Making Schnapps

See all the recipes in the Fruit Wash page too.

Jack reports an easy way to make schnapps ...
    On page 173 of Dave Broom's book: Spirits & Cocktails (1998, Carlton Books Limited) he says that to get around the problem of soft fruits having a low amount of sugar, which prevents them from being made into wine and distilled :"the fruit is macerated in alcohol before it's given a single distillation in order to concentrate the flavored spirit."

    I decided to test this out. I bought a bottle of pure black cherry juice (no "flavored" apple or grape juice- the real thing at $5US per quart). I mixed the juice with an equal amount of 50% abv sugar spirit and it was redistilled (no soak time, just mix the juice and go) until about 1/2 a quart was collected. after being allowed to cool down it tasted wonderfull- full black cherry flavor, without making the stuff into wine first.

    I plan on using bags of frozen berries (rasberries, blueberries, etc) that can be found in the freezer section of the grocery store ($5US for 3/4 a pound)- I'll use one bag per quart of spirit. Since I'll be using the whole fruit, I'll let it soak for 2 weeks first. This should be more than enough to make a bottle of great schnapps, allowing me to catch the perfect flavors of the single fruit, without having to risk it turning sour as it's fermenting into wine (plus- no worries about added sugar ruining the final flavor).
He then confirms this technique..
    I've got the Schnaps stuff sorted out- using carbon polished sugar spirit at 40 to 50%abv. Apples seem to have enough of their own sugar to make this route unneeded for them, but for blueberries, cherries, etc, it works great. Mix up by volume- 2 parts of alcohol and one part fruit. Let this soak for one month, then redistill on a water bath still (a heating element is not going to work). Make sure to leave the fruit in the alcohol when you distill it. No sugar is to be added- the end result is a fiery spirit with a great bouquet of whatever fruit you used- this is TRUE schnaps- not the over sugared, watered-down, artificially flavored garbage that passes for schnaps here in the US. Enjoy!
He also recommends ..
    The "brewmart" brand french-style apple cider kit (in a can), when mixed with ten pounds of sugar, 5 gallons of water, and a wine yeast (K1V-1116), and distilled twice in a potstill (colect one-third of the 5 gallons on the first run, collect the middle one-fourth to one-third on the second run)- and you get a really good apple schnaps or aged on charred american oak you get a great calvados-type brandy- heck of a lot cheaper, too. The can kit only costs me $20US at my homebrew shop. definately worth every penny.
Wal writes ...
    Maraschino (pronounced Maraskino) is a clear, relatively dry liqueur made from sour or morello cherries (Prunus cerasus marasca), including the crushed pits which give it a subtle bitter almond flavour. Originally made in the region known as Dalmatia (now a part of Croatia). Since 1947 it is made in the Veneto region of Italy by the Luxardo company.

    First, crushed cherry stones are macerated in alcohol and then redistilled to produce an alcohol with a bitter almond flavor. Marasca cherries are partially fermented and the fermentation is stopped when there is still residual sugar, by the addition of alcohol. This is then pressed out and the free run is used to produce a sweet cherry brandy liqueur (Cherry Brandy). The alcohol which had been redistilled from macerating crushed cherry stones is added to this pressed cherry pomace and macerated for 2 months. Then it is redistilled and aged for 3 years in ash vats. The final alcohol content is 32%.

    Kirsch is a clear, non sweet, eau-de-vie made from a sour or morello cherry mash in a similar manner to calvados and slivovitz.


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