Liquor, spirits, spirit drink, distilled beverage or hard liquor is an alcoholic drink produced by distillation of grains, fruits, vegetables, or sugar, that have already gone through alcoholic fermentation. The distillation process concentrates the liquid to increase its alcohol by volume. As liquors contain significantly more alcohol (ethanol) than other alcoholic drinks, they are considered "harder" – in North America, the term hard liquor is sometimes used to distinguish distilled alcoholic drinks from non-distilled ones, whereas the term spirits is used in the UK. Examples of liquors include brandy, vodka, absinthe, gin, rum, tequila, and whisky.
Like other alcoholic drinks, liquor is typically consumed for the psychoactive effects of alcohol. Liquor may be consumed on its own (“neat”), typically in small amounts. In undiluted form, distilled beverages are often slightly sweet, bitter, and typically impart a burning mouthfeel, with a strong odor from the alcohol; the exact flavor varies between different varieties of liquor and the different impurities they impart. Liquor is also frequently enjoyed in diluted form, as flavored liquor or as part of a mixed drink; with cocktails being a common category of beverage that utilize liquor.
Acute liquor consumption causes severe alcohol intoxication, or alcohol poisoning, which can be fatal. Consistent consumption of liquor over time correlates with higher mortality and other harmful health effects, even compared to other alcoholic beverages.