I’ve created a seasonal Christmas cocktail to toast a wonderful box by a Japanese artist that captures the spirit of Noel. It starts in the storied restorative town of Carlsbad, in the Czech Republic, famed for its healing spa waters. In 1807, Jan Becher began marketing a special herbal liqueur created with twenty local ingredients and based on a special recipe he acquired from his friend, the English physician Dr. Christian Frobrig. Becher’s “English Bitter”, purported to cure stomach illness, became wildly popular, and has stood the test of time. Unique and delicious, it has slowly gained popularity around the world over the past two hundred years. It’s particularly lovely this time of year, as the dominant flavors of cinnamon, clove, allspice, ginger and cardamom are the classic spices of the season. It’s been called “Christmas in a glass”, so what better base spirit to celebrate with could there be?


To the Becherovka I’ve added fresh lime juice – my favorite cocktail citrus – for just the right amount of tartness. Rounding out the holiday flavors, I’ve brought cranberry to the party as well, with Leopold Brother’s phenomenal New England Cranberry Liqueur. This family owned distillery in Colorado prides itself on fresh natural and locally sources ingredients, like the two varieties of New England cranberries found in this award winning spirit. Finally a touch more sweetness with cinnamon syrup, a secret ingredient which turns any drink into a holiday drink. It’s a wonderfully festive cocktail, a fantastic way to discover the beguiling Becherovka, and a sure crowd pleaser. Here’s to the spirit of the season. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, all.

Czeching it Twice

2 oz Becherovka

1 oz fresh lime

½ oz Leopold Bros. New England Cranberry Liqueur

¼ oz cinnamon syrup

2 dashes Scrappy’s Cardamom Bitters

Shake together with ice and strain into a festive glass. Garnish with a jolly old lemon wheel. Ho ho ho!


For more about the cryptic Code Name “L” box see:

Boxes and Booze: Know L

For last year’s Christmas cocktail see:

Let it Snow