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Glossary of Terms

Specific Gravity

Glossary of Terms

Specific Gravity, or Relative Density is a numerical value given to liquids to determine their density. The Specific Gravity of a liquid is referenced against water, which has a neutral numerical value of  1. Any liquid with a Specific Gravity less than 1 is lighter than water, and a liquid with a Specific Gravity larger than 1 is heavier than water.
In terms of drinks, the Specific Gravity is calculated by the quantity of sugars and alcohol in a drink. The greater the amount of sugar, the higher the Specific Gravity; the more alcohol, the lower the Specific Gravity.

Specific Gravity and Layered Cocktails

Specific Gravity is particularly employed in bartending when making layered cocktails. Drinks with a greater density must be poured in to the glass first, while drinks with a lower density must be layered towards the top.
Drinks with a similar Specific Gravity have a greater chance of mixing, so when making layered cocktails it is ideal to choose drinks with a large variation in number.

Specific Gravity Chart

The following chart details some of the more popular liqueurs and their Specific Gravity / Relative Density value.

 Name Specific Gravity  Colour
 Kirsch 0.94 Clear
 Southern Comfort 0.97 Amber
 Tuaca 0.98 Amber
 Water 1.00 Clear
 Green Chartreuse 1.01 Green
 Cointreau 1.04 Clear
 Peach Liqueur 1.04 Amber
 Sloe Gin 1.04 Dark Red
 Kummel 1.04 Clear
 Peppermint Schnapps 1.04 Clear
 Benedictine 1.04 Amber
 Brandy 1.04 Amber
 Midori Melon 1.05 Green
 Rock and Rye 1.05 Amber
 Peach Schnapps 1.05 Clear
 Baileys Irish Cream 1.05 Cream
 Apricot Brandy 1.06 Amber
 Blackberry Brandy 1.06 Dark Red
 Cherry Brandy 1.06 Dark Red
 Peach Brandy 1.06 Amber
 Campari 1.06 Red
 Yellow Chartreuse 1.06 Yellow
 Drambuie 1.08 Amber
 Frangelico 1.08 Brown
 Orange Curacao 1.08 Orange
 Sambuca 1.08 Clear
 Triple Sec 1.09 Clear
 Tia Maria 1.09 Brown
 Apricot Liqueur 1.09 Orange
 Cranberry Liqueur 1.09 Red
 Blackberry Liqueur 1.10 Dark Red
 Amaretto 1.10 Amber
 Orange Curacao 1.10 Orange
 Blue Curacao 1.11 Blue
 Galliano 1.11 Amber
 Cherry Liqueur 1.12 Dark Red
 Green Creme de Menthe 1.12 Green
 White Creme de Menthe 1.12 White
 Strawberry Liqueur 1.12 Red
 Parfrait d'Amour 1.13 Violet
 Coffee Liqueur 1.14 Dark Brown 
 Creme de Banane 1.14 Yellow
 Dark Creme de Cacao 1.14 Brown
 White Creme de Cacao 1.14 Clear
 Maraschino 1.14 Clear
 Kahlua 1.14 Dark Brown 
 Creme de Menthe (uncoloured)  1.15 Clear
 Creme de Cacao 1.15 Brown
 Creme de Almond 1.16 Red
 Creme de Menthe (coloured) 1.16 Green
 Grenadine 1.16 Red
 Creme de Noyaux 1.16 Red
 Anisette 1.17 Clear
 Creme de Cassis 1.18 Red

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