Man Up To 3 Hardcore German Liquors / Schnaps (Heidegeist, Ratzeputz, Bullenschluck)
Five years ago, I blogged about my adventures with Night Train, Alize, Thunderbird, and Brass Monkey. While that post still remains one of my highest trafficked and popular blog posts, I want to talk to you today about some additional hardcore liquors that you may not be aware of from Northern Germany. No, I’m not talking about Jägermeister. While Jäger is a respectable liquor with 35% alcohol content, I am talking about manning up to Heidegeist, Ratzeputz, and Bullenschluck which are all Kräuterlikörs (herbal liqueur or spiced liqueur) distilled with special herbs like your friend Jägermeister, but have 50%, 58% and 43% alcohol percentages respectively.
First off is Heidegeist. It’s 50% alcohol and is distilled with 31 specialty herbs from the Lüneburger Heide region, known for its pastoral fields in northeastern part of the state of Lower Saxony in northern Germany. It’s a mild and flavorful liquor best enjoyed over ice or can also be served as shots.
Next is Ratzeputz. I was first introduced to Ratzeputz two years ago on a trip to Germany to visit my girlfriend’s family. We had just finished a really hearty meal at the local DreiKronen restaurant and her step father was recounting the story of St Hubertus (the original Jägermeister) and ordered a round of Ratzeputz shots as a digestifs. I was blown away by the spicy aftertaste of Ratzeputz and it definitely did the job in helping me digest my meal and warming me up on that cold winter night (58% alcohol content). Distilled with ginger roots, Ratzeputz is known for its strong spicy flavor and is highly regarded for its medicinal benefits for the stomach. If you ever get the chance to try Ratzeputz, definitely don’t let the chance slip by. After you’ve tried Ratzeputz, Jägermeister tastes like soda.
Finally is Bullenschluck which I was just introduced to this Christmas/New Year’s holiday. This stuff is no joke and as far as I know it isn’t really even sold commercially, unless you know the actual guy who makes it. First look at the top of the label of this bottle and you’ll notice the cow, pig, rooster, dog and horse figures. The first line says something about how this liquor can be used to revitalize lameness in horses, cattle and oxen!! The 2nd line says it can also be used for people internally. Goodness! So basically Bullenschluck is a medicine that is applied externally to wounds on farm animals, but for some crazy individuals it can also be ingested. In other words this is seriously hardcore, backwoods, German moonshine. So………………….…..Yep, we did a few shots over New Year’s. It tastes and smells like Chinese medicinal herbs. We had a shot of Bullenschluck, some champagne, Feurerzangenbowle , and then shot off fireworks for New Year’s! Wow I love Germany! Next time you are in Hamburg or Hannover, definitely take a chance to try Ratzeputz or Heidegeist. Now we just need Axl Rose to write a song about them and they’ll soon be popular worldwide.