Monday, January 27, 2014

A Stupid Conversation Concerning Fireball and Goldschläger

Sometimes in my line of work as a bartender I find that I engage in very interesting conversations. Conversations like these can make an otherwise quiet night into something very entertaining. This post is not about one of those conversations.

I had a customer want to get into an argument with me about all things: Goldschläger and Fireball Cinnamon Whisky. In the discussion that occurred at 3:25 am, the customer interjected himself into another conversation that I was having with a fellow bartender. My fellow bartender-in-arms was asking me how well does Fireball sell at our bar (since his bar doesn't carry it). For the record, it sells...ALOT!!!! We can go through three to five bottles on a busy weekend shift. The customer (who happens to also be a bartender, albiet at a Michelin rated restaurant) who is from overseas was stating that Goldschläger was the real deal not this new Fireball whisky. I related to him that Fireball was not new at all.

As I wrote in my post 60's Era Cold War Cocktails A-La Mad Men Part I from November 15, 2013, Fireball Whisky was originally the old Dr. McGillicuddy's Fireball Canadian Whisky of the 1960's. He scoffs at my answer and then turns around to me and states that Goldschläger is older. His reasoning was due to Goldschläger being some old German liqueur to which I respond that I don't know how old it is or where its from but that I only know of it since the 1980's here in the States. I guess that got his Anti-American feelings up since he was about to start to rant that why did it matter when it was sold here in the United States. I stopped the potential rant by saying that it didn't matter, since at 3:25 am I didn't care and walked away leaving him with the other bartender who made in initial query on Fireball. A day later the curiosity got the better of me. I decided to do some research on Goldschläger.

Ah Goldschläger, the favorite of many a frat boys wanting to do shots of an Oatmeal Cookie (Equal parts of Goldschläger® cinnamon schnapps, butterscotch schnapps, Bailey's® Irish cream, Jagermeister® herbal liqueur. Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker half-filled with ice cubes. Strain into a shot glass, and serve) is a Cinnamon schnapps. To be perfectly honest, I couldn't find anything online to tell me when Goldschläger was created. I found a quick blurb about Goldschläger in the book Gold: A Cultural Encyclopedia By Shannon Venable. Here is what was written about it:
Goldschläger is a flavored schnapps liqueur with the taste of spicy cinnamon that has gold flake leaves added to it as a novelty. The fancy liqueur was originally produced in Switzerland until the 1990s, when the U.K. multinational wine beer and spirits distributed Diageo acquire the brand and transferred its manufacturing to Italy. Originally developed with 53.5% alcohol content equivalent to 107 proof, Goldschläger now contains 43.5% alcohol at 87 proof. Each 750 mL bottle contains less than 0.1 g of gold leaf. The German name means "gold beater" in reference to gold leaf manufactures who pound bricks of gold into thin sheets.

The addition of the gold to the clear liqueur originates from a long tradition of adding gold flakes to food and beverage for both prestige and presumed health benefits. There is evidence that the pharaohs of Ancient Egypt may have added gold for the wine. The nobility of medieval Europe added gold to their alcoholic beverages as a lavish display of wealth. Goldwasser ("Gold water") is another gold flecked beverage manufactured in the Polish city of Danzig since it's invention in the late 16th century. A variety of contemporary champagnes and sparkling wines also contained gold flakes for celebratory flair.
I've never heard about Goldwasser. Now I was definitely curious. Speaking of Goldwasser:
Goldwasser, The Original Danziger
Since 1598 - The timeless fascination of a delicious gold experience. Original Danziger Goldwasser (Gold Water of Gdansk) was first created in 1598 in the city of Gdansk and ranked as the favourite liqueur of the legendary Russian Tsar Peter and Catherine the Great. The popularity of this famous Danziger Liqueur - featuring suspended genuine 22 - carat gold flakes - soon spread internationally and quickly became a favourite liqueur of high society. To this day, this delicious gold liqueur remains a uniquely bitter sweet experience that glows in the splendor of this precious metal and which has lost none of its fascination. The exquisite Original Danziger Goldwasser Liqueur was once regarded as an unaffordable treasure on account of its genuine gold leaf content. As an exclusive gift, it stood as a shining symbol of affection, friendship and esteem. Its secret original formula from the 16th century remains unchanged today and is the seal of its provenance and authenticity
Now I don't know if Danzinger Goldwasser was indeed the favorite liqueur of Tsars Peter and Catherine the Great or just hyperbole but I have to say that pushing that little nugget of history is pretty cool. Never let it be said that a stupid conversation at 3:25 am can't lead to something educational. Though the combative customer was wrong about Goldschläger being from Germany, his nosiness helped me find out about Goldwasser and the history behind it. So I guess I owe him thanks. Thanks.

For my next post I go back to the movies with my liquor filled glasses analysis of The Boondock Saints (1999).

Until Then Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla