Schnapps: what is it, how many degrees, how to drink + 3 recipes at home

Schnapps: what is it, how many degrees, how to drink + 3 recipes at home

Schnapps - it is to some extent our moonshine, but only with a more pronounced aroma of fruits, herbs, berries, spices and roots. It cannot be called an independent drink, it is rather a generalized name for a separate category of strong alcohol.

History of Schnapps

It is commonly believed that the history of the alcohol we are considering begins in Germany, and it is its national treasure. But this is more of a myth than a truth. Historians claim that the first production of schnapps was launched in the XV century in Austria, and only later the technology of its production was transferred to the Germans.

German schnapps producers are mostly represented on the world market, although the production center is still located in Austria (Eastern Alps region, Tyrol). It is produced by small companies there, so the drink is little known outside this country. Austrian schnapps is more popular among the local population.

There is also the so-called "American schnapps" in the world, but it is rather a liqueur made on the basis of schnapps, because its strength is almost half that of the real drink.

The American analog has 20-25 degrees, and the original product is usually 40 degrees, but in rare cases 30.

Schnapps production technology

Double distillation method is used to produce schnapps. Fruits, herbs, berries, roots and even potatoes are used as raw materials. But for schnapps to get an original flavor and wonderful aroma, it is better to use wild fruits.

Certain types of schnapps are aged, usually in glass bottles, but in rare cases an oak barrel is used.

To date, more than 30 types of schnapps are known.

The most common is considered to be "Kirschwasser"Cherry schnapps, which means "cherry water".

The local population in the Black Forest mountains adhere to an ancient tradition and before serving the cake, they must water it with this type of schnapps.

Schnapps drinking culture

The ideal temperature of schnapps before serving is 16 degrees, but this rule does not apply to cereal schnapps, because they do not have a characteristic and pronounced aroma, so it is better to serve them well chilled.

This drink goes well with traditional German and Austrian cuisine.

There are four ways to drink schnapps:

  1. Traditionally, schnapps is served in small cognac glasses. First you need to inhale the aroma of the drink, and only then drink the contents of the glass in small sips.

  2. A small slice of the fruit from which the drink is made is placed at the bottom of the glass, then schnapps is poured. Before drinking, use a skewer to remove the alcoholized fruit, inhale its aroma, drink the contents of the glass and snack on the "drunken" fruit.

  3. To reduce the strength of schnapps, you can dilute it with still mineral water or fruit juice.

  4. An "extreme" way, it is popular in Hamburg. The whole point of this method is that schnapps should be washed down with beer. But for each type of schnapps, a certain type of beer is suitable. Pear schnapps go well with light beer, cherry schnapps with dark beer, and apple schnapps go well with lager.

How to make schnapps at home

To make this drink at home, it is important to remember a few basic rules:

  1. Schnapps can be made from almost all organic ingredients and even porcini mushrooms.

  2. Do not add granulated sugar and yeast to the drink during the preparation process.

  3. It is better not to wash the fruit raw materials before cooking so as not to kill the "live" yeast.

  4. It is important to use high-quality raw materials without rot and mold.

Austrian schnapps (classic) made from potatoes

This drink was prepared in the XV century, but due to the fact that potatoes have a low sugar content, it is more like simple moonshine.

In the original recipe, yeast is not added, but at home you can use wine yeast for fermentation.

Classic potato schnapps has a characteristic bitter taste.


  1. Potatoes - 1 kg

  2. Water - 500 ml

  3. The enzyme amylosubtilin

  4. The enzyme glucavamorin

  5. Wine yeast

The method of preparation

  1. Potato tubers must be washed and chopped using a blender or grater.

  2. Boil water and pour it into the potato mash, then put it on the stove and cook for 1 hour over low heat (it should turn translucent).

  3. Now cool the resulting mass to 70 degrees, add the enzyme amylosubtilin (it is necessary to dilute the wort) and stir for 30 minutes, maintaining a temperature of 70 degrees.

  4. Cool the wort to 65 degrees and add the enzyme glucavamorin for saccharification.

  5. Let it brew for 1 hour so that the starch is completely saccharified.

  6. Then add yeast to the 30-degree wort and leave it to ferment for 7 days.

  7. The matured brew must be distilled twice, and the distillate diluted to 12-15%, separating the "head".

  8. Dilute the finished Austrian schnapps with water and pass through a filter.

  9. Pour into glass bottles.

Apricot schnapps

This recipe can be used to make apple schnapps, pear schnapps, or any other fruit-based German moonshine.


  1. Ripe apricots - 10 kg

  2. Water - 10 liters

Method of preparation

  1. Apricots do not need to be washed before cooking, but it is necessary to remove the pits and mash them to a state of homogeneous mass.

  2. Pour the apricot puree into the fermentation container, add 3 liters of water and mix well.

  3. Cover with gauze and transfer to a dark, warm place (18-28 degrees) for 3-4 days.

  4. As soon as the first signs of fermentation appear (hissing, sour smell and foam), add another 5-7 liters of water to the brew (the amount depends on the sugar content of the berries). It is important for us to get a liquid brew.

  5. Now, instead of gauze, put a water seal on the neck and transfer it to a dark, warm place again for 20-45 days.

  6. After the complete completion of fermentation, when no bubbles appear for several days, we distill the apricot brew through a moonshine still. Finish collecting the product when the strength in the jet is below 30%.

  7. Now it is necessary to determine the amount of pure alcohol, measure the strength of the drink and dilute it up to 20% with pure water.

  8. Distill the diluted moonshine again through the apparatus, be sure to remove the "head" (the first 10% of the yield of pure alcohol). The collection of the product must be stopped when the strength drops to 45 degrees.

  9. Dilute the finished schnapps with water to 38-45 degrees.

  10. Pour into glass bottles and leave to stabilize the taste for 5 days in a cool, dark place.

Mint schnapps

This recipe is suitable for making schnapps from raw materials that cannot start the process of natural fermentation, for this purpose, 96% finished alcohol is used.

Similar to mint schnapps, you can make walnut schnapps or vanilla schnapps.


  1. Mint - 30 leaves

  2. Clove buds - 12 pcs.

  3. Dried wormwood - 1 glass

  4. Dill seeds - 6 g

  5. Anise - 8 g

  6. Alcohol (96%) - 500 ml

  7. Water

The method of preparation

  1. Put all the spices and herbs in a glass container and fill it with high-quality alcohol.

  2. Let it stand for 1 month in a dark place at room temperature and do not forget to shake it once every 3-5 days.

  3. Once a month has passed, the tincture must be filtered through cheesecloth or a fine strainer.

  4. The prepared tincture must be diluted with water to 20 degrees and distilled twice through a moonshine still.

  5. There is no need to collect the "head", as we use ready-made alcohol. The collection of the product must be stopped when the strength of the jet is below 45 degrees.

  6. Pour the finished schnapps into glass bottles.

Update: 14.11.2017

Category: Vodka an Moonshine