Herbal liqueur

Herbal liqueur: from a remedy in the Middle Ages to today's traditional drink

Herbal liqueur, a spirit rich in history and tradition, arose from the need to transform medicinal remedies into pleasurable drinks. The roots of herbal spirits go back to the Middle Ages, when monks and alchemists in Europe began to macerate herbs and spices in alcohol. This practice was not only widespread in monasteries, but also in the pharmacies of cities, where herbal liqueurs were offered as a remedy for a variety of ailments.

Different styles and recipes developed in different regions of Europe: there are as many types of herbal liqueur as there are regional specialities. The variety of herbal liqueurs reflects the cultural and botanical diversity of the regions from which they originate. From the strong, spicy liqueurs of Northern Europe to the sweet, aromatic varieties of the Mediterranean, each liqueur offers a unique insight into the flavours of its region of origin. From bitter to semi-bitter, from spicy to sweet, herbal liqueurs are available in an almost infinite number of variations.

Infusion and distillation of various herbs, spices, roots and fruits

Herbal liqueurs are made from a base of alcohol into which a carefully selected blend of herbs, spices and other natural ingredients is infused. The exact recipes are often closely guarded secrets that are passed down from generation to generation. Commonly used ingredients include aniseed, mint, camomile, ginger, citrus fruits and many others that give each herbal schnapps its unique character.

Herbal liqueur plays an important role in many local cultures

Herbal liqueur has a firm place in modern bar and drinking culture. It is enjoyed both neat and in sophisticated cocktails. Herbal liqueur recipes are universally popular. In many regions of the world, herbal spirits are an integral part of local traditions and are served on special occasions or as an after-dinner digestif.
Today, herbal liqueurs are experiencing a renaissance as both connoisseurs and new generations of drinkers rediscover the complex and multi-layered nature of these traditional spirits. They are not just a drink, but a piece of living history, reflecting the art of distillation, knowledge of herbal medicine and cultural traditions in every sip.

As a North German family business that has been producing spirits since 1892 and is now in its fourth generation, BEHN has numerous traditional herbal liqueur brands from the region in its range. 
The ritual of drinkingn Fischergeist is one of the most impressive traditions in northern German drinking culture. The spectacular play of the flames in the Fischergeist jugs as they are served is unforgettable. Original Friesengeist has a strong yet mild character. This original from the North Sea coast is also served burning and is accompanied by an authentic Frisian spirit saying. Every year on 25 December, there is also a record-breaking race for the length of the Friesengeist Mile in Carolinensiel, East Frisia. The traditional herbal liqueur Wattenläuper.  is also rooted on the North Sea coast. This amber-coloured coastal herb is native to Dithmarschen in Schleswig-Holstein and is produced according to a traditional family recipe using regional herbs. Another herb from the coast: the Leuchtfeuer, which is a real eye-catcher and popular holiday souvenir with its distinctive bottle.
Seaman´s Shot is truly Nordic and Scandinavian: the extra fresh flavour of menthol and eucalyptus is particularly popular in Denmark, where this vodka shot is a guest at many parties. A breathtaking kick of freshness that awakens all the senses. 
The Original Radeberger Kräuterlikör has its origins in eastern Germany and continues the legacy of the great Saxon manufacturing tradition. Hand-picked herbs and a traditional, elaborate production process ensure top quality, which has honoured this aromatic herbal liqueur as a purveyor to the royal court of Saxony - and has done so since 1877.