Liquor Vs Liqueur: What’s the Difference?


Have you ever wondered Liquor Vs Liqueur: What’s the Difference?Although both liquids may look similar, their distinguishing characteristics can determine which one is better suited for that special occasion. This blog post will explore how different components contribute to the distinct flavor profiles of Liquor and Liqueur so that when it comes time to choose a specific beverage, all of the facts are understood. Read on to learn more about these two popular spirits!

The main difference between the 2 types, Liquor and Liqueur, is the amount of alcohol by volume. Drinks with over 35% ABV are classified as liquors, While those with less than 35% ABV are classified as liqueurs.

Liquor Vs. Liqueur: Find Out Here the Difference Between the Two:

What is Liquor?

Liquor is a distilled spirit from fermented grains, fruits, or vegetables. The most common types of Liquor are 6 types include whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, tequila, and brandy. 

After fermentation, the Liquor is fermented, and the distillation process begins. During this process, the alcohol content is increased by at least 20% by volume.

Whiskey contains at least 55% alcohol, while tequila, vodka, and rum have 40% alcohol by volume.

Sugar is added to the mash in the fermentation process, but this usually doesn’t make the liquor taste sweet. After distillation, different flavors may be added after distillation to make the Liquor a bit sweeter.

These liquors are bottled at higher alcohol-by-volume (ABV) percentages than liqueurs (40% ABV or more). Depending on the distilling process and aging time, they can be either clear in color or have a deep amber hue. 

6 Types of Liquors

There are six widely recognized categories that most liquors in the world belong to. Below, each category is mentioned along with its unique characteristics.

  1. Whisky: Whiskey is distilled grain mash, usually corn, rye, wheat, or barley. Whiskies can be aged in wooden barrels for different lengths to create various flavors and colors. The colors of whiskey include amber, gold, and brown. The alcohol content of the whisky is typically between 40 and 55 percent ABV. Several famous cocktails, like the Manhattan and Old Fashioned, use whiskey as their base.
  2. Rum: Rum is a distilled alcoholic drink made from fermented sugarcane molasses or juice. The taste and color of rum can vary greatly depending on the type of sugar and the aging process used in production. Rum is usually between 40-75 percent ABV. Popular cocktails like Mojitos and Pina Coladas are based on this Liquor.
  3. Vodka: Vodka is a distilled alcoholic beverage made from grains or potatoes. It is usually clear, and the flavor is generally neutral with no distinct taste or aroma. Vodka can range in alcohol content from 35–50 percent ABV. The most popular vodka cocktails are Moscow Mules, Bloody Marys, and Screwdrivers. 
  4. Gin: A distilled liquor made from juniper berries and other botanicals. It has a distinctly piney taste, with some varieties having hints of citrus or floral notes. Its ABV usually ranges between 40–50 percent. Common gin cocktails include the Martini and the Negroni.
  5. Tequila: Tequila is a distilled alcoholic drink made from the blue agave plant native to Mexico. It is usually clear but can also be aged for several years and have an amber or golden color. The ABV of tequila typically ranges between 35-55 percent. Margaritas are the most popular tequila-based cocktails.
  6. Brandy: Brandy is a spirit made from the distillation of wine made of fermented grapes. In addition to grapes, some brandy is made by distilling other fruits, such as apples or pears. Brandy can be aged in wooden barrels for several years, and its flavor can vary greatly depending on the type of wood used in aging and the length of time it has been aged. The ABV of brandy usually ranges between 35-60 percent. Popular cocktails based on this Liquor include the Sidecar and Brandy Alexander.

What is Liqueur?


Liqueurs are a type of Liquor as well. They add sugar and flavoring agents, such as fruits or herbs, to distilled spirits. The most popular liqueurs are typically sweet with a creamy texture and come in various flavors like coffee, chocolate, cherry, and orange.

The alcohol content in liqueurs is usually lower than that of liquors (35% ABV or less), but they can be quite potent depending on the liqueur you choose. In Canada and the United States, this product is also called “Cordials” or “Schnapps.”

Liqueurs have a sweet taste, come in various flavors, and contain different oils. Liqueurs are often used to add flavor to cocktails and desserts. Depending on personal preference, they may also be served neat or over ice.

8 Types of Liqueurs

Various cultures create unique types of liqueurs with regional differences in taste and ingredients. The following are some of the popular ones.

  1. Amaro: The bitter liqueur Amaro is a staple in the Italian lifestyle and can be made from either a neutral spirit or brandy. Each type of Amaro has a distinctive taste due to a special combination of botanical ingredients. These ingredients usually consist of inherited recipes containing various herbs, spices, flowers, and elements such as gentian root, cinchona, and wormwood. It provides Amaro with a fantastic unique flavor.
  2. Cream liqueurs: Cream liqueurs combine fats and alcohol that provide a smooth and creamy texture. The most popular type of this liqueur is Baileys Irish Cream, made from whiskey, cream, sugar, and vanilla.
  3. Creme liqueurs: Creme liqueurs have a syrupy texture and are typically made with a sweetener to balance out the bitterness of their base spirit. Common ingredients used in creme liqueurs include vanilla, cocoa, almonds, or anise.
  4. Citrus liqueurs: Citrusiqueurs are made from fruits like oranges, lemons, or limes. They often have a tart and fruity flavor. Popular examples of this type of liqueur are Cointreau and Grand Marnier.
  5. Amaretto: Amaretto is an almond-flavored liqueur with a distinctive nutty taste. It is typically made from apricot pits and sometimes has a hint of cherry or vanilla. Disaronno is the most popular amaretto liqueur in the world.
  6. Coffee liqueurs: Coffee liqueurs have a sweet and intense coffee flavor with chocolate, caramel, or vanilla notes. The most popular type of coffee liqueur is Kahlua.
  7. Schnapps: Schnapps is a type of liqueur with a high sugar content and a sweet taste. It can come in various flavors, including fruit, chocolate, or mint.
  8. Medicinal: These liqueurs were originally created as medicinal remedies and usually contain more herbs and spices than other types of liqueur. Popular examples include Benedictine and Chartreuse. 

