Spirits & Liqueurs

Spirits & Liqueurs

These two categories seem to grow & grow & become more & more diverse by the day. Those two words 'spirits & liqueurs' sound so simple when you say them but combined, they include some of the worlds most famous brands & also some of the worlds oldest products. But what's the difference?

SPIRITS [spir·‚Äčit]

Noun: the liquid containing ethanol & water that is distilled from an alcoholic liquid or mash — often used in plural

In their most traditional sense are made from grains or other plants, with the main six 'pure spirits' being gin, vodka, brandy, tequila, rum & whisky (or whiskey depending on your location), all of which have a high alcohol content of usually over 38% ABV. Spirits are made through distillation using an alcoholic liquid made using a fermentation process; this liquid is then placed in a still where the alcohol is extracted in a relatively high concentrate, resulting in a pure distilled spirit.

LIQUEURS [li-kyur]

Noun: a usually sweetened alcoholic liquor (such as brandy) flavoured with fruit, spices, nuts, herbs, or seeds

Probably the oldest of all high-strength alcoholic beverages, liqueurs were originally the preserve of monks who produced them primarily for medicinal purposes. The first written record of a liqueur belongs to Kummel in 1575, but many knew that certain religious orders had produced elixirs for centuries before this date.

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