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Differences Between Peach Schnapps and Peach Liqueur

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Last Updated on June 13, 2023 by Leah Hall

 Read on for more info about the differences between Schnapps and Liqueur. Specifically peach liqueur vs peach schnapps!


A common misconception is that peach schnapps and peach liqueur are the same thing. But, there are some differences between the two. Schnapps is a type of alcoholic drink often flavored with fruit. Liqueur on the other hand is a sweet flavored alcohol. Also, peach schnapps is usually clear, and peach liqueur is often amber colored. But, we will talk more below about how the flavor of stone fruit is used in alcoholic beverages below, so read on!


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2 bottles of peach liqueur on a wooden table

What Is Schnapps?

American schnapps are alcoholic beverages that are made by mixing a neutral grain spirit with fruit or other flavors. This is then bottled with some added sugar and sometimes glycerine, which makes an almost syrupy liquid. The alcohol content is usually between 15%-50% ABV. Ironically these liquids fall into the category of liqueurs because of the added sugar. North American style Schnapps tend to be sweeter than their European counterparts.


In Europe schnapps are any strong and dry spirit. But, used for un-aged fruit brandies distilled from fresh fruit juices. Some are made with a fruit infusions that are combined with a neutral grain spirit during distillation. In Scandinavian countries it is usually classified as aquavit. Every country or region seems to have its’ own interpretation. Schnapps were most prevalent in Germany, where it started as a medicinal use. Schnapps translates to “hard liquor or booze”.


Schnaps is a differently spelled word in Low German, so the term schnapps translates as “soften”.


European style schnapps are somewhat well crafted liquors around 80 proof that can compare to brandy. North American schnapps are seen as lower quality and almost a novelty liqueur.


Once upon a time schnapps was produced by distilling wine; after that potatoes and neutral grain spirits were used. Grain is the main ingredient around the world now.


There are many flavorings like apples, pears, peaches or peppermint. It is usually clear and has a sweetness. Schnapps are often a aperitif or digestif after a meal, and can also be used in cocktails.

Bottle with light tan peach liqueur on a wooden table

What is Peach Liqueur?

Peach Liqueur is an alcoholic beverage made from distilled alcohol and bottled with added sugar. Liqueurs are sweet, not usually aged, but may have resting periods during production to let flavors develop. We have a homemade peach liqueur recipe, too!


Liqueurs can be confused for liquor to some people, especially because a lot of spirits come in a flavored form (like flavored vodka or whiskey). Read in our post about Liquor vs Liqueur to find out more! Fruit liqueurs are full of flavor and use usually use fresh real fruit as the flavoring in the beverage.


But, in basic terms peach liqueur vs peach schnapps can be used interchangeably by North American standards, but not European. Are you confused yet?


Peach Liqueur is used more often than peach schnapps in cocktails. Peach liqueur can use used in our Peach Zombie.

Is Schnapps A Liqueur?

Because schnapps are both sweet and can be sour, they can be classified as a liqueur. Peach brandy or creme de peche can also be used to describe peach schnapps. A liqueur can be made from different flavors and extracts, including schnapps. Quality schnapps use real ingredients, not artificial to give a great fruity flavor.


If you look at peach liqueur vs peach schnapps, they are two different products. Peach schnapps are an alcoholic beverage made from distilled peaches. Peach brandy is made from fermented peaches that have been aged in oak barrels. Schnapps can come in a variety of flavors like apple, cinnamon, peppermint, and butterscotch.


Liqueurs on the other hand are sweetened and flavored with herbs or fruit.


So the history goes that in 1875, a Dutch company, De Kuyper Royal Distillers created the first peach schnapps. So, in essence, they aren’t that different, but are categories in a category.

bottle of Peachtree schnapps on wooden table

Peach Schnapps

Peach schnapps are an alcoholic beverage made from distilled peaches. Seemingly schnapps seem have a complicated history. Peach schnapps historically have been around since the early 1800s, primarily used as medicine for stomach issues and other illnesses.


It’s essentially an eau de vie: a clear brandy made by mashing fruit and distilling a clear spirit. Some popular brands of Peach Schnapps are Archers, Barentzen, Charles Regnier, and Gionelli.


Peach Schnapps Liqueur

Peach Schnapps Liqueur, Peachtree, was launched by DeKuyper in 1984 in the United States.  It can be used to add a juicy peach flavor to cocktails. Peach Schnapps Liqueur Cocktails include the Fuzzy Navel, Sex on the Beach, Georgia Peach and Peach Daiquiri are just a few. Peachtree is kind of in its’ own category with its’ own unique flavor.


Peach Liqueur Brands

There are many brands of peach liqueur, each with their own flavor. Some of the more popular brands include: Maison Ferrand Mathilde Peche, Rothman & Winter Orchard Peach, Gabriel Boudier Creme de Peche, and Stirrings Peach, among others.


Peach Liqueur vs Peach Schnapps in Cocktails

You can use schnapps as a substitution for liqueur, but it depends on the recipe. While both options have an average alcohol content, schnapps is typically higher in proof. Schnapps can be a great sub for liqueur in cocktails, as it will still provide the sweetness and flavor. But, schnapps will generally have a stronger flavor than peach liqueur, so you may have to adjust the amount used according to those standards.


Other options to get the same flavor in drinks is to use peach puree, peach brandy, apricot brandy or fresh peach juice. These are all good substitutes, but will all make delicious cocktails. But obviously the best substitutes for all cocktails are using either option, peach liqueur vs peach schnapps, so use what you like.

two bottles with light tan peach liqueur on a wooden table
How to Drink Schnapps

European drinkers rarely mix their schnapps into cocktails. Usually they enjoy schnapps neat or on ice before or after a meal.

Hope this helped explain the differences and similarities of both, as both are a great option for cocktails! Cheers!

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