Using Spices


Wal writes ...
    Goldwasser was first produced in 1598 in the Prussian port of Danzig (now Polish Gdansk). It contains infusions of botanicals with flakes of real gold, which makes it a unique liqueur. "Goldwasser or Danziger Goldwasser to give it its archetypal name, recalls the great Catalan physician Arnaldo de Villanova who, in the 13 th century, is reputed to have cured the Pope of a dangerous illness by giving him an elixir containing specks of gold." (Spirits & Liqueurs Cookbook) There was for a time a silver version - Silberwasser. Liqueur d'Or or Eau d'Or was a now extinct French version. A Danziger Goldwasser is made in Germany, while the Polish Distillery Polmos makes a Goldwasser (Zlota Woda) not in Gdansk, but in Poznan, from esential oils according to the label. There is a Swiss version containing gold flakes but which has a strong cinnamon character, which does not resemble the Polish or German versions. For those who want to make an impression as a 'Goldfinger' or want to cure a dangerous illness, gold flakes can still be obtained. Here are the Polish and French versions. Note that the Polish version relies only on maceration, as a double home distillation is illegal.

    Goldwasser - zlota woda
      Ingredients for 1 litre of liqueur.
    • 35 ml 'Goldwasser Essence'
    • 450 g sugar
    • 25 ml cognac
    • 430 ml alcohol 95%bv
    • 60 g water
        'Goldwasser Essence'
      • 5 g star anise
      • 2 g cinnamon
      • 3 g nutmeg
      • 1 g cloves
      • 1 g cardamon
      • 4 g coriander
      • 4 g melissa
      • 4 g peppermint
      • 1 g rosemary
      • 6 g lemon peel
      • 8 g orange peel
      • 500 ml alcohol 55%bv
    • Dilute 300 ml 95%bv alcohol with 210 ml water, making 500 ml alcohol 55%bv. Place botanicals in a jar, add alcohol and macerate for 2-3 weeeks. Strain and keep in a warm place. Add sugar dissolved in the water, to Essence. Add cognac and alcohol 95%bv. Add water to make 1 litre and leave for 4-6 months. Filter and add gold flakes.

    Eau d'Or
    • 60 g cinnamon (cassia)
    • 60 g aniseed
    • 50 g juniper
    • 30 g nutmeg
    • 30 g orris root
    • 30 g rosemary flowers
    • 20 g cardamon
    • 20 g cloves
    • peel from 10 lemons
    • peel from 5 oranges
    • 12 litres (3 U.S. gals) alcohol 85%bv
    • 3 L water
    • Macerate.
    • Double distill.
    • Color lightly yellow with saffron.
    • Add gold flakes.
    • Perfume with orange blossom water.

Spiced Rum

Wal writes ...
    Came across a Spiced Rum recipe that apparently is better than Captain Morgan:

    1) Cinnamon Spiced Rum
    • rum 750 ml
    • cinnamon 3 sticks
    • cloves 5
    • peppercorns 5
    • nutmeg 1/2 crushed
    • ginger fresh, size of tip of little finger
    • vanilla bean 12-25 mm
    Infuse for several weeks

    2) "Nannie" - rosemary spiced rum
Place a few sprigs of fresh rosemary in a bottle of rum. Makes a great rum'n coke.

Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum apparently contains cinnamon, cloves and vanilla. Another combination found in other spiced rums is cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla. In the West Indies the common flavoring spice added to rum is cinnamon or rosemary.

Here is a recipe for a Spiced Rum (Ron con Especias)

3) Spiced Rum
  • rum 1 litre
  • cinnamon 3 sticks
  • cloves 6
  • nutmeg 1 whole crushed
  • pimento 4
  • star anise 3
  • aniseed pinch
  • vanilla bean 1
Make a slit in vanilla bean. Scrape pulp into a glass jar. Add bean only and remaining ingredients and cover. Infuse for at least 2 weeks. Strain and bottle.

Cinnamon and Nutmeg

Wal writes ..
    The Italians have a 'Rosolio de cannella', the French have a 'Liqueur de cannelle', a 'Firewater Cinnamon Schnapps' at 50%abv (made by the Dutch De Kuyper firm I think) is available in the U.S. Schnapps are usually less sweet than most liqueurs. Here is a recipe for the French version that I got from a site that contains a vast number of recipes in French (sorry, site no longer available):
    Cinnamon Liqueur
    • 10 sticks of cinnamon
    • 500 ml rum
    • 500 g sugar
    • 500 ml water
    • Macerate cinnamon in the rum for 2 months
    • Strain and add sugar syrup (500g suar dissolved in 500 ml water)
    • Leave for 3 months before drinking.

    Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans) is a mild hallucinogenic drug, somewhat like marijuana. Eating as few as two nutmegs can cause death. ('The Herb Book', John Lust, 1974) "Contraindications: May cause temporary constipation and difficulty in urination. Nutmeg oils increase fat deposits on liver. Safrole is carcinogenic and toxic to liver. Beneficial as spice or in small amounts, not recommended as hallucinogen." Strounge, this explains why it "gets you sleep on cold winters night."

Stolen from Basic Brewing: Introduction to Meads, Wines, Beers, Cordials, and Exotics.


  • 12 stick cinnamon
  • 1 qt vodka
  • 1 and 1/3 cp sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey
Place cinnamon sticks in container. Cover with vodka. Let stand for 1 week. Strain into second container. Add sugar and honey. Allow to clear.
Wal also offers ...
    a spice and honey flavored vodka called 'Krupnik' that I got from a Polish cookbook:

      Krupnik Litewski
    • 300g honey (1 cup)
    • 750ml vodka (40%abv)
    • 1/4 piece vanilla bean
    • 1/4 nutmeg
    • 10g cinnamon
    • 2 cloves
    • 1 strip of lemon peel

    • Macerate and strain after 10 days

Honey Vodka
Preparing the essence : Combine all ingredients and dissolve in the sprits as much as possible
  • 3 grams of Cinnamon.
  • 1 gram of cloves.
  • 3 grams of ginger.
  • 2 grams of nutmeg
  • 4 grams of vanilla
  • 150 mL of sprits, 60%.
INGREDIENTS: (for 1 litre of product)
  • 0.5 kg of honey
  • 0.5 Litres of sprits, 95%
  • 5-10 mL of essence (see above)
  • 4 mL of lemon juice.
  • 200 mL of water, approx.
In an enamel pot pour the water (200 mL) and bring to boil. Add honey, the pot should be at least double the height of the water as to prevent the honey from boiling over. For prefect results, bring the honey to boil and boil for about a dozen minutes, until all the froth is gone, then turn off the heat. After the honey has slightly cooled, add lemon juice and essence. Then slowly pour the sprits into the honey, constantly stirring. Bottle the drink into large bottles and leave for approx 3-6 months, until nice and transparent. As the solution can not be easily filtered, the clear liquid should be syphoned into another bottle, and only the remaining drink filtered. The amount of essence added depends on the samplers personal taste, for those who prefer a strong root flavour upto 10 mL of essence may be added.     This page last modified Tue, 20 Jan 2015 20:51:05 -0800