19 Different Types of Liquor

Liquor is a distilled beverage; an alcoholic drink that is produced by distillation of a blend or combination that is produced from alcoholic fermentation. During this procedure, it removes diluting components or mechanisms such as water so that it will increase the percentage of alcohol content.

When distilled beverages contain more alcohol they considered harder. This is what distinguishes hard liquor from weaker liquors. That said, here are 19 different types of liquor; some you’ve heard of and others you probably haven’t.

See Also: 16 Types of Beer

Types of Liquor

1. Vodka

Primarily one of the purest liquors from around the world, vodka is a distilled beverage composed of ethanol and water, sometimes with flavoring added. It is odorless and clear and is made from grains, potatoes, fruits and sugar. Its minimum alcohol content is 37.5%.

Vodka hails from Russia and Eastern Europe. Usually it is drank without any water, ice, or other mixer although it is chilled when being served. Its consumption is different depending upon the particular region.

2. Whiskey

A distilled alcoholic drink made or produced from fermented grain mash including corn, barley, wheat, and rye. Whiskey is commonly aged in wooden barrels or casks made of charred oak.

Whiskey is consumed worldwide and has many subtypes including scotch (from Scotland) and bourbon (from the US). It is usually distilled 2-3 times for improved flavor.

3. Rum

Rum is very popular and often connected to stories of pirates and navy sailors. It is made from the distillation of molasses or sugar juice. Rum is commonly consumed in the Caribbean Islands and many South American countries.

It is produced in a variety of grades and usually served as a well-liked and accepted medium of economic exchange. Its three main categories are dark, light and spiced. Captain Morgan is probably the most well known rum in the United States.

4. Tequila

Tequila is a popular liquor which is usually produced from blue agave, a plant grown in Mexico. 100% pure blue agave tequila is highly desired and sold at a higher price than many other liquors.

Margaritas and tequila sunrises are two of the most popular mixed drinks made out of tequila.

5. Gin

Gin is one of the most common classical drinks produced from fermented or distilled grains. It is a dry spirit derived from the taste of juniper berries. In early times, gin acted as an herbal medicine, but as time passed by, it become a product for social and recreational drinkers.

Gin is usually colorless, but sometimes yellowish in color. For many years, gin was the most consumed liquor until vodka took over that title. But still many drinkers prefer gin as their liquor of choice.

6. Brandy

Brandy is derived from the Dutch word brandewijn and it contains 35-60% alcohol content that is produced by fermenting fruit. It is commonly consumed after dinner as a type of dessert drink.

Brandy is usually made from grapes but also applies, cherries, peaches, and apricots . Some types of brandy are produced by the combination of aging and coloring. Brandy is also made from the distillation and the cleansing of pomace, a wine with some other fruit. It’s known as eaux-de-vie.

See Also: 25 Different Lemon Types

7. Absinthe

This type of liquor came from botanicals like flowers of wormwood and leaves and mixed with some culinary, sweet fennel, and herbal medicines. It contains 45-74% alcohol content.

Typically, absinthe has green color, but sometimes it may be colorless. It is usually referred as the green fairy. It is not traditionally bottled with added sugar.

8. Arrack

Traditionally, arrack (or arak) liquor was produced in Southeast Asia or in the South. It is distilled sugarcane, fruits, red rice and sap of coconut. Arrack was blended in old wooden barrels and constantly distilled until the manufacturer met its taste and color objective.

9. Baijiu

Baijiu is a clear, colorless liquor originating from China. It is also called shaojui. Bijou was distilled from grains or from fermented sorghum. In fact, it’s one of the strongest distilled spirits with a 40-60% alcohol content.


Southern China makes use of glutinous rice; sometimes on the other hand, northern Chinese usually uses millet, wheat and barley as an alternative of sorghum. Baijiu tastes very similar to vodka.

