Just as Austrian wines and beers have their distinctive characters, so too does the national liquor. Super sweet tasting Schnapps is a swigging sensation!
Super Sweet Schnapps
Schnapps is a distilled alcoholic beverage – a very alcoholic beverage! The distillation process separates out the different substances in the base product, creating a potent brew of ethanol. And in case you aren’t too sure what that is - think highly volatile, flammable and colourless liquid!
Ethanol is also a psychotropic drug – meaning it crosses the blood-brain barrier and acts on the central nervous system. The effect this has on brain functioning is to bring about a host of changes including:
- distortion of perception
- disturbance of mood
- disruption to consciousness
- deterioration in thought patterns and behavior.
It is potentially a highly addictive substance if misused.
No prizes for guessing this is often the case in many cultures, where recreational use of the drug is widely practised!
No sugar is used in the distillation process and the end product has at least 32% alcohol – often much more. In Austria home brewing of Schnapps is commonplace, with Apricots being the most favoured fruits to give flavor. If you are looking to enjoy a tipple after your dinner, these are the names to look out for:
- Marillen schnapps- expensive, but tasty and made with apricots
- Enzian root – made with alpine flowers
- Vogelbeere – logan tree berries
- Zwetschken- made with plums
- Himbeergeist – this is a slightly different sort of schnapps made from raspberries. It isn’t made by fermenting the fruits. Raspberries only yield a low level of alcohol, because they have a very low sugar content. Instead rectified spirit (ethanol) is infused with raspberry and then the ethanol is distilled.
But if you’re planning to stay in a traditional style Styrian holiday chalet - don’t go overboard. The owner distinctly does not like drugs!