Liqueur vs. Liquor: What’s the Difference?


Liqueur and Liquor are two categories of high-alcohol-content drinks that may sound similar but have distinct differences.

Here are 4 differences between the two of them:

  1. Fermentation: Liquor refers to hard alcohol, spirits, or distilled spirits. These are alcoholic beverages that undergo fermentation and distillation, a process that involves heat and condensation to increase the alcohol content and concentrate particular compounds by boiling off a significant portion of water. Liquors are typically made from grains, although some distillers use fruits. The six main categories of Liquor are whiskey, brandy, rum, vodka, gin, and tequila.
  2. Flavorings: Liqueurs, on the other hand, are distilled spirits with a sweet flavor. They’re made by adding sugar, herbs, spices, and other flavorings to distilled spirits and usually come in various flavors like coffee, chocolate, cherry, or orange. The most popular liqueurs are usually quite sweet with a creamy texture.
  3. Sugar: Liqueurs are sweeter than liquors because of the added sugar. The amount of sugar can vary from one liqueur to another, resulting in a different taste.
  4. Alcohol content: The alcohol content for liquors is usually higher than liqueurs (40% ABV or more) or 80 to 110 proof. On the other hand, liqueurs tend to have a lower alcohol content (35% ABV or less). The alcohol content can also vary depending on the type of liqueur and its ingredients.  

Where to Find Liquors and Liqueurs?

When finding the best selection of liquors and liqueurs, visit GotoLiquorStore. This online store provides a wide variety of options to find what you’re looking for, whether it be a special occasion or just an everyday need. They also offer delivery services, so you can get your order right to your door without leaving the comfort of your home. If you’re in St. Louis, they even have a pick-up service that allows you to pick up your order from one of their nearby liquor stores. GotoLiquorStore is the perfect place for all of your liquor and liqueur needs!

For those who prefer to shop in person, plenty of local liquor stores are available to visit. It is important to research the laws of your area before purchasing drinks, as some states have different regulations. After finding a store, browse their selection of liquors and liqueurs to find the right one.

How to Enjoy Liquors and Liqueurs: Serving Suggestions

Now that you have your bottles of liquor and liqueur, it’s time to enjoy them! Here are some serving suggestions for both:

  1. Neat or On the Rocks: Many liquors, especially aged ones like whiskey, can be enjoyed neat or on the rocks, allowing you to savor their full flavor profile. Some liqueurs, like amaretto or sambuca, can also be enjoyed this way as a digestif.
  2. Cocktails: Both liquors and liqueurs can be used to create a wide range of cocktails, from classics like the Martini and Margarita to more inventive concoctions. Experiment with different combinations to find your perfect drink.
  3. With Food: Liquors and liqueurs can be paired with various dishes to enhance their flavors, either as an accompaniment or as an ingredient. For example, whiskey can be paired with cheese, while liqueurs like Chambord can be drizzled over desserts like chocolate cake.
  4. Cooking: Both liquors and liqueurs can be used in cooking to add depth and flavor to dishes, from savory entrées like coq au vin made with red wine and brandy to decadent desserts like crème brûlée made with Grand Marnier.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is there a difference between liquor and liqueur?

Yes, liquor is a distilled alcoholic beverage with a strong, distinctive taste and higher alcohol content, while liqueur is a sweet, flavored alcoholic beverage made by infusing a base spirit with various ingredients.

Can I drink liqueur straight?

Yes, many liqueurs can be enjoyed straight, either neat or on the rocks, as a digestif or simply to savor their unique flavors.

What are some popular liquors and liqueurs?

Popular liquors include vodka, gin, rum, tequila, whiskey, and brandy, while popular liqueurs include amaretto, Baileys Irish Cream, Cointreau, Frangelico, Grand Marnier, Kahlúa, Sambuca, and St-Germain.

What’s the best way to store liquors and liqueurs?

Store your bottles of liquor and liqueur in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight and temperature fluctuations.

Most spirits will last indefinitely if unopened, but once opened, they can begin to lose their quality over time.

Liqueurs with cream-based ingredients, such as Baileys Irish Cream, should be stored in the refrigerator after opening and consumed within a few months.


Liqueur and Liquor are high-alcohol-content drinks that differ in fermentation, flavorings, sugar content, and alcohol content. Liquor is made through fermentation and distillation, while liqueurs have added sugar, herbs, spices, and other flavoring agents to give it a sweeter taste. When shopping for liquors or liqueurs, GotoLiquorStore is an excellent online option for delivery services and local pick-up. Alternatively, you can visit your local liquor store for more options.

No matter which route you take, be sure to research the laws of your area first before purchasing any alcoholic beverages. After this post, I hope the above information has provided all you need. Leave a comment below if you have any other questions!

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