Black Balsam

Riga Black Balsam
bitter liqueur

A favorite drink of the Latvians is Riga Black Balsam.  The locals drink it to warm up their insides during the long winters, saying it brings on a “warm inner glow”.

Made in Riga since 1752, it is a liqueur made from 40 herbs, spices (cloves?) and a pine nuts.  During a walking tour of the Old Town, I stopped at a sidewalk cafe to try one.  It was only mid-morning, but I knew I’d never pass this way again.

Woooeee!  That will grow hair on the bottom of your feet!  Very thick, lining your throat like cough syrup and extremely bitter.   The alcohol content must be very high; a warm glow is an understatement.  I  tasted it again every time I swallowed.  But, it grows on you.

Thought for the Day:  When in Rome …

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