Becherovka: Herbal Liquer from Karlovy Vary

Becherovka is a popular drink. This herbal bitter is produced in the spa town of Karlovy Vary. In some(tourist) restaurants and pubs in Prague a glass of Becherovka is put on your table and looks like a welcome drink. But, be aware, it will feature on your bill! Every corner shop in Prague and Czechia sells this alcoholic drink. And a bottle is kept in almost every Czech household. This herbal bitter  has a ginger and cinnamon flavour and is often considered as a digestive. But many people drink it before a meal simply as an appetizer. The recipe is a well-kept secret!

Becherovka Medicinal Appetizer

In the early nineteenth century, a Bohemian apothecary, together with Jan Becher, who worked in a liqueur distillery, concocted a new medicine to relieve stomach ache. No one expected that Becher’s name would become world-famous. This new medicine, named after Jan Becher, is a herbal bitter with an alcohol percentage of 38%. Are you curious to know how this medicinal appetizer is made? Visit the Becherovka Museum in Karlovy Vary: the perfect excuse to learn all about this drink and taste it.


Jan Becher 

The Becher family were Sudeten Germans from Karlovy Vary where they had a distillery and produced the drink. After being deported by the communists in 1945, their successful company became a state-owned company that produced almost exclusively for the then Czechoslovak market. After the fall of communism, the firm was privatized and is now owned bij Pernod Ricard.

Becherovka and Mineral Water

Becherovka is a 100% natural product. The recipe is a well-kept secret, but it is certain that exotic herbs and Karlovy Vary spring water are used. Drink it pure or mix it with tonic and a few drops of lemon juice.


Becherovka Museum

Be sure to visit the Becherovka museum in Karlovy Vary. You will learn all about the firm, its marketing strategies and its products. The museum can only be visited on a guided tour. The barrel bunker is an interesting part of the tour. You walk through underground tunnels with oak barrels on either side in which the drink matures for two months. The tour ends in the tasting room.


Becherovka Museum
T.G. Masaryka 57,
Karlovy Vary

Opening hours
7 days a week from 09.00 – 17.00 hours

photos: Marianne Crone

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