Liqueur or liquor: what's the difference?

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difference between liquor and liqueur

Difference liqueurs or liquors?

You might have asked yourself one of these questions: what's the difference between liqueurs and liquors? Are liqueurs and liquors the same? Well, liqueurs are sweet while liquors are not. That's the easiest way to remember the difference. Now we'll explain it a little more technical.

What is liquor?

What's the difference between liquors and liqueursWhiskey, tequila, vodka, rum and gin are (distilled) liquors. A distilled liquor is obtained by the distillation of fermented fruits, plants or grains. Fermentation is the process where yeast transforms carbohydrates (= sugar) into ethanol (= alcohol), carbon dioxide and energy. Distilled liquors are alcoholic beverages in which the concentration of ethanol has been increased above that of the original fermented mixture by the method of distillation. Distillation means that when a liquid which contains ethanol is heated to a temperature above 78.5°C but below 100°C (the boiling point of water) the vapour coming off that liquid condenses. That condensate will have a higher alcohol concentration.

How is liqueur made?

To come to liqueur, liquor is used as a base spirit. The liquor gets flavoured withLiqueurs or Liquors  fruit, plants or grains and sweetened by the addition of sugar. The alcoholic percentage of liqueur can vary from 20% to 60% (40 to 120 proof) and it contains at least 100 grams of sugar per liter. To talk about cream or crème, the liqueur should contain at least 250 grams of sugar per liter.

So liqueurs are sweet because they contain a lot of residual sugar, whilst liquors don't. To know more about liqueurs read our Midori blog article.

Now you know everything about liqueurs and liquors.

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Steven Willems
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