10. Borovička

Also called as Juniper brandy, is a Slovak alcoholic liquor beverage made out of the juniper berry  Its taste is similar to dry gin distinguished by writing or its golden color.

Its minimum alcohol content is 37.5% according to Slovakia law. But today its alcohol content is commonly 40%. Most people from Poland and the Czech Republic consume this type of liquor.

11. Cachaça

This type of wine is distilled from sugar cane and is also referred to as pinga, aguardente, and caninha. It is most popular in Brazil and surrounding countries.

Cachaça was commonly used as an ingredient in tropical drinks and comes in with 38-40% alcohol content.

12. Horilka

Horilka is typically a Ukrainian alcoholic drink that is a generic form of vodka. It is distilled from grains like other liquor types. Some variations were distilled from sugar beets or honey.

It is believed to not be as strong today with a 20% alcohol content. But some manufacturers often increase its alcohol content to 40%.

13. Kaoliang

Also known as Sorghum wine, kaoliang is an alcoholic drink which comes from China and was primarily acquired by Taiwanese and Koreans. It originated from Dazhigu during the Ming Dynasty.

Kaoliang is a popular product of Matsu and Kinmen and its alcohol content ranges from 38% to 63%.

14. Metaxa

Metaxa is a type of liquor based on a combination of brandy mixed with wine and other flavors. It is a Greek alcoholic beverage that is exported to 65+ countries. It’s known to be fairly expensive and usually has a drier taste.

15. Mezcal

This type of alcoholic drink is distilled from the maguey plant, an agave plant grown in Mexico. This liquor is often used as an alternative for margaritas. Mezcal is derived from the word Nahuati which means oven cooked agave.

Mexico usually exports this product to Japan and the United States.

16. Ogogoro

Ogogoro is a west African alcoholic drink that is distilled from Raffia juice that comes from palm trees. After extraction, the collected sap or liquids are boiled to form steam, condensed and ready for collection and consumption.

This type of liquor is an African staple, especially popular in Nigeria. Its alcohol content ranges from 30-60%. Some say that this drink is dangerous if improperly brewed.

17. Pisco

Pisco is a type of brandy that is produced in wine making regions of Peru and Chile. It is commonly distilled from grapes and comes in a colorless or sometimes yellowish hue. Many compare it to a well-aged Cognac.

18. Shochu

This type of liquor is a distilled Japanese brew distilled from rice, barley, buckwheat, and sweet potatoes among other things. Commonly, its alcohol content is only 25% which is weaker than whiskey or vodka, but stronger than sake and wine.

19. Ţuică

Ţuică is a traditional Romanian alcohol beverage with a 28-60% alcohol content made from plums. Some variations are produced from rachie (or rachi), a cereal grain. It is also spelled as tzuica, tuica, tsuica depending upon the location.


Drinking alcoholic beverages or liquors is often done when people want to celebrate, be with their friends, become more social (it can help with anxiety), and sometimes to hide ones problems.

Though often drank for good/happy reasons, always remember that alcoholic is a type of drug that should always be consumed responsibly. It can be addicting, cause depression, and too much may be dangerous to someone’s health so always be responsible and enjoy life to the fullest.

3 thoughts on “19 Different Types of Liquor”

  1. I lived in Az. and had alot of lemons. Got a recipe out of the newspaper and made a wonderful liquor out of lemons and everclear, even though I don’t drink. Unfortunately, my Daughter threw the recipe and we tried another and not as good. Any ideas?

  2. Where does Japanese Sake fall under? Or is it a wine and not a liquor? How about Philippine Tuba or Lambanog? I am sure there are other liquors that are not listed.

    • A lot of people classify sake as a “wine” since it is fermented and not distilled like liquor. But it’s also common to put sake in its own category of alcohol.

      Liquor has an alcohol content of at least 20% (but 40% is most common) and sake is usually in the 15-17% alcohol range.

      Tuba is fermented so not a liquor but Lambanog is definitely a liquor but simply not known to many in the US.


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