Saturday, July 30, 2011

Kirsch aka Cherry Liquor

Stories of my Mom's life pop out of my Mom out of the blue.  My Mom and I have talked about kirsch many times yet this story is new to me.  Apparently my grandparents use to make kirsch which is no surprise to me because back in the day they made moonshine as well.  Shhhh, don't tell anyone (it was prohibition time).  Apparently one time my Grandmother, Babka, fed the cherries that had been soaking in the alcohol to the pigs.  The pigs started acting rather strangely (what the heck were you thinking my lovely Babka?).  She told my Grandfather, Dziadzia, about it and he told her that they all should start chasing the pigs around and keep them moving. Apparently, it helped because none of the pigs died.  But I bet they shied away from eating cherries after that.  But then again, maybe not, they were pigs after all.

Interestingly enough, I found this in an article on the NY Times website. " Pigs, however, don’t come across much alcohol in the wild. But what about the tame variety? The propensity of a variety of domesticated animals to drink is well documented. Clearly, it’s cruel to force alcohol on them — tantamount to poisoning them: Mad Jack Mytton killed one of his horses when he made it bumper a bottle of port after it had won a race. However, some, including dogs, goats, cows, and pigs, develop a taste for it on their own. Aristotle noted that Greek swine became inebriated “when they were filled with the husks of pressed grapes.” A similar phenomenon was common in colonial-era New England, where cider production and consumption, in per capita terms, were colossal, and where hogs were fed on windfalls and pomace (the pulp from the bottom of the cider press) both of which ferment. Their subsequent inebriation was often a matter of comment, and may have been the inspiration for the term “hog-whimpering drunk.” (NY Times, January 24, 2009, Opinion Page; Proof).  So those pigs may or may have not wanted more alcohol loaded cherries after that incident.

3 to 4 cups of sour cherries, pitted, yes it's a pain but its always worth it
3 to 4 cups vodka or Everclear (I am never bale to find a 100 percent grain alcohol)
1 teaspoon + of almond flavoring (your disgression- a little goes a long way)
1/2 cup + simple syrup (sugar and water boiled 1:1 ratio)

Clean and pit cherries.  Place them in a quart jar.  Pour vodka over the cherries, enough vodka so that they are covered.  Add almond extract.  Place in the refrigerator and let sit for about 4 to six weeks.  Remove cherries from vodka and discard.  Unless of course you would want to eat them.  Remember they are loaded with alcohol so don't be a pig (see story above).... ha ha.  Add simple syrup to your liking.  You can have it without any sugar if you like.  It's great to add to desserts for baking and such. Its also great with the sugar as a little after dinner treat.


Rebecca from Chow and Chatter said...

looks like a fun drink and funny tale

hungryandfrozen said...

It has been too long since I've read your blog! I love this recipe, especially the story behind it. Sounds like it's definitely worth the effort of taking the stones out of all those cherries :)

Katy ~ said...

For heaven's sake, never knew I could do this at home! Must be wonderful for black forest cake!

kat said...

Little bottles of that would make a lovely Christmas present.