Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Differences Between Liquor And Spirits

Liquor vs Spirits

Liquor and spirits are two words that are usually interchanged with one another. People say that these two terms are the same but they certainly are not. In the early 1920s, all spirits meant liquor. However, in this day and age, these two terms were given different meanings particularly for the sake of bartenders who serve people’s drinks – lessening the chances of serving the wrong drink to their customers. Since a lot of things are advancing in their own ways, they simply put these into two categories: liquors and spirits.

Liquor and Spirits

Liquor is defined as any non-brewed alcohol – distilled spirits, so as they say. Liquor, in Latin, means “to be fluid”. Dating back in the 1225, it simply meant “liquid”. People used it to describe an intoxicating alcoholic drink. It is basically an alcoholic beverage which contains ethanol. It is produced by fermenting grain, fruit, or vegetables. As compared to spirits, liquor is a lot sweeter mainly because of the added flavoring and sweetness it has. Also, liquor has higher alcohol content than wine and beer – mainly because of its concentrated nature during its distillation or compounding processes. Oftentimes, to compliment their bases, additional juices and flavors are added to give it a twist – such flavors could be of fruits, sugar canes, or potatoes. Wine and beer are not considered to be distilled alcohol – but they are not spirits, either.

On the other hand, spirits are specific liquors that are created to have special flavors. The term “spirit” refers to a certain distilled beverage that has no added sugar and that has at least 20% alcohol by volume, or ABV.  Once alcohol is distilled, it becomes a spirit. The process of distilling alcohol is called fermentation. The most popular kinds of spirits are brandy, gin, rum, tequila, vodka, and whisky. Spirits are created by concentrating the alcohol in a ferment liquid by distilling it to become sweeter or for it to become flavored. Usually, the concentration of the alcohol in spirits range from 37% and 43%. At first, spirits are not sweet but when they goes through fermentation, gradually the taste starts to form. But as compared to liquor, spirits are less sweet.

Ultimatum

Liquor and spirits are both known for being strong alcoholic drinks. Both go through distillation before they are served but they have different alcohol contents. Liquors must be distilled from fermented beverages and they have a higher proof rating, which is 40% alcohol content. Spirits, on the other hand, need to have at least 20% ABV. Some say that liquor is the same as spirits but so far, these are the noted distinctions that they have.

Although their differences are not really that much, they do carry a few distinctions. And over the years, the meaning of liquor and spirits have already changed. We all know that liquor will be liquor, a spirit will remain a spirit, and a drink will be a drink. As long as people have something to drink down during good times, then everybody’s good to go.

Summary:

  1. Liquor is defined as any non-brewed alcohol – distilled spirits, so as they say. Liquor, in Latin, means “to be fluid”. Dating back in the 1225, it simply meant “liquid”. People used it to describe an intoxicating alcoholic drink. It is basically an alcoholic beverage which contains ethanol.

  2. On the other hand, spirits are specific liquors that are created to have special flavors. The term “spirit” refers to a certain distilled beverage that had no added sugar and that has at least 20% alcohol by volume, or ABV.  Once alcohol is distilled, it becomes a spirit.


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1 Comment

  1. Hello,
    I read in the second paragraph :
    “The process of distilling alcohol is called fermentation.”

    Well, not so. Fermentation is the process which converts sugars into alcohol; the proces of distilling is called distillation.

    Regards,

    J. C.

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