Riga Black Balsam (Latvian: RÄ«gas Melnais balzams) is a traditional Latvian herbal liqueur made with many different natural ingredients mixed in pure vodka, giving a 45% abv (90 proof) drink.
It can be had as it is, on the rocks or mixed with schnapps, akvavit, or vodka, or warm, in tea, coffee or black currant juice, or mixed with soda water or a soft drink, or in any variety of cocktails.
The drink itself is black and very bitter, but with a distinct sweetness.
When you visit Riga, you will no doubt encounter an interesting addition to all restaurant drinks menus: Black Balsam.
Riga Black Balsam is a tar-black liqueur flavored with a variety of herbs, including linden flower, pepper, ginger, valerian, and others.
This strong, sting-your-throat drink is one of Rigaâ??s prides.
Many herb and spice liqueurs still bear the name of monastic orders from which they originated.
Herb and spice liqueurs are one of the most intriguing categories of liqueur as in many cases the recipes are a closely guarded secret, handed down from generation to generation.
One of the most famous examples is Chartreuse; it is claimed that there are 130 different herbal extracts in the blend and only four people worldwide know the recipe.
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