Wednesday, July 21, 2010


The other day Stacey was gifted a bottle of this elixir. BECHEROVKA.
Read some of the stuff I dug up. Sounds like things could get strange?

So what is the big fuss about? Many people will tell you that the presence of thujone from wormwood gives the drink psychoactive properties, but they may well be mistaken. Laboratory testing has shown that the amount of the substance needed to produce any effect is 8.5 mg, equivalent to an entire bottle of Hills (for example), but by the time you've drunk that much, you may well be either dead or passed out under a bar. Absinth purists will tell you that the pleasant effects are due to a "delicate balance of herbs" though they will also tell you Czech absinth "strays furthest from the original recipe" or even "isn't absinth at all."

Becherovka was created around the same time as absinth and also as a health tonic, but this time by a pharmacist from KarlovĂ˝ Vary named Josef Becher. The herb-based tonic was called the "English Bitter" and was sold as a remedy for stomach ailments, much like every other famous alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink. Becher soon started selling his "drops" in half-liter bottles and the "blend of fifty herbs and spices" became an immediate marketing success when the Austrian emperor took a fancy to it and the court in Vienna began ordering 50 liters of Becherovka monthly. Competing alcoholics boosted the sales and it soon became the Czech Republic's most successful and individually recognizable spirit. The taste is a little like Jagermeister but with a much more cinnamon-based flavor, more delicate and less sweet. Even though the drink is as strong as most vodka at 38% alcohol, Becherovka is a sipping drink and should not be downed, but instead taken in a double shot with your beer and savored, though the aftertaste may be a little too strong for some. On a side note, Becherovka is also reputed to have aphrodisiac qualities, though you would be hard pressed to find a traditional spirit anywhere in Europe that isn't. Whatever other qualities it may have, most agree that it is the best spirit the Czech republic has to offer, in terms of taste at least. Recently bartenders have been preparing a drink called a 'beton', which comprises a shot of Becherovka with tonic and lemon, for those who like their drinks long. The success of the first Becherovka cocktail has led the company to publicize a whole range including the popular Red Moon, which combines the spirit with blackcurrant juice. Radost FX has several becherovka based cocktails on its menu

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