Difference Between Liquor and Liqueur


Main Difference

Beverages are the most popular form of drinks that are available for people, and they like to drink them. There are many kinds that exist and differs by constituents used. Drinks that have alcohol in them are the ones who get the most importance, and the two such terms utilized for these are liquor and liqueur. Boh of which have the main difference that the first one includes the process of distillation and the amount of alcohol is much higher as compared to others in them and the second one does not have that process and adds sweeteners in them.

Comparison Chart

unsweetened alcoholic beverage.Sweetened alcoholic beverage.
More than 100 years600 years.
The process of fermentation and distillation takes place.The process of distillation and fermentation are not standard.
Does not have any sugar added to it and there are no sweeteners.Some sweetener or sugar added in a liqueur to make it distinctive from others.
A Large amount is present.Less value is present.
Usually at late night and with friends.Usually taken after a meal to help in digestion.
None specific.Used in some form of medicine.
Bourbon, Vodka, Gin, Rum Tequila and Whisky.Fruit Brandies, Cream Liqueurs, Amari and others.

What is Liquor?

Liquor has the definition of a beverage that has alcohol in it, but that is not the only basis on that it gets the name. Usually, they are the name or distilled spirit. This term can have many other names such as intoxicant, rotgut, hooch and others. It can also have another explanation, which is the alcohol that is used to carry out a process of some kind; it can be anything particular. Because of the use of alcohol, liquor has its uses as a statement of someone being drunk, though this is just unique to the North American region. The primary process of these types is that the process of distillation is involved and the fermentation process results in the production of the drink that people use. This process removes all the components that make it reasonable, these include water as well. The less amount of water in the constituent, the stronger the liquor will be. If the total percentage of alcohol will be less, the beverage will be known as soft liquor, and if the amount is more, they will be called hard liquor. Most people confuse drinks like beer, wine, and cider as a form of liquor but that is not the case since there is no distillation carried out while preparing these drinks. The main type of liquor based drinks includes bourbon, vodka, gin, rum tequila and whiskey. Another way of defining it will be that a substance that does not contain any added sugar and has at least 20% of alcohol, they can be termed as liquor as long as the process of distillation is carried out.


What is Liqueur?

The liqueur is a word that not only differs in spelling with the above one but also has different meaning and the way the formation process occurs. Although they are another kind of beverages very distinct from the ones that contain an excess of alcohol. The main difference between them and others is that sugar or other sweeteners are added to it to make sure they have a distinctive taste. This process can begin in many ways; mostly people add herbs, roots, plants, fruits, milk, honey and many other kinds of things to make sure the taste is different and the product is sweet. The original condition remains the same that the drink has to be sweet. Otherwise, it cannot become liqueur. For this, many kinds of sweeteners are added in the mixture to make sure the taste changes. They are taken after the meal to help in the digestion and cannot have the use for other purposes that are familiar with strong drinks. The main types of drinks in this include fruit brandies, cream liqueurs, Amari and others. They originated from Italy and had been making all over Europe for well over 600 years. Initially, they had used as medicines for people who had a weak digestive system and other problems. There are different methods to make all of these taste like a sweet. The first one is called compounding, in which a mixture of sugar and water added. The next one is called maceration, in which ingredients are added months in advance to give a stronger taste. The third one is called percolation where the elements are placed in a wooden box and maintain the original taste and smell. The last process is called infusion where the fruits or other herbs added to the mixture, and no distillation takes place.

Key Differences

  1. Liquor is known as unsweetened alcoholic beverage whereas Liqueur is known as a sweetened alcoholic beverage.
  2. The process of distillation and fermentation is necessary for a drink to be referred to as a liquor whereas that is not the requirement for liqueur and it can either be distilled or not refined.
  3. Liquor does not have any kind of sugar added to it, and there are no sweeteners as well whereas there is always some sort of sweetener or sugar added in a liqueur to make it distinctive from others.
  4. The amount of alcohol is pretty high in liquor as all the water removed and accurate processing is done to make it extreme. A liqueur has less amount of alcohol in it and makes for a simple process.
  5. The place of drinking liquor is on parties and late night outings whereas a liqueur usually utilizes itself after a meal for help in the process of digestion.
  6. The primary example of liquor will be bourbon, vodka, gin, rum tequila and whiskey. The main types of drinks included in the liqueur will be fruit brandies, cream liqueurs, Amari and others.
  7. The liqueur is used for medicine whereas liquor has no scope for such purposes.
  8. Liquor has been made for well over 1000 years whereas liqueur is a new form which has been existing for around 600 years.
Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss