You’re at the liquor store and chance upon a bottle of Frangelico, and you’re thinking, “Wow! That liqueur looks pretty fancy and traditional; maybe it’s worth trying for dinner parties or cocktails.”
But wait, if you’re new to Frangelico, the next question you might have in mind is: What does Frangelico taste like?
Short Answer: Being a hazelnut liqueur, it has strong, nutty flavors to it. Think of it as the boozy version of your favorite hazelnut chocolate (hello, Ferrero Rocher), having flavor notes of hazelnuts, chocolate, and vanilla.
But come on, you know we’ve got more in store for you to learn all about this liqueur!
Let’s delve deeper into the Frangelico and the components that give it the delicious flavor many people love.
What is Frangelico?
Frangelico is a hazelnut liqueur, a pale-gold colored liqueur produced in Piedmont, northern Italy. It’s made by infusing toasted Tonda Gentile hazelnuts with the addition of natural flavorings like vanilla and cocoa. (*)
Fun fact: Frangelico has a vast history, with its origins going back over three centuries to Christian monks that once inhabited Piedmont. That is where the name Frangelico came from, from Fra. Angelico, as you may have noticed, the bottle is designed as a glass monk with a rope belt, reflecting the heritage.
The production process of Frangelico starts through the infusion of crushed toasted hazelnuts in water and alcohol. That infusion will be distilled and blended with distillate and natural flavoring extracts like vanilla, cocoa, and coffee. Afterward, the flavored distillate is blended with pure alcohol, water, and sugar.
The distillate will rest for 6-8 weeks in vats, marrying and mellowing the flavor. Frangelico is then bottled and sent to various parts of the world to enjoy!
Today, Frangelico is enjoyed worldwide, especially in Spain and the United States! It’s also one of the staples in many bars as it gives off that sweet, nutty flavor to numerous cocktails.
Fun fact: The Frangelico brand was only established in 1978, despite its long history. In 2010, the Frangelico brand was acquired by the Campari Group and has been in production with them ever since.
What Does Frangelico Taste Like?
Frangelico has a 24% ABV or 48 proof, used to flavor many cocktails or consumed on its own over ice.
We can also use it as an ingredient for cooking and baking!
The liqueur’s complex flavor is what makes it so popular. Because of the presence of hazelnuts, expect it to have one of the nuttiest aromas and flavors of other nut-flavored liqueurs.
Before taking a sip, take a sniff of the drink. You’ll immediately be welcomed with roasted nuttiness and chocolatey aromas as if you were about to take a bite of cake than sip liqueur!
You’ll immediately taste the sweet, toasted hazelnuts, accompanied by background flavors of light chocolate and warm vanilla when you take a sip. Think of it as hazelnut-flavored graham crackers or wafer cookies with a sweet vanilla cream finish.
You’re left with a pleasantly sweet and nutty aftertaste that will make you want more. It’s almost comparable to s’mores or marzipan.
You might even find a few herbal flavors mixed into the blend because of the presence of vanilla berries, but overall, it’s more of a s’more-like taste.
Isn’t that surprising for an alcoholic beverage?
Most people associate alcoholic drinks with bitter or sour, but Frangelico is absolutely divine for those with a sweet tooth!
For us, Frangelico reminds us of our favorite desserts but with that slight kick of alcohol. It’s why you can enjoy Frangelico after meals, a sweet finish to a sumptuous dish.
We recommend serving Frangelico either neat or over ice. If you want a bit more of a kick, serve it with a twist of lime or with tonic or soda water.
Frequently Asked Questions
Learn more about Frangelico and how to use its excellent nutty flavor with our frequently asked questions!
1. What are famous cocktails that use Frangelico?
Frangelico appears in many drink recipes, especially in dessert cocktails and shooters. The liqueur pairs excellently with vodka, brandy, and whiskey. We also recommend pairing Chambord, a raspberry liqueur, which gives an exciting contrast to Frangelico’s hazelnut taste.
Here are fantastic cocktails you can make with Frangelico:
- Friar Tuck
- Nutty Irishman
- Nutty Martini
- Crème Brulee cocktail
Pro-tip: You aren’t only limited to cocktails with the Frangelico! Because of its sweet flavors, you can add a shot to your cup of coffee as a nutty sweetener with a fun kick to it. If you’re not a fan of coffee, you can actually mix this liqueur with milk or hot chocolate to intensify the flavor and aroma.
2. Can you use Frangelico for cooking?
Heck yes, you can! In fact, Frangelico is a common cooking ingredient in recipes that require a hazelnut liqueur, like cakes, custards, puddings, and sweet glazes, among other desserts.
We don’t usually find them in savory recipes than sweet ones, but we’ve seen this liqueur used n poultry dishes as a sauce.
Fun fact: Frangelico works amazingly in a mousse, custard bread pudding, or infused with your whipped cream recipe!
3. What’s the best substitute for Frangelico?
Frangelico is a hazelnut liqueur, so you can easily substitute it for another nut-flavored liqueur, like Amaretto. You can also opt for the Nocello, an Italian nut liqueur made of hazelnuts and walnuts closer to the Frangelico.
Do note that these substitutes won’t exude the same flavors you want, but they offer the nutty sweetness.
Fun fact: Frangelico and Amaretto are not the same. Amaretto is an almond-based liqueur, while Frangelico offers a more complex flavor with hazelnuts, chocolate, and vanilla.
Wrapping It Up
Hopefully, we answered your question, “what does Frangelico taste like?” For us, we believe that it tastes incredible and is worth investing in for your liqueur cabinet. With its sweet warmth and nuttiness, you’ll find a great use for it, whether enjoyed on its own, in mixed drinks, or in favorite desserts!