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What is the Difference Between Liqueur and Liquor?
It’s like that old phrase. Every liqueur is a liquor, but not every liquor is a liqueur. Like the term ‘spirits,’ liquor is an umbrella term for a distilled alcoholic beverage. Whiskey, gin, vodka, and rum are all types of liquor. The difference between liqueur and the rest of its distilled counterparts comes in how it’s flavored.
Liqueurs are sweetened, flavored liquors. There are four processes by which distillers give liqueur their flavors. Some distilleries infuse flavor into their liqueur, others distill it, some use extraction methods, and there are those that smoke the flavor into the spirit.
Is There a Difference Between Liqueurs and Cordials?
With the exception of in the UK, there is no difference between liqueurs and cordials. The two terms can be used interchangeably to refer to a liquor that has been flavored and sweetened. Again, the only place where that isn’t the truth is in the UK. Across the pond, the term cordial is used to refer to any sweet, non-alcoholic drink.
Are There Different Types of Liqueur?
Fruit Liqueur – A delicious liqueur can be made using almost any fruit imaginable. Good fruit liqueurs are sweet and refreshing, and will add flavors to your drink that other spirits won’t. With everything from orange liqueur to more exotic choices like rhubarb and cherry almond.
Herbal Liqueur – Herbal liqueurs can contain dozens of different botanical ingredients, making for hundreds upon hundreds of different flavor combinations. Lemongrass, tea leaves, ginger root, peppermint, and basil are all popular herbs used by independent distilleries.
Coffee and Chocolate Liqueur – If decadent cocktails are what you’re after, stock your bar with coffee and chocolate liqueurs. Balanced with a rich, creamy texture, coffee and chocolate liqueurs are great as a dessert sip over ice. Or use a splash of Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur to embolden your hot chocolate or cup of joe.
These three styles are only the beginning of our small batch liqueur collection. We have these styles to explore, too:
How to Enjoy Liqueur
Like every spirit, there are a number of ways to enjoy liqueur. It could be neat, on the rocks, or in a cocktail. And there’s no wrong way to enjoy liqueur, either. Because no matter which style of liqueur you choose, adding some to your glass or shaker will give your drink all new dimensions.
Liqueurs with rich, creamy bodies are delicious when poured neat or over ice. Mixed with hot chocolate in a piping hot mug, chocolate and coffee liqueurs are like a preparation-free dessert. Brighter fruit liqueurs can be sipped too, but, more often, they are the second or third ingredient in a cocktail recipe. Margaritas wouldn’t be Margaritas without orange liqueur.