The History of Goldwasser
Der Lachs Original Danziger Goldwasser is produced to a 16th-century recipe of multiple flavors and real 23-carat gold flakes in the vodka transparent liquid.
The flavor is created through the use of herbs and spices like cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, lavender, thyme, coriander, and juniper. The texture is slightly like a syrup.
Introduced in 1598 Ambrosius Vermeulen, A Dutchman from De Lier, invented the recipe is still implemented and kept secret.
This recipe was kept in the family and passed down the generations. Salomon Vermöllen, Ambrosius’ grandson, and his brother-in-law Isaac Wed-Ling, relocated the premises in 1704 to Breitgasse.
Houses were not identified by numbers but by animal symbols at the time.
The new location was identified by the salmon (German: Lachs) on the frontage. This led to the adoption of “Der Lachs zu Danzig” to identify the brand.
The Growth and Expansion of Goldwasser
Russian Tsar Peter I the Great traveled to Western Europe and visited Danzig where he encounters Goldwasser.
He was so enamored with the drink that he established the official Russian consulate in Danzig and became a great lover and ambassador of Danziger Goldwasser.
To ensure that he permanently had access to Goldwasser Tsar Peter ordered permanent delivery of Goldwasser to Russia for himself.
World War 1 separated the city of Danzig from Germany and became part of Poland after World War 2.
After the separation of Danzig from Germany, a second facility was put in place in 1922. This was to supply Goldwasser to the German and international markets while Danzig supplied Eastern Europe.
World War 2 ended in 1945 where after only the facility in Berlin was allowed to continue to produce genuine Danziger Goldwasser.
Hardenberg-Wilthen distillery bought out Der Lachs Original Danziger Goldwasser In 1971 and the production was moved to the town of Nörten-Hardenberg in West Germany.
You can visit the refurbished original distillery in Gdansk. Although it is not operational any longer, the association with the original product is retained through the use of salmon in the exclusive restaurant “Pod Łososiem” (The Salmon).
Although it is still possible to buy the original brand of Danziger Goldwasser in the original place of production, Gdansk, the product will come from the Nörten-Hardenberg facility.
Is the Gold in Goldwasser Safe?
Although rumored that you cannot drink gold, many a supporter of Goldwasser believe that the gold flakes create slight cuts in the throat and stomach thus speeding up the intoxication process as the alcohol is delivered directly to the bloodstream.
Many influential or “high-carat” authors such as Lessing, Fontaine, and Kleist considered Goldwasser as “the drink of princes and kings”.
While the idea may not appeal to everyone it is a great novelty and enjoyed by many.
How to Drink Goldwasser
Moving with the times, Goldwasser comes with a little literature around its neck identifying ways to drink Goldwasser.
This literature says that real connoisseurs enjoy their gold-water straight up or on a few blocks of ice.
Furthermore, it is also recommended that you mix Goldwasser with quality mixers.
One such recommendation is to mix
- 67 oz. Goldwasser
- 67 oz. bourbon
The recipe indicated that you fill the glass up with champagne and then round it off by decorating the glass with slices of tangerine
Another recipe is the “Golden Lover“:
- One part Goldwasser
- One part Cinzano Bianco
- One part vodka
There are a few other mixes you might come across in some establishments that are also recommended on the site’s official site.
Goldwasser Price & Size?
A bottle of 750 ml Goldwasser sells for approximately $29 at liquor outlets in the USA.
How Much Gold Is in Goldwasser?
Gold flakes are key to the popularity of Goldwasser. So, are there enough gold flakes to pay for the bottle?
Unfortunately not. It is estimated that there is approximately 0.1 gram (0.0032 Troy Ounces) of gold in a bottle of Goldwasser. Even though the price of gold is quite high, converting the gold into hard cash will net you around $4 to $5 if you are lucky.
Considering the processing costs to convert the flakes into usable gold shows that you may be able to afford a cup of coffee after the processing costs have been paid.
Goldschläger (which means “gold beater”) is a Swiss cinnamon schnapps that also contains 24-carat actual gold flakes and is a spiritual descendant of a Goldwasser.
The flakes in Goldschlager are genuine gold floating around in the clear liquid.
During the 1990s, an urban legend started doing the rounds that the flakes would cause tiny cuts in the throat speeding up the intoxication process. This caused an up flare on the popularity of Goldschlager.
The marketing team at Goldschlager got creative and created a slogan to warn drinker to “Be afraid. Be very afraid.”
There is another brand of Goldwasser, Schwabacher Goldwasser that muddies the water slightly with the same name.
Schwabacher Goldwasser is produced in Schwabach near Nuremberg, Germany.
Stiff competition is also provided by a variety of Polish brands from Gdańsk called Gdańska Złotówka (Gdańsk gold) or Złota Woda (Gold water).
Alcohol by Volume
Goldwasser contains 40% ABV