When making a cocktail, you will probably take a look at your alcohol stash and try to see what you can come up with. However, if you aren’t too familiar with making cocktails— it might be useful to familiarize yourself with the contents of a typical liquor cabinet. This starts with understanding the difference between liquor and liqueur. Without realizing it, you might have gotten these mixed up a time or two before. So, we’re here to make sense of this bit of drinking terminology.



There are six different types of distilled spirits, otherwise known as liquor. They are as follows: brandy, tequila, rum, gin, whiskey, and vodka. These alcohol options are at the center of any mixed drink, no matter how you take it. When you’re thinking in terms of liquor/liqueur, these are probably the things you’re thinking of— not the sugary, tangy, sour, herby additives that go to flavor you’re liquor and accompany it rather than being the main alcoholic component. This is liqueur. 


Liqueur differs from liquor in that it is more of a ‘taste’ you’re adding rather than the main component. For example, an espresso martini boasts vodka as the liquor component and coffee liqueur as a flavoring agent. While there are other ingredients, you can’t possibly make an espresso martini without these two essentials. A lemon drop is another great example, with vodka and limoncello at the center of the action. 


No matter what you’re drinking, it’s important to sip responsibly. Having a nice cocktail with friends can be a great way to catch up, enjoy yourself, and make the most of your weekend. However, it’s when you drink too much that you might find yourself in a problematic situation. Drinking and driving, binge drinking, or public intoxication can too easily become the end result of your evening spent with friends and liquor. So, drink smart, drive sober, consider being the DD, or even take an Uber. Your life is busy and important— try to avoid situations that can make it difficult for you to maintain your daily routines.