Even better: Apollo had been assigned to the same Craft lessons. Although Kerso had felt a little standoffish at first, jealous of this other boy who'd had since birth what Kerso thought he deserved, his sister Artemis had thawed his attitude and he'd become, perhaps not friends exactly, but certainly buddies with the young Lord Holder's heir.
Since he was only "trying it out," he'd been given a crash course in brewing his first week, learning a little about everything from what kinds of fruits, grains, and other plants were used and where they grew to what kind of alcohols could be produced to how they went from fresh vegetation out of the fields or greenhouses to bottles, kegs, and skins in the storage caverns. However, now that he was starting to be more serious about it, he'd started taking the regular Apprentice lessons.
Today's lesson was a general overview of the different brandies and cordials that are the primary alcoholic beverages Fort Weyr and its beholden Holds produced. Master Ioldon had laid out several different fruits, two slices of each and described the qualities each type of fruit produced in their associated brandy or cordial. Then he produced a tray with a dozen small glasses and two large glasses; he poured six types of liqueur, each filling two of the glasses. Then he set the large glasses - filled with crystal cold water - in front of Apollo and Kerso and blindfolded them. They could hear him set one pair of the small glasses in front of them; then he instructed them to take a drink of the water and swirl it around their mouths and spit it out on the ground, then drink the liqueur in the small glasses and try to name which drink came from which of the six fruits they'd reviewed.
Drink #1: very acidic with a citrus flavor.
Kerso fumbled slightly with the glass of water, swirled the water around and almost swallowed it before he remembered they were supposed to spit it out. "Um...orange?" he asked. It sort of reminded him of the oranges his father's neighbor had grown, although this had other flavors, too.
Apples - sweet but acidic, usually produces a brown liqueur
Pear - brisk, slightly tart flavor, often produces a nearly-clear or slightly brown liqueur
Blackberry - strong, rich fruity flavor, produces a dark red or purple, almost black liqueur
Peach - thickly sweet, usually produces a golden-yellow liqueur
Mango - lightly sweet with a citrusy bite, produces a golden-yellow liqueur
Oranges - sharp and acidic, strongly citrusy, produces a semi-opaque orange liqueur