Dramatic and delicious: Goldschläger
cinnamon schnaps with gold flakes. Photo
courtesy Global Brands.
MAKE VANILLA VODKA
Infusion method: Add a vanilla bean to a bottle of decent vodka. Cap tightly and let the vanilla infuse for 1-2 weeks in a cool, dark place. Gently shake the bottle every other day.
Quick solution: Add vanilla extract to vodka, 1/4 teaspoon per two ounces. For a 750 ml bottle of vodka, that’s 3 teaspoons. Shake well to blend.
CORDIAL, EAU DE VIE, LIQUEUR, SCHNAPPS:
Cinnamon liqueur can be added to coffee and tea (hot or cold), made into adult hot chocolate, sipped on the rocks, drunk as shooters and mixed into cocktails. If you buy a bottle for this recipe, you’ll find numerous opportunities to use it
Some brands are meant to burn like Red Hots candy. You want something more elegant. Our favorite is Goldschläger cinnamon schnaps with gold flakes. It looks magical in shots and clear cocktails.
So what’s the difference between cordial, eau de vie, liqueur and schnapps?
While many people use these terms interchangeably, and they are all flavored spirits, there are differences in terms of sweetness and color.
Liqueur (lih-CUR, the French pronunciation) is made by steeping fruits in alcohol after the fruit has been fermented; the result is then distilled. Liqueurs are typically sweeter and more syrupy than schnapps.
Schnapps (SHNOPS) is made by fermenting the fruit, herb or spice along with a base spirit, usually brandy; the product is then distilled. This process creates a stronger, often clear, distilled spirit similar to a lightly flavored vodka. “Schnapps” is German for “snap,” and in this context denotes both a clear brandy distilled from fermented fruits, plus a shot of that spirit. Classic schnapps have no added sugar, and are thus less sweet than liqueur. But note that some manufacturers add sugar to please the palates of American customers.
Eau de vie (oh-duh-VEE), French for “water of life,” this is unsweetened fruit brandy—i.e.,schnapps.
Cordial has a different meaning in the U.S. than in the U.K., where it is a non-alcoholic, sweet, syrupy drink. In the U.S, a cordial is a sweet, syrupy, alcoholic beverage: liqueur.
Liqueur is sweeter, and made from a grain-based alcohol.
Fruit-flavored brandy is made from a grape-based alcohol. Be sure to buy one that is all natural, i.e., made with real fruit instead of flavored syrup. With a quality brand, the fruit is macerated in the alcohol, then filtered out prior to bottling.
In sum: If you want a less sweet, clear spirit, choose schnapps/eau de vie over liqueur. For something sweet and syrupy, go for liqueur/cordial.
What about fruit-flavored brandy?
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