Liquor vs Liqueur

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What’s the difference between them?



An alcoholic beverage distilled from grain, fruit, or vegetables; also known as spirits.


1. The bar was serving a wide selection of liquor.

2. We stopped at the liquor store on the way home from the party.

3. The liquor store was closed due to the new government regulations.



A liqueur is an alcoholic drink flavored with herbs, spices, fruits, or nuts and typically sweetened with more sugar.


1. It was my first time trying a liqueur, and I quite enjoyed it.

2. The bar served a variety of liqueurs from around the world.

3. The liqueur had a strong flavor of anise and licorice.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference




1. Alcohol

2. Spirits

3. Booze

4. Intoxicants

5. Potable spirits

1. Abstinence

2. Sobriety

3. Temperance

4. Nonalcoholic beverage

5. Dryness


1. Distilled spirit

2. Cordial

3. Potable

4. Alcoholic beverage

5. Intoxicating liquid

1. Nonalcoholic beverage

2. Abstinence

3. Sobriety

4. Temperance

5. Teetotaling

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Liquor", "Liqueur".

1. Liquor is distilled and Liqueur is flavored.

2. Liquor is stronger in alcohol content than Liqueur.

3. If there is a higher sugar content, it is likely a liqueur.

Practice English with the Promova app and avoid misusing confusing words

Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the first word be used?

Liquor is an alcoholic beverage that is usually distilled from grains, fruits, or vegetables and typically has a higher alcohol content than beer or wine. It is commonly used in mixed drinks as well as for sipping straight.

When is the appropriate context for using the second word?

Liqueur is an alcoholic drink flavored with herbs, spices, fruits, or nuts and typically sweetened with more sugar. It is usually used in cocktails or as a topping for desserts or coffee and can also be enjoyed as an after dinner drink.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the two words do not share the same pronunciation. Liquor is pronounced with a short 'i' sound ('lick-er') while liqueur is pronounced with a long 'e' sound ('lee-kwur').

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

One common mistake people make when using these words is confusing the difference between liquor and liqueur. Another mistake is mispronouncing either word. It is also important to understand that the two words are not interchangeable - liquor has a higher alcohol content and is consumed differently than liqueur.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. After dinner, they offered us a glass of _________ infused with herbs and honey.

2. She decided to buy a bottle of _________ for her cocktail party this weekend.

3. The bartender mixed the drink with a cherry-flavored _________ to give it a sweet taste.

4. Many people enjoy a shot of _________ on the rocks to unwind after a long day.

5. The specialty store down the street has a wide variety of international _________.

6. Grandpa used to make his own _________ using wild berries from the garden.

1. liqueur

Explanation: The mention of infused with herbs and honey is indicative of a flavored alcoholic drink, which is consistent with the definition of a liqueur.

2. liquor

Explanation: The reference to cocktail party suggests the need for a base alcoholic beverage, which aligns with the definition of liquor.

3. liqueur

Explanation: Cherry-flavored and give it a sweet taste point towards a sweetened and flavored alcoholic drink, i.e., liqueur.

4. liquor

Explanation: On the rocks typically refers to serving a distilled alcoholic beverage, or liquor, over ice.

5. liqueurs

Explanation: Variety of international hints at a selection of diverse, flavored, and typically sweetened alcoholic beverages. Liqueurs fit this description better than general liquors.

6. liqueur

Explanation: Using wild berries from the garden suggests that the alcoholic drink was flavored, aligning with the description of a liqueur.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.