Sunday, September 4, 2011

Of Elixir d'Anvers and Roast Chicken

I realize I have stopped my beer-spotting weekends for almost a year. So today I am gonna restart my engine. :) I am gonna talk, not about beer, but about a herbal liquor that I have been drinking for quite some time.

I am not sure if anybody outside Belgium has ever heard of this liquor called Elixir d'Anvers? If you haven't, then let me tell you that this is one of my favourite drinks, really. Well, I was introduced to this kruidenlikeur (herbal liquor) as a result of a terrible bout of acute bronchitis last November. Hubby then suggested that I drink Elixir d'Anvers every night to strengthen my immune system, so that I would cough less and sleep better. He was all praises about Elixir d'Anvers because his grandmother lived to a ripe old age of 99 years old just by sipping a tiny shotglass of Elixir d'Anvers every night before she went to bed. I told him I dun wanna live til 100 years old, 90 years old is probably good enough. But still, he bought me a bottle of Elixir d'Anvers and that was how it all began - my love affair with Elixir d'Anvers. :)

Ok, here is a picture of how it looks like. To folks in Singapore and Malaysia, this is what I would call, the equivalent of Bénédictine D.O.M. or Yomeishu. The kind of herbal liquor that old ladies would drink before they go to sleep. Coincidentally, my paternal grandma in Singapore also sips a tiny shotglass of Yomeishu every night before sleeping, and she is still alive and kicking in her mid 90s. So there is indeed an element of truth about these wonderful herbal liquors!

According to its website, Elixir d'Anvers was discovered in 1863 in Antwerp by François-Xavier de Beukelaer. It quickly became world-famous because of its remarkable digestive and beneficial effects and is still prepared according to the old traditional recipe. It consists of as many as 32 herbs and plants (as compared to Bénédictine D.O.M. which only has 27). It is very strong in alcohol content (whopping 37%!!!) so you should only sip a little at a time and not gulp it down like coca cola. Just a small glassful would be enough to knock you unconscious and you could easily drift off to slumberland. Not all supermarkets in Belgium carry Elixir d'Anvers. According to hubby dear, he couldn't find it in Colruyt and had to buy it from Delhaize.

Anyway, back to why I started off this topic about Elixir d'Anvers. I ran out of brandy or cognac to marinate my roast chicken for last night's dinner. So I used Elixir d'Anvers, which my hubby said was a bit of a waste, considering how much more expensive it is. (Actually it's not that expensive, it is only less than 20 euro but considering that you can buy some cheap brandy or cognac (not the expensive Rémy Martin V.S.O.P though) here easily at half the price.) Come on, it is just 2 tablespoonfuls! What does he know about cooking