A spirit liquor or a liquor is a beverage which is distilled and is made into a drinkable liquid. It is made of ethanol. Ethanol is made by distillation that is concentrating it. Ethanol is made by fermenting fruits, grains or vegetables. This does not include undistilled fermented beverages like wine, beer and hard cider. North Americans use this term hard liquor to differentiate the undistilled from the distilled beverages. (The undistilled is supposed to be a little weaker.)
Liquor and spirits have their own qualities and differences
Liquor is an alcohol which is non-brewed. Spirits are specific and particular liquors with different flavors. Gin, tequila, Vodka, Triple sec, rum etc. are the base liquids and are not known as spirits. Crème de Cocao which tastes like chocolate and Sambucca which is liquorish – are both spirits. Initially in the 1920s spirits meant every type of liquor. These days bar tenders use this word very accurately and specifically, keeping the difference in mind.
The terms Alcohol and Liquor also have their own little differences
There is a drug by the name of Alcohol which is used in alcoholic drinks. These drinks are known as Liquor. So, it is ok to say “I am enjoying my liquor” (knowing that it contains alcohol.)
Spirit liquor refers to distilled beverages that has no sugar content and contains a minimum of 20% ABV. All the known and popular spirits brands include gin, vodka, brandy, fruit brandy, whisky, rum, tequila. Liqueurs are beverages which are distilled and bottled with flavors and sugar added proportionately. These are – American schnapps, Grand Mamier, Frangelico.
To make it easy the easiest distinction is except wine and beer; all other alcoholic beverages can be called spirits. And frankly speaking in daily use the distinction liquor and spirits is either ignored or is not known.
As beverages like wine and beer are not distilled, they are allowed an alcohol content of
20% ABV. This is because; fermentation stops at this percent and most of the yeasts are not able to reproduce when alcohol concentration exceeds 20 percent.
Fortified wines very often have brandy content; which is a distilled beverage.
Serving these liquors or alcoholic drinks have their own terms and conditions. As far as the quantity goes; each person has the privilege of serving the quantity he likes or is comfortable with. As far as the strength or the potency of the drink is concerned – it again depends on how strong the individual would like to enjoy it. This means that some other ingredient like water, lime, fresh lime soda etc. These are a few “serving terms” one would like to know and/or learn.
Straight up – This means the alcohol is stirred or may be shaken with ice and then strained and served in an appropriate stemmed glass.
Simple Mixer – This means with a juice, cola, tonic water or a club soda.
Neat or straight – No additional ingredients are added. It’s served at room temperature.
On the rocks – The spirit will be served over the ice cubes added in the glass
As a cocktail ingredient
With plain water
With sugar water
So as they say Style is the man – use your own style, above all; be comfortable with it and fix yourself and your companions some great spirits liquor without bothering – whether spirits or alcohol or liquor. Whether it’s Star liquor or not – As long as your palette has accepted it.