The Art of Drinking Schnapps

The name schnapps or schnaps not only refers to one type of drink, but several varieties based on infusions, distillation process, flavorings, and spices. To impress your friends next time you’re at a bar in Singapore, let’s break down the differences of schnapps and how best to enjoy them.

How schnapps is made

Most schnapps are made from a base of fruit brandy, liqueur infusion, and neutral grain spirit, where its name probably comes from. To distinguish between them think of one type as a flavored fruit brandy and the other as a sweet fruit-flavored liqueur.

The fruit brandy types are made primarily from fermented fruit juices with the base liquor, while the second type is made by steeping fruits in the alcohol after the fermentation and distillation processes.

Liquor versus liqueur

If you are new to alcoholic beverages you might also be wondering why the term liqueur is used for schnapps instead of liquor. Liquor refers to distilled drinks, while liqueur is liquor with added flavorings, like schnapps.

European schnapps

European schnapps are made with either fruits or herbs. The fruits most commonly used are pears, apricots, apples, cherries, raspberries, and plums. Herbal schnapps are usually called Krauterlikor

American schnapps

Most American schnapps are much sweeter than the European varieties. They are made with fruit spices, syrups and flavorings mixed with neutral grain spirits or rectified alcohol.

Schnapps and food pairings

Generally, schnapps can be paired with food the way you would pair brandy and spirits. For schnapps, the fruit flavors and silky texture are complemented with slightly bitter and sweet food. Avoid pairing schnapps with very sweet desserts because they might overpower the flavors.

Schnapps cocktails to try

Schnapps is best enjoyed as a cocktail with these essential recipes:

  • Fuzzy Bellini: .75 ounce peach schnapps, .25 ounce orgeat, 2 dashes orange bitters, and prosecco
  • Woo Woo: 1.5 ounces peach schnapps, 1.5 ounces vodka, 3.5 ounces cranberry juice, and ice cubes
  • White Chocolate Grasshopper: 1 ounce peppermint schnapps, 1 ounce heavy cream, 1 ounce white chocolate liqueur, and ice
  • Alien Urine: .5 ounce peach schnapps, .5 ounce melon liqueur, 1 ounce coconut rum, .5 ounce blue curacao, 1.75 ounces sweet and sour mix, and a splash of club soda
  • Peaches and Tea Punch: 1 ounce peach schnapps, 2 ounces vodka, iced tea, peach slice, and 2 lemon slices for garnish
  • Christmas Blossoms: 1.5 ounces peach schnapps, 1.75 ounces vodka, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 cups peach slices, and ice cubes
  • Apres Ski: .75 ounce peppermint schnapps, 6 ounces whole milk, .75 ounce green chartreuse, 2 tablespoons hot chocolate, and marshmallows and candy cane for garnish
  • En la Playa: .5 ounce peach schnapps, 1.5 ounces tequila, .75 ounce pineapple juice, .75 ounce orange juice, .5 ounce agua de Jamaica, ice, and pineapple slice for garnish
  • Apple Pie Shot: .25 ounce butterscotch schnapps, 1 ounce fireball, .5 ounce apple cider, .25 ounce lemon juice, ice, and cinnamon sugar

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