A classic Belgian liqueur, that dates back to 1863.
The liqueur was developed by François-Xavier de Beukelaer, a medicine and pharmacy student. He founded his distillery at Paardenmarkt in Antwerp, but as the business grew rapidly, he soon moved to a bigger plant at 22 Bredastraat, with further offices across the city. De Beukelaer’s herbal flavoured liqueur was an instant hit, said to possess beneficial digestive qualities. Soon, Elixir d’Anvers was being sold across the world, as far afield as Australia and America. For his achievement, de Beukelaer was awarded an honorary diploma from none other than Louis Pasteur!
In 1909, François-Xavier’s sons, Emile and Louis-Xavier, joined the family business, with Louis-Xavier continuing to run the company until 1941. Exilir d’Anvers was later run by his sons, Emile and Jacques, before being passed over to Ivan Nolet de Brauwere, a friend of Emile’s from an old distilling family.
The liqueur is made to a secret recipe, containing dozens of herbs and plants from around the world. The process of production is split into four parts, taking about 5 months. This is the same process that first created the original elixir over 150 years ago.
The first stage is maceration, where the botanicals are mixed with pure alcohol in a copper pot still, slowly releasing their flavours. The second stage is distillation, when the pot still is heated, creating an extremely flavoursome concentrate. In the next stage, the concentrate is mixed with alcohol, soft water and sugar in an autoclave. Finally, the liqueur is matured in oak barrels for several months, rounding out the flavour and adding subtle colour.
The liqueur itself serves up subtle flavours of gentian, spice, caramel, peppery alcohol, root beer, brown sugar, chopped herbs, liquorice and vanilla.
Traditionally consumed dropped onto sugar cubes as a digestif, Elixir d’Anvers is also enjoyable sipped neat, in cocktails or over ice.
A beautifully presented Belgian disgestif, with a long history.