YES! Becherovka

Rachel Tepper Paley
March 7, 2014

Photo credit: Becherovka

It’s doesn’t get much more Bohemian than Becherovka, an herbal Czech liqueur that sometimes moonlights as a digestif. Made with a secret mixture of herbs and spices, Becherovka has a flavor that suggests cinnamon and ginger. It’s wintertime goodness in a bottle.

Becherovka can be found outside of Soviet satellite states, too: You can sip on shots of the sweet, pungent stuff at places like Maison Premiere and Bohemian Beer Hall in New York City, or State Park in Boston. (Just make sure to toast your drinking companions with a hearty “na zdraví!”)

But perhaps the best way to quaff the spirit is in a cocktail. It’s the basis of a drink called "The Beton," a fizzy, tonic-based number zinged up with a squeeze of lemon. If you find yourself in Washington, D.C., try Bistro Bohem's interpretation, the “Czech Yourself,” which relies upon orange bitters and simple syrup for an aromatic, citrusy punch.

Becherovka is nice to have on hand at home, too. When in doubt, pair it with bourbon. We like the looks of this recipe for “Lindsay’s Lament” from Midnight Cowboy in Austin. Keep in mind that you’re dealing with a potent spirit already; Becherokva packs a punch, with 38 percent alcohol by volume. And bourbon? Well, you know.

Lindsey’s Lament

from Imbibe

Serves 1

1 3/4 oz bourbon

1 oz Becherovka

1/4 oz maple syrup

3 drops salt tincture (1:1 sea salt dissolved in warm water)

Orange peel for garnish

Mix ingredients in a tall mixing glass, stir to combine, and strain the liquid into a chilled glass. Twist the orange peel and slip in the drink for garnish.