Sparkling wines, like liqueurs, may be prepared from any kind of berry or fruit. The resulting drink, however, is much sweeter and more delicate than any kind of liqueur. It sparkles (shipit) like champagne, hence its name “sparkling” (shipovka). When preparing sparkling wines, attention must be paid to the choice of both the berries and the vodka. The berries must be completely fresh and ripe, and French brandy or cognac is essential (or “old” [staraja]* good vodka, as it is still called in several places in the Western provinces).
To prepare this sparkling wine, pour
After 3 days the fizzing will have settled down. The wine should then be strained once more through
[A pleasing alternative to this sparkling wine is sparkling macedoine. It is made like the above recipe (#2104), but combines a variety of berries and fruits (especially cherries, black currants, raspberries, melons, peaches, and pineapple) either in equal parts, or by adding more of any preferred fruit. It has an inexplicable aroma, and many prefer it to all other sparkling wine.]
*Related to this “old” vodka is today’s Starka vodka, which is a variety of strong vodka that is aged before bottling and is the same color as French brandy.
**Bottles had to be securely stoppered to retard the spoilage of their contents. This led to a wide discussion in nineteenth-century domestic literature of the most suitable stoppers and corks. “The choice of corks is highly important. Some corks are very porous, and, although they stop the bottle well in appearance, they allow the wine to evaporate. Hard and dry corks have this effect. The best corks are those which are fine-grained, soft, yielding to the fingers, and showing few pores" (Good-holme’s Domestic Cyclopaedia of Practical Information, 594; see also
***This is a regional word for a kind of blackberry. Kumanika can refer to any one of three different berries: (I) The European blackberry, Rubus fructicosus, (2) the European dewberry, Rubus caesius, or (3) Rubus nessensis. (Macura, Russian-English Botanical Dictionary, 262.)
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