Kirsch is a clear, colourless fruit brandy traditionally made from double distillation of morellos, a dark-coloured cultivar of the sour cherry. The German word Kirsch comes from the word karshu, the name given to the first cultivated cherries in Mesopotamia in 8 BC and the liqueur is known as Kirschenwasser (from Kirsche 'cherry' and Wasser 'water'). As morellos were originally grown in the Black Forest region of southern Germany, Kirschwasser is believed to have originated there.
Unlike cherry liqueurs and so-called “cherry brandies,” Kirschwasser is not sweet. The best Kirschwassers have a highly refined taste with subtle flavours of cherry and a slight bitter-almond taste that is derived from the stones. Kirschwasser is colourless because it is either not aged in wood or is aged in barrels made of ash.