Archive for the ‘spirit’ Category

Figure 1. De Kuyper Kirsch


Holland, renowned for its cheese, flatness and wooden shoes, is home to De Kuyper Royal Distillers, the producers of those garishly-coloured, fruity liqueurs found in parents’ drinks cabinets around the world, often seen with a sugary crust around the cap (, 2010).  De Kuyper started trading in 1695 and remains a family business to this day, and currently produces “over 70 different products”, most of which are extremely vividly coloured (, 2010), in fact, colouration appears to be a large part of their marketing as their product range is displayed with corresponding colour of each liquor (, 2010).

The origins of kirsch, a colourless fruit brandy, are a little hazy, but production utilises a “double-distillation of morello cherries … including their stones”, and “about 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of cherries go into the making of a 750 ml bottle of Kirsch” (, 2010).  Perhaps the most well-known use of kirsch is as an essential ingredient in traditional Swiss cheese fondue recipes, but is also used in cocktails such as the Lady Finger (, 2010).


This experiment was designed to investigate numerous characteristics of De Kuyper Kirsch including, but not limited to, aroma, flavor, colour, satisfaction and vessel design.


A 500 ml sample of De Kuyper Kirsch was collected from a local bottle store for NZ$36.00.  The bottle cap was removed under controlled conditions.  15 ml samples were decanted into clean ceramic vessels.  Aroma was evaluated by smelling the sample.  Flavour was analysed by tasting the samples and discussing results with a research collaborator at great length and, subsequently, satisfaction was assessed.  The bottle was held up to a standardized light to evaluate the colour of the liquor, and aesthetic aspects of the vessel were considered.


The results for De Kuyper Kirsch are shown in table 1 below.

Table 1. Characteristics of De Kuyper Kirsch

Characteristic Result
Aroma Strong scent of nail varnish remover with a suggestion of sweetened almonds verging on the marzipanesque
Flavour After the initial, harsh alcoholic burn has dissipated, synthetic  cherry flavour comes to the fore which recedes leaving a distant fruity aftertaste
Colour Clear, colourless liquid
Satisfaction Drunk as an undiluted spirit (40% vol.), satisfaction is limited by the subject’s ability to resist the urge to dilute the spirit with an alternative substance such as orange juice or carbonated lemon beverages
Vessel Design Tall, sleek, elegant, clear glass bottle which is adorned with a simple, two-colour label in cream and maroon (see figure 1)
Drinkability 3


The study revealed that, while cherries are generally regarded as delicious, after double-distillation much of this delectability disappears in De Kuyper Kirsch.   Furthermore, De Kuyper Kisrch is somewat disappointing in that it lacks the vibrant colours of other beverages made by the distillery.  While it is beyond the scope of this study to evaluate the best use of De Kuyper Kirsch, the researchers suspect that Swiss cheese fondues may be the most efficient (and tasty) method of disguising the harsh alcoholic burn associated with consumption of the undiluted liquor.