About "Schnapps"

What's a "Geist", a "Brand" or a "Wasser"?

A Geist is a destillate produced by covering fruits (for example sloes or quinces) with neutral alcohol. The alcohol extracts the aroma from the fruits, and the mixture of fruits and alcohol then gets distilled.

A Brand ("brandy") or Wasser ("water") is produced quite differently: here the alcohol is produced through a fermenting process from the sugar of the fruits with the aid of yeast. The amount of alcohol depends on the quality ("ripeness") of the fruits. The distilled product is called a Wasser (e.g. Kirschwasser, cherry water) or Brand (e.g. Apfelbrand, apple brandy).