This simple recipe for homemade Becherovka, which is a herbal bitters, is perfect for those who favor infusions and liqueurs. Adding a few spices can turn usual vodka into an original beverage with delicate mild flavor. The cooking method described below is clear and straightforward.
Note: The original recipe for Becherovka is kept in secret by the producer, and the only thing that’s known is that it consists of 20 healing herbs which grow in Karlovy Vary (the public resort of the Czech Republic). Only two people know the whole list of ingredients and correct ratios.
This recipe enables anyone to make a drink with a taste and aroma very close to Becherovka. Although, it’s not really the Czech bitters.
- Vodka (45% ethanol) – 1 liter
- Sugar – 150 grams
- Water – 250 ml
- Orange zest – 2 tsp of fresh or 1 tsp of dry
- 2 cardamom seeds
- 10 buds of cloves
- 8 peppercorns
- Anise – ½ tsp
- Cinnamon – 1 average-sized stick
You can use odorless well-distilled moonshine without an unpleasant taste instead of alcohol or vodka. Still, distilled ethanol is the perfect alcohol base for homemade Becherovka because it’s used in the original method of cooking.
If you are not a fan of a smell of a particular spice don’t hesitate to exclude it from the ingredients.
- Cut the orange zest into small pieces, removing the white pulp and using only orange part of the peel for the infusion. The white pulp shouldn’t get into the drink. Otherwise, Becherovka will turn out too bitter. Dry zest doesn’t require any prior treatment.
- Crush the cinnamon sticks and cardamom seeds with a wooden rolling pin.
- Put all spices in a jar, add vodka (alcohol), stir well, and seal.
- Leave the jar in a dark place with room temperature for 7 days. Shake it once a day.
- Mix sugar and water in a cooking pot, warm it up on a slow fire till sugar is fully dissolved, but DO NOT bring it to a boil. Skim off the white foam and cool the mixture down to room temperature.
- Add the sugar syrup to the infusion, stir, and seal. Leave it for another 3-4 days.
- Filter the prepared homemade Becherovka through several layers of cheesecloth and cotton wool and after that, bottle it for storing.
- Before trying the obtained beverage let it infuse for another 2-3 days in a fridge or cellar.
Filtered homemade Becherovka
The final beverage is a light-brown liqueur with a well-balanced taste and aroma. It has prevailing hints of cinnamon and cardamom and also soft anise fragrance. I recommend drinking Becherovka chilled to 10-12°C and follow it up with a slice of orange or other fruits sprinkled with cinnamon.