A liqueur is an alcoholic beverage made from a distilled spirit that has been flavored with fruit, cream, herbs, spices, flowers or nuts and bottled with added sugar or other sweetener. Liqueurs are typically quite sweet; they are usually not aged for long after the ingredients are mixed, but may have resting periods during their production to allow flavors to marry.
In the United States and Canada, where spirits are often called "liquor", with stress on the first rather than the second syllable), there is often confusion over liqueurs and liquors, especially as many spirits today are available in flavored form. The most reliable rule of thumb is that liqueurs are quite sweet and often syrupy in consistency, while liquors are not. Most liqueurs have a lower alcohol content (15–30% ABV) than spirits, but some contain as much as 55% ABV.
In parts of the United States, liqueurs may also be called cordials or schnapps, while in large parts of the British Commonwealth, cordial means a concentrated non-alcoholic fruit syrup that is diluted to taste and consumed as a non-carbonated soft drink, and in Germany and Scandinavia, schnapps means a form of brandy or aquavit.