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Prague: ARTĚL Style

Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...

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Dining & Drinking

5 Great Czech Liquors

Published on January 16th, 2014 in Dining & Drinking

  • "50 is gone you see, however forever fresh i will be", Slivovice Cake (photo courtesy of dorty.artmama.cz)

  • Becherovka Postcard, c1973

  • Božkov Advertisement (photo courtesy of restauracecountry.cz)

  • Preparing Absinthe, Vintage Postcard (photo courtesy of museeabsinthe.com)

Slivovice

 

 

This strong plum brandy is perhaps the most traditional drink in the Czech Republic – consumed by the shot to commemorate, well, just about anything. It’s best chilled (as the cold masks the strong alcohol burn), but never served with ice. R. Jelínek is the most popular brand, available all over town – as well as at the airport.

 

Becherovka

 

This sweet herbal liqueur from Karlovy Vary with a secret recipe of 22 herbs can be consumed straight up in a shot, as the locals do, or with tonic water, ice, and a slice of lemon (called a Beton, this is my personal favorite). Also widely available, and you can’t miss it at the airport, either.

 

Zelená

 

This green, peppermint-flavored liqueur is another popular option for shots and is also used in mixed drinks. Božkov is a popular brand; they also make a range of other flavors.

 

Fernet

 

 

This bitter liqueur is often compared to Jägermeister, as it has a similarly herbal flavor. Like Becherovka, it is usually consumed straight up in a shot, but can also be mixed with tonic water and served over ice (this is called a Bavorák).

 

Absinthe

 photo courtesy of www.whiskyminibottles.eu

 

Although it’s not uniquely Czech, you will see lots of absinthe for sale in the local shops. Known as “the green fairy,” this highly alcoholic beverage (up to 70% ABV) has a strong anise flavor and was the drink of choice among 19th century artists, writers and poets, including Van Gogh, Hemingway, and Baudelaire. It also has a reputation for causing hallucinations and madness. Drink at your own risk....

 

 

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