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Becherovka

Becherovka (formerly Karlsbader Becherbitter) is a herbal bitters that is produced in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, by the Jan Becher company. The brand is owned by Pernod Ricard. Becherovka is flavored with anise seed, cinnamon, and approximately 32 other herbs. Its alcohol content is 38% ABV (76 proof). It is usually served cold and is often used as an aid to digestion. It may also be served with tonic water, making a drink that is known as a beton (BEcherovka+TONic) (Czech for "concrete"). It is used in several former Eastern Bloc countries as a home remedy for arthritis. The father of Becherbitter was Josef Vitus Becher (1769–1840). Apart from trading in spices and colonial goods in his shop “U tří skřivanů” (“At the Three Skylarks”), he also devoted himself to the production of alcohol – already in 1794, he rented a stillhouse somewhere in the town and started to experiment with hard alcohol. Following the example of his forefathers, he also served in public office (as councillor, mayor and portreeve). Josef was married twice (his first wife died of pneumonia) and had a total of 16 children, although only five daughters and two sons outlived him. Josef’s business was taken over in 1838 by his son Johann Nepomuk Becher, called “Jan” in Czech. From 1998 to 2003 a Slovak version was also sold, manufactured by Zdeněk Hoffmann in Domažlice (formerly Taus) in Bohemia, who claimed that Alfred Becher had given his grandfather the recipe in 1939, with the right to manufacture the product, as he was worried that the secret might not survive the war. Hoffmann was unable to prove this in court, and in 2007 was sentenced by the Domažlice district court. Today there are only two people who know the secret of the entire production process: these two are the only ones allowed to enter the Drogikamr room, where, once a week, they prepare a mixture of the many herbs and spices used in the drink's creation. Some of the herbs are imported from abroad, and some of them grow around Karlovy Vary

Drinks made with Becherovka:

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