From the archive
Becherovka listen (help.info) is an herbal bitters made in Karlovy Vary (German: Karlsbad) in the Czech Republic by Jan Becher. It is flavored with anise seed, cinnamon, and approximately 32 other herbs. Its alcohol content is 38% ABV (76 proof).
Becherovka is usually served cold and is often used as an aid to digestion. It may also be served with tonic water, 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.
Commercial production of Becherovka started in 1807.
From 1998 to 2003 a Slovak version was also sold, manufactured by Zden�k Hoffmann in Doma�lice (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 Doma�lice 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.