Monday, November 25, 2013

Miss Brown and the Cherry Brandy

This is the third part of an interview with Amalio Mallozzi, which took place in April 1999, and was transcribed by me, Clair Harris Zarges. You can see the first part here and the second part here.

Amalio has been talking about life in Stamford, Connecticut, once all the family had moved there from Pulcherini, Italy.

The Mallozzi family shares some of Mama's homemade wine in 1941
Left to right: Mama (Alesandra), maybe Phil (behind Mama), Pucci, Delia, Annie (Tucciarone);
sitting on right: Rose (Pelliccione), Papa (Vincenzo)

Amalio told how his sixth grade teacher came to visit the home and "got drunk as hell" on Mama's homemade liquor. It was during Prohibition, and she drank three or four glasses, and she was "eating those alcohol-laden cherries like they were peanuts." 

Mama made the liquor by using "oxblood cherries" and 40% alcohol in a sugar syrup. The cherries were stemmed and steeped in the liquid in a jar for four or five months. 

Miss Brown had a funny laugh like "hoo, hoo." They had to keep her at the house until she was sober enough to walk home. "Hoo, hoo, hoo."

Mama made anisette, grape brandy, red and white wine, and beer--both regular and root beer--all through the Prohibition years.

Amalio: "The law was against selling liquor, not making it for one's own use."


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