Have you tried Goldwasser (German “gold water”) before? We were only introduced to the liqueur this week, when our couchsurfer from Gdansk gifted us with this bottle. The first thing you’ll notice is the floating flakes of — real — 23 carat gold, followed by the 38% (!) alcohol content! The recipe of root and herbs have been a closely-guarded secret for hundreds of years, and it has a long, fascinating history, including some legends.
Local legend (which abounds in Poland) states several murky tales about the invention of Goldwasser, mainly revolving around the god Neptune bestowing the delectable drink upon Gdansk’s citizens. In one he is so sick-and-tired of residents throwing coins into his fountain on Dlugi Targ that he strikes his mighty trident splaying shrapnel everywhere, and this, inexplicably, is why you’ll find gold pieces in the vodka. The other, even more inherently suspicious, claims a Neptune overjoyed by the coins he was being lavished with decided to reward residents with an archetypal water-into-wine manoeuvre by turning the fountain water into vodka. Greedy merchants and landlords hauled it away by the barrel, but not the virtuous owner of restaurant Pod Lososiem – oh no; his vodka is filled with gold forever after for his good stead. Seems a bit of sly marketing on the part of the upmarket restaurant where the distillery once operated has entered the local psyche…
We tried some of this firewater on Wednesday night, and it really packs a punch! It’s supposed to have medicinal value, too, so down the hatch: Na zdrowie!
In other related news, although having a Polish couchsurfer was pure coincidence (and luck, for me):
Can you tell I’m excited? It’s a six-day press trip sponsored by the Polish government, to promote the Polish food industry to Canadians. In a couple of weeks I’ll be in Warsaw and Poznan, eating, drinking, touring, and taking photos of everything. Nothing out of the ordinary for Gail at Large, except I’m on assignment in a journalist role. As my friend put it: “So, a Canadian raised Filipina who calls Portugal home will travel as a journalist to Poland in order to learn about and promote Polish food to Canadians… Yep, actually makes sense to me. — That should be a great experience!!”
But FIRST THINGS FIRST…
Casa Aguiar is hitting the road tomorrow morning and tripping around the country for nine glorious days, including places where Paulo has not ventured, eg. the Algarve. This also means I’ll be taking a holiday from blogging, too, but will likely take some pictures on my phone, which will end up in one or two of these places:
See you on the 22nd!