Originally Posted by Marduk
We call strong drinks, such as rum, whiskey, etc, 'spirits' in english.
In the U.S. "spirits" has kinda gone out of fashion, and might net you some weird looks from the younger population (at least on the East Coast, argh so many dialects of English). "Hard liquor" would suffice, though plenty of people here also just use "strong drinks" as well.
Then again, it also would depend on the drink. Rum, vodka and the like certainly would use "hard liquor" or just plain old "alcohol" from the college age crowd here. While with something like absinthe "spirits" would actually probably still be more appropriate.