"Man does not live by bread alone. After a while he also needs a drink, "author and director Woody Allen realized quite right. If you do not just live on bread, but rather enjoy hearty meals in a cheerful atmosphere, you are welcome to grab digestive schnapps after the meal. Especially fruit brandies are popular digestifs, but connoisseurs are spoiled for choice. Because there are not only innumerable varieties, among other things made of apples, pears, cherries, quinces and what else the orchard does. There are also different manufacturing processes and qualities. Of course, all are fruit spirits. But what exactly is the difference between fire, water, mind and co?
Schnapps has become a general term not only for fruit brandies, but also for spirits in general. Colloquially, all spirits, such. Vodka or gin, often called schnapps. In principle, the word neither says anything about the content nor about the type of spirit. The word comes from the Low German "snaps", which means something like "a sip" or "a mouth full". Snaps is also related to the word "snap". The word schnapps refers to the fact that you serve many spirits in small glasses and usually drinks with a single swig. Do not wait too long, head in the neck!
A fruit brandy is a high quality product whose production demands a lot from the distiller. A fruit brandy is made exclusively from fresh, fermented fruit or from fermented must. For the production of a fruit brandy, the fruit is sorted out and washed after harvesting. Leaves, stems and seeds are removed as much as possible as they can produce an undesirable off-taste. Then the fruit is crushed. Yeast is added to this mash so that the fermentation begins. During fermentation, the yeast converts the fructose into alcohol and carbon dioxide. After that, the mash has an alcohol content between 10 and 15 vol .-%. This fermented, slightly alcoholic Fruchtpampe is now placed in a still and repeatedly distilled – finished is the fruit brandy!
Fruit water is basically the same as a fruit brandy. In some areas, as in much of Bavaria, the name "water" is preferred for stone fruit fires – e.g. Kirsch. The production takes place in the same way as with the fruit brandy.
The term "spirit" suggests supernatural – but the production is not witchcraft. Spirit differs from Brand in that the fruit is not fermented but macerated in alcohol. For the production of fruit spirit, unfermented fruits are placed in high-proof neutral alcohol. The alcohol deprives the fruits of their aromas. When the alcohol has absorbed the taste of the fruit, it is distilled – the "spirit" of the fruits is caught. Spirit is v. A. produced from fruits which contain little fructose and are therefore not suitable for mashing and fermentation, e.g. Berries or nuts. Even perishable fruit, which threatens to mold quickly, is preferably distilled as a spirit.
A fruit schnapps is a fruit brandy or spirit that is distilled from two or more types of fruit. The classic Obstler is distilled from apple and pear. But other combinations are possible.
The fruit spirits consists of heartily little fruit and is therefore at the lower end of the quality scale settle. For each 20 liters of alcohol only 5 kg of fruit have to be used. The few fruits are crushed and mashed in large quantities of high-percentage neutral alcohol. This mixture is then distilled. In addition to the fruit used, natural flavorings and aroma extracts and sugar may also be used to enhance flavor. However, the character and color of the product must be determined by the fruit used. It is also possible to extend fruit brandy with neutral alcohol, e.g. 20% apple brandy with 80% grain burn. This mixture should not be sold as "brand" but must be labeled as "spirit drink".