Goldschlager: An Italian Liquor Made with Gold

Reader Contribution by Sue Van Slooten
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This will probably be one of the most unusual blogs I’ve done, but hey, it’s Christmas. Somehow the topic, or idea of Goldschlager came into my head this summer, and I was curious to see if it was still available. I had a different name for it, but once we were on the same page, the lady at our local LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) knew exactly what I was looking for.

What is Goldschlager? It’s a fascinating Swiss/Italian liquor, or schnapps, to be more precise, with a spicy cinnamon flavor. What makes it so fascinating are the small flakes of pure gold that float in the bottle. Quite pretty actually. Just for the record, gold is completely edible, so there’s nothing toxic about consuming it. In fact, some believe ingesting gold can be good for your health, but who knows. In upscale baking and chocolates, you find gold leaf all the time, and yes, those products decorated with it look absolutely, no questions asked, gorgeous.

How Much Gold is in Gold Goldschlager?

The value of the gold in each bottle is negligible, but according to Wikipedia, it was worth €0.56 EUR in November, 2012. That was about $1.23 US or $1.44 CAN at that time, so it gives you an idea that it isn’t a lot of gold. In a 1-litre bottle, that comes to about 13 grams. Metal markets fluctuate widely, so who knows now. It’s more the novelty of actual flakes of gold floating around that seems to fascinate people.

This particular liquor was originally Swiss, but with being bought out by a succession producers, it has vacillated between Switzerland and Italy. The bottle I bought is produced in Italy. I was also surprised that this was not an exorbitant liquor to buy (because of the gold, I thought it would be unaffordable), but as proven above, the amount of gold is quite small. The 750 ml. bottle came to about $30 CAN.

This all being said, what does it actually taste like? Not being a schnapps drinker, I had no idea. Schnapps to me always seemed like something my German ancestors would drink, not me. Very old-fashioned in other words.

Taste Test

So what’s the verdict? (Do keep in mind, my tasting panel was small, three in total, and opinions expressed were strictly their own.) As seen in the photo, the liquor is clear.

Taster No. 1: Cinnamon-y smell with vodka. Rich taste, exactly and overwhelmingly like Fireball, but cleaner, less sweet and sticky. Like a high quality Fireball.

Taster No. 2: Cinnamon-y smell again, with a rich, smooth taste. Slightly syrupy. Quite nice actually. You can smell and taste the alcohol and cinnamon of course, but seems well balanced.  

Taster No. 3: Nose of vanilla. “Oh, that’s good!” Sweet, but then like candy. Definitely cinnamon, like red hots.

So there you have it, the low down on a semi-mythical liquor that most people hear about but usually don’t try. And those gold flakes? I want to filter them out, then take them to a jeweler to see if you can put them in a little glass bottle to wear as a pendant. Sort of like what tourists do when they pan for gold in Alaska these days.


Wikipedia; LCBO

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