Some of the finest fruit spirits in my corner of the Black Forest come from Schladerer, family distillers since 1844 in the picture-postcard town of Staufen. For its kirsch (£26.95), explains sixth-generation managing director Philipp Schladerer, cherries are sourced from myriad local farmers and transported carefully to the distillery by a procession of tractors and trailers in late June and early July.

The tradition of a shot of schnapps to round off a good dinner endures, but drinking habits are changing. In response, Schladerer has combined forces with mixologists and come up with suggestions for cocktails, published in a chic little tome with recipes such as raspberry mojito (bruised mint leaves, three tablespoons of Himbeergeist, the juice of half a lime, a handful of fresh raspberries, a teaspoon or two of sugar and some ice cubes, mixed well and topped up with lemonade).