There is a wide variety of alcoholic drinks today. Most of them are known worldwide – vine, beer, vodka, cognac, champagne, etc. Others have a certain tradition behind them and are consumed only in their places of origin. If you’ve been to Rakija Lounge or read our blogs you already know that rakija is one of those drinks. Today we want to introduce you to a drink very similar to rakija – schnapps. It originated in Austria but was popularized by Germany. It can be considered the Austrian/German equivalent of rakija, just like vodka is the Russian version.
Living a healthy lifestyle is important in Austria, a country nestled and nourished by the Alps. An interesting thing is that many Austrians prefer natural, herbal-based remedies to over-the-counter medicine when it comes to less severe maladies such as incessant coughing, stomach pain, or a cold. How does schnapps fit into this? You’ve guessed it – schnaps is considered to be one of those remedies.
This is a folk tale first and foremost, we are not saying you should change your current medication for schnapps. However, some Austrians actually believe in natural solutions over the pharmaceutical products. This is a tradition passed on from generation to generation, and it’s easy to find homemade, herbal products in most kitchens across the country. It complements the Austrian belief that good health starts from what we eat and drink.
Schnapps is a strong liquor made out of fruit, very similar to rakija. The most common fruit used to make schnapps are peaches, just like plums are popular for making rakija. So, today we are going to show you how to make peach schnapps for you to enjoy in the comfort of your home.
How to Make Peach Schnapps
First, you need to do some preparation. The peaches used for making schnapps need to be ripe or overripe. That’s because they contain the most amount of sugar and will give you that sweet liquor taste you are looking for. If you have peach trees in your garden, the best and easiest way to collect the fruit would be to pick the ones that fell to the ground. These are definitely ripe. If you use unripe peaches you might not get the proper results.
When you gather enough peaches, the next step would be to remove the bones, preferably uncrushed and undamaged. If you leave the bones you might get a sour almond taste in your schnapps. Some might like it but we don’t recommend it. Also, don’t forget to wash the peaches.
The next step would be to mash the fruit in a container of any kind. Make sure to clean the container thoroughly because hygiene is quite important if you want to get high-quality schnapps. When you have that ready, put all the washed peaches at once inside. Make sure to mash them as much as you can.
The Fermenting Process
Now comes the fermentation. You are going to need vats used for fermentation, preferably wooden and with a lid because the fermentation is done closed so no air comes in. Add water and warm it to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, add some yeast. After 20 minutes, take the fruit mash you prepared beforehand and slowly pour it in the vats. When you’re done, add sulfuric acid to the mix to prevent harmful bacteria from ruining your schnapps. Put the vats on 64-68 degrees and let ferment. The process should start after approximately 2 hours. All that’s left now is to distill the liquid. Put the fermented mash in a caldron and start cooking. When you reach 20 grads, the process is finished. The peach schnapps alcohol percentage should be 45 vol.%. Transfer the liquid to glass bottles and your schnapps are ready. Enjoy and remember to drink responsibly!