What Are The Main Differences Between Gin And Gin Liqueur?

At home or the bar, downing a drink is somehow much more enjoyable when you know all about it – or at least, what the drink is. Gin and gin liqueur has risen in popularity over the last few years, but do you know the difference between them?

The difference between gin and gin liqueur is that gin liqueur has more sweeteners added to its flavor profile, meaning gin liqueur will taste sweeter than normal gin. In addition, gin liqueur also has a lower ABV (Alcohol By Volume).

We understand that you may have some questions about gin and gin liquor, such as how they are made, what’s the best way to drink gin, and what’s the best mixer for gin liqueur. We’ll answer those questions, plus talk about the difference between liquor and liqueur.

The Main Differences Between Gin And Gin Liqueur?

While gin and gin liqueur do share some similarities, the main differences are that gin is not as sweet as gin liqueur, and gin liqueur contains less alcohol than gin. Gin liqueur is much sweeter than gin since gin liqueur has flavorings and sweeteners added to it. 

While gin isn’t super sweet like gin liqueur, gin has a distinct flavor that is part of what makes people love the drink: a pine-like flavor that comes from the juniper berries, an aromatic fruit.

Juniper berries grow naturally in Europe, North America, and Asia. If a gin does not contain juniper berries as the primary ingredient, the drink cannot officially be classed as gin.

On the other hand, people seek out gin liqueur because of its unique flavors since gin liqueur does not have to stick to that flavoring restriction.

Gin liqueur can come in many different flavors: popular gin liqueur flavors include raspberry, strawberry, apples, vanilla, and blood orange.  

What Is Gin?

By definition, gin is an alcoholic product that comes from distilling or redistilling distilled spirits. However, gin can also be made by mixing neutral spirits with aromatics, typically floral or fruity, such as juniper berries. To be considered a gin, a spirit must have juniper berries as the predominant flavor. 

There is no defined ratio requirement for gin makers to include juniper berries in their gin; it just must be included as the primary flavor. While the piney flavor of juniper berries must be present in a gin for the drink to be considered gin, other aromatics are used when making the spirit.

A short ice-cold glass containing gin and tonic on a wooden board. The glass has a slice of lime on the edge and several slices of lime can be seen on the wooden board.

Cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, angelica root, and citrus peels are all common gin botanicals. Oranges, limes, lemons, and grapefruit are popular choices for citrus peel ingredients. 

Another thing to note about gin is its alcohol by volume (ABV), which is higher than gin liqueur’s ABV. Gin typically has an ABV ratio of 37.5%, whereas gin liqueur has a typical ABV of 20%.

What Is Gin Liqueur?

Created from distilled gin, gin liqueur goes down sweet and features sweeteners and flavorings to create a unique and tasty experience. This spirit is often infused with herbs, spices, cream, fruit, and flowers, and when bottled, gets another dose of added sugar, such as high fructose corn syrup. 

Though it is sweet, gin liqueur is the better choice over gin for when you want to avoid the awful next-morning hangover. Gin liqueur is better for your hangover because it typically contains about 20% alcohol by volume, much lower than gin’s 37.5%.

Thanks to its floral and fruit-flavored sweetness, many people opt for gin liqueur oven plain gin because it is easier to drink. Think crisp pear, baked apple, and rhubarb ginger, to name a few standard gin liqueur notes. 


Final Thoughts

There are a few key differences between gin and gin liqueur. Gin is made by distilling grain and adding botanical flavors, while gin liqueur is made by adding fruit or other flavorings to a distilled spirit. Gin is typically clear, while gin liqueur can be any color.

Gin is less sweet than gin liqueur, and has a higher alcohol content. Gin is typically used in cocktails, while gin liqueurs are often sipped on their own.

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