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kirsch

[keersh] /kɪərʃ/
noun
1.
a fragrant, colorless, unaged brandy distilled from a fermented mash of cherries, produced especially in Germany, Switzerland, and Alsace, France.
Also called kirschwasser
[keersh-vah-ser] /ˈkɪərʃˌvɑ sər/ (Show IPA)
.
Origin
1810-1820
1810-20; < German Kirsch, shortened form of Kirschwasser, equivalent to Kirsch(e) cherry + Wasser water
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for kirsch

Kirsch

/kɪəʃ/
noun
1.
a brandy distilled from cherries, made chiefly in the Black Forest in Germany and in the Jura and Vosges districts of France
Word Origin
German Kirschwasser cherry water
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Encyclopedia Article for kirsch

dry, colourless brandy distilled from the fermented juice of the black morello cherry. Kirsch is made in the Black Forest of Germany, across the Rhine River in Alsace (France), and in the German-speaking cantons of Switzerland. Its production methods remain traditional. The fully ripened cherries are mashed in a large wooden tub or vat and allowed to ferment freely. Upon completion of this process, the entire mass-liquid, pulp, and cherry stones-is distilled in a pot still. During the mashing some of the cherry stones, or pits, are crushed, releasing some of their oils and acids. These include small amounts of hydrocyanic acid, which impart a distinctive bitter almond undertone to the beverage. Kirsch is not aged. It is marketed at 90 to 100 proof, in the clear white (colourless) state it comes off the still. It is a fruit brandy with a clean cherry fragrance and bitter almond taste. Kirsch is consumed neat, as brandy, and in cocktails and is also used in cooking as a flavouring.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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