Liquor Vs. Liqueur: What's The Difference Between The Beverages?
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Because "liqueur" and "liquor" sound so similar, it's simple to mix them up. The liquids and the terminology are not interchangeable, even though both are alcohol-containing distilled spirits and essential components for creating cocktails.

Liquors are often not sweet, whereas liqueurs are. Nonetheless, the fact that a lot of liquors come in flavoured varieties only serves to further confusion. While liqueurs are mostly used as flavourings in mixed cocktails, liquors constitute the foundation of a drink (though several can also be drunk on their own).

What Is Liquor?

Alcoholic beverages, such as liquors or spirits, are produced by fermenting grains or other plants to produce a strong beverage. Six categories of distilled spirits are often recognised as liquors: brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka, and whisky; however, there are a few more that fit this description as well.

Alcohol and water are separated during the distillation process, which comes after fermentation. Through this method, the alcohol percentage in spirits is increased to at least 20% by volume (ABV). While whisky typically runs from 40 to 55 percent ABV, brandy, rum, tequila, and vodka are typically 40 percent ABV. The ABV of gin can vary between 37% and 50%.

In addition to being the foundation of many mixed beverages and cocktails, liquors are also frequently sipped neat. Consider Martinis, Manhattans, Old-fashioned, Rum and Coke, Scotch on the Rocks, and Gin and Tonics, along with Seven and Seven. Additionally, shots are often made with pure liquor. These are common party cocktails, but they become shooters when liqueurs and other mixers are added.

What Is Liqueur?

Liqueurs are technically classified as liquor since they are distilled spirits. The main distinction is that liqueurs are sweetened spirits with additional flavours, oils, and extracts; rum, whisky, brandy, and other liquors can be used as base spirits for liqueurs.

Liqueurs were previously known as cordials, and several have a centuries-long history due to their frequent therapeutic usage. Popular herbal liqueurs, such as Benedictine and Chartreuse, were initially made as cures for different maladies, frequently by monks who specialised in alchemy.

Because of the additions, liqueurs often have a lower alcohol content than liquors. They can range in strength from a modest 15 percent ABV to a high 30 percent ABV. There are several inventive and renowned drinks that employ liqueurs, such as Margarita, Cosmopolitan, Screwdriver, and more. These are the components that often add something extra unique to the drink. The majority can also be savoured neat, cold, or on their own.

The Difference

First off, with 15 percent to 30 percent ABV, liqueurs have a far lower alcohol level than distilled spirits, while liquor typically contains more than 38% ABV of alcohol.

Secondly, most liqueurs are made with added sugar and flavourings, while liquor is never sweetened.