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Unusual Riga Black Balsam

The most unusual drink that you can possibly find is the unique herbal concoction known as Riga Black Balsam. It is a traditional Latvian herbal liqueur which has only natural ingredients. It’s a mixture of many different natural herbs in pure vodka and it truly packs a powerful 90 proof punch. Riga Black Balsam can be drunk on the rocks or it can be mixed with a variety of juices, other liqueurs, and soft drinks or splashed into warm coffee or tea. A special treat is topping ice cream with a shot of balsam. It is a rather acquired taste since the drink is pitch black in color and has a bitterness which once taken upon the tongue is followed by a certain kind of sweetness and a trail of fire going down the throat.

Riga Black Balsam is produced by JSC Latvijas Balzams. Its original recipe was the creation of Abraham Kunze who was a pharmacist living in Riga. The special ingredients include 24 different plants, flowers, buds, juices, roots, oils and berries which are then prepared in barrels made of oak. Everywhere you look you can see the traditional and familiar dark brown ceramic handmade flagons in which Riga Black Balsam is sold. You can’t tell what’s in the bottle but once you uncork it’s guaranteed to please. It has been acknowledged internationally and has received over 30 awards.

Riga Black Balsam is also used in traditional medicine and it is a great cold remedy and can cure digestive problems. Legend has it that Empress Catherine the Great of Russia arrived in Latvia for a visit and fell ill. She was administered to with Riga Black Balsam and was cured of her ailments.  Tourists arrive in Riga and return home with a couple of bottles of balsam.

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    Have you heard of Riga Black Balsam?

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    Would you drink an herbal liqueur?

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    Does your country have a special herbal liqueur?

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