Kirschwasser or Kirsch is a potent cherry brandy that is made by brewing fresh cherries. The brewing process produces a slightly fragrant drink that has a slight bitter aftertaste.
History of Kirsch Drink
Kirsch is a very simple clear fruit brandy that has been produced for several generations in Germany and Switzerland. The German version of the drink is believed to have been produced in the Black Forest region of Germany along the south of the state.
Ingredients Used and Popular Methods of Preparing Kirschwasser
Generally, locally grown black cherries are grown expressly for the purpose of making the drink. But use of both black and red cherries is suggested by the modern Kirschwasser recipe. This makes the brandy very unique. The fruit is cleaned and the pits and the fruit are placed in paraffin lined wood barrels or earthenware jars to age with time. The combination of the brewing process and the distillation process as well as the special wood barrels results in a very finely crafted brandy which is very different from other cherry liqueurs. This brandy is not sweet and additional sugar is not added to it to make it sweet. The finished product is almost colorless with a faint smell of cherries. Commercially, the drink is produced in large quantities but a local kirsch liqueur is also prepared. Morello cherries are used and they are layered with sugar and vodka and sealed. The container is left undisturbed for a year and it produces a very sweet liqueur.
Serving Kirsch Drink
Kirsch is generally served on its own as an ice-cold aperitif but it can also be mixed with several other drinks to make cocktails and mixed drinks. In Germany,it is also served after dinner. A few drink varieties that are made with the brandy include Black Forest, Lady Finger, The Florida Cocktail, Cuba Libre, Mile Highball, etc. Kirsch is also added to coffee as an après dinner kirsch drink. In some countries, Kirsch is served with chocolate. The slightly bitter taste of the drink brings out the taste of chocolate. In Germany, the drink is served as a part of Black Forest cake or the Gugelhupf cake. Usually, cooks will layer the kirsch drink or have it poured over the cake. Swiss fondue is also incomplete without this drink. Kirsch is added to the cheese mix at the time of heating it. The kirsch drink also forms an essential ingredient of commercially prepared filled-center chocolates. Kirsch is brewed with sugar to form sugar syrup that is used to form liquid centers for chocolates.
Kirsch is a brandy that is commercially prepared by many companies. It is recommended to check the nutritional label of the drink before consuming. On an average, a single serving of 25 grams of kirsch has about 56 calories.