Above: Constantinople apple and Sicilian blood orange obstbrand in our room at Schlosshotel Burg Schlitz

Germany has a venerable tradition of making Obstbrand, or fruit brandy, not to be confused with syrupy-sweet schnapps, which often is a fruit-flavored grain spirit. Obstbrand, also known as Fruchtbrand, is a brandy distilled from fruit, not grain, and it should have no added sugar or color. Upscale German bars often have a wide selection, and one of the best we encountered was at the Schlosshotel Burg Schlitz. There, the sommelier pointed us toward the list of brandies crafted by the Swiss Etter family, now in its fourth generation of distillers. We tried the rare 2001 Etter Wild-Kirsch (wild cherry) brandy, made from foraged wild cherries. It had a heady aroma of Marasca cherries and almonds, and a pronounced cherry flavor balanced by a spicy finish. A delight.

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