Online Encyclopedia


Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 834 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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KIRSCH (or KIRSCHENWASSER), a potable spirit distilled from cherries. Kirsch is manufactured chiefly in the Black Forest in Germany, and in the Vosges and Jura districts in France. Generally the raw material consists of the wild cherry known as Cerasus avium. The cherries are subjected to natural fermentation and subsequent distillation. Occasionally a certain quantity of sugar and water are added to the cherries after crushing, and the mass so obtained is filtered or pressed prior to fermentation. The spirit is usually " run " at a strength of about 50% of absolute alcohol. Compared with brandy or whisky the characteristic features of kirsch are (a) that it contains relatively large quantities of higher alcohols and compound ethers, and (b) the presence in this spirit of small quantities of hydrocyanic acid, partly as such and partly in combination as benzaldehydecyanhydrine, to which the distinctive flavour of kirsch is largely due. KIR-SHEHER, the chief town of a sanjak of the same name in the Angora vilayet of Asia Minor, situated on a tributary of the Kizil Irmak (Halys), on the Angora-Kaisarieh road. It is on the line of the projected railway from Angora to Kaisarieh. The town gives its name to the excellent carpets made in the vicinity. On the outskirts there is a hot chalybeate spring. Population about 9000 (700 Christians, mostly Armenians). Kir-sheher represents the ancient Mocissus, a small town which became important in the Byzantine period: it was enlarged by the emperor Justinian, who re-named it Justinianopolis, and made it the capital of a large division of Cappadocia, a position it still retains.
RICHARD KIRWAN (1733-1812)

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