The Story Behind the Most Popular Spanish Liqueur
The Licor 43 Spirit brand is the unveiling of a historical recipe for a golden elixir banned in the time of the Roman Spanish conquest, now a 43 ingredient liqueur appreciated across the world for its quality and flavor combination.
Licor 43: A Brief History
The Legend of the Roman Era
Originating in Spain, Licor 43, aka Cuarenta y Tres, soon became one of the most popular Spanish liqueurs and has since expanded to reach a larger global customer base. While they have a bright and current vibe, Licor 43 claims that their recipe started back in 209 BCE when Carthago Nova, a Spanish port city, was conquered by the Romans. When the Romans entered Carthago Nova, now known as Cartagena, they "discovered a delicious golden and aromatic elixir" made from a combination of herbs and fruit.
According to the legend, the Romans didn't let anyone enjoy this fabulous and mysterious elixir, instead instituting an ancient prohibition where both production and consumption of the drink was illegal. Of course, bootleggers abounded and Carthaginians enjoyed their golden elixir in secret, and it eventually became the contemporary Licor 43 recipe.
The Zamora Family, initial manufacturers of Licor 43 in the early-mid 1900s. From right to left: Josefina Zamora and her husband, Angel and Diego Zamora.
How Licor 43 Became Licor 43
There wasn't much action in terms of this golden elixir's official production following the Roman Empire's conquest before the common era, but it all changed in 1946 when the Zamora family got inspired. The three Zamora siblings and Josefina's husband, Emilio Restoy, decided to bring the old Spanish recipe to life again, creating the Licor 43 brand and eventually the Zamora Company.
The Rest is History
Incorporating a successful marketing strategy involving graphics and visuals that morphed with the times, Licor 43 soon became the fastest growing premium liqueur in the world. By the time the 21st century hit, Licor 43 was being sold in over 50 different countries including Australia, Germany, Mexico, and the US. In 2016 the Licor 43 Horchata bottle debuted, combining the popular sweet Spanish drink with the Licor 43 recipe.
What Does Licor 43 Actually Taste Like?
Made in the region it originated in, the Cartagenian Spanish liqueur gets its name from the 43 unique ingredients that make up its recipe. Naturally, the ancient recipe is a closely guarded secret, and the only known ingredients are lemon, orange, vanilla, coriander, and tea.
When it comes to how Licor 43 tastes, it is described as "a liqueur with a complex, but harmonic flavour profile." The four main flavor profiles include its citrus aromas and taste, stemming from the orange and lemon ingredients present; the botanic flavors, created by "the subtle spiced touch of coriander;" the sweet flavor profile, coming from matured fruit and vanilla undertones; and lastly the floral flavor notes, resulting from the infusion of Mediterranean lemon and orange blossoms and citrus fruit peels, with mature fruit flavors smoothing out any bitterness.
Licor 43 Review
Licor 43, in a thorough tasting and review, has been described as having:
"immediate, heavy sweetness dominated by a mix of sticky whole vanilla bean and vanilla extract. Secondary notes of herbs and sundry baking spices come and go, along with an oily bit of citrus peel. The palate is syrupy but not saccharine or gummy. The vanilla notes are light and buttery, balanced well with a bit of ginger, clove, and lemon zest. It honestly tastes like a lemon pound cake at first blush, but develops more complexity into the finish, which is clean and bright."
-Drew Beard, Certified Specialist in Spirits and writer and editor for Drinkhacker.com
Where to Buy Licor 43 Online in the USA