are looking for and what style and taste you want bases on the samples they have sent you. You will need to order up enough spirit for your first batch. Cases are supplied by specialist case suppliers who will measure your chosen bottle and will make up a case that will fit – you will have to specify what thickness of cardboard you want.

All the above will be delivered to the manufacturer you have chosen. Most will want to run a batch of about 500 cases of 12 bottles so when you make your first batch, you need to be confident that have the recipe refined using the commercial ingredients that will now have ordered and paid for.

Make the batch – the final taste will be down to you. This is the scary bit!

Now you can start selling the liqueur, bearing in mind no one will have heard of it or have asked for it as it has not existed until now. Or drink it all yourself!

Alternatively, you can order one of our liqueurs and have it delivered to you, ready to drink, sure in the knowledge that you could make your own, but in the meantime, sit back, relax and enjoy your favourite.

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