Method

This very tasty and healthy drink is prepared as follows: choose a good, strong, small barrel bound with 4 iron hoops. The cherries for this brandy must be ripe and clean, without twigs or leaves. Fill the barrel almost full, leaving a space of no more than 1-1½ vershok at the top. Cover the cherries with raw and pure honey from a beehive, without any wax and unadulterated by pollen-flour, such as often pollutes store-bought honey.* It is better if the honey is white rather than red. Pour it slowly, adding as much as needed to cover all the cherries and fill all the space between them. Stop pouring when the honey begins to cover the top layer, plug the barrel tightly, and pour resin over the cork. Tie the barrel around the cork with sturdy rope. It is best to seal the entire barrel with resin so that no air will come in contact with the cherries. Set the barrel in a cold place or in the cold cellar, but not on ice; or better yet bury it in the ground or in sand in the basement and leave it there for 3 months while the brandy ferments. If a barrel is flimsy or lacks iron hoops, it probably will explode.

After 3 months, the cherry brandy will be ready. Uncork the barrel and bottle the brandy, straining it through a piece of canvas. Cork the bottles securely and seal the necks with resin or sealing-wax. Cherry brandy prepared in this way will keep for several years. For a three-pail barrel, use 2 pails of cherries and 1 pail of honey.

*Pollen was sometimes referred to as tsvetochnaja-muka, or “flower-flour”; in this case Moiokhovets omitted the qualifier tsvetochnaja.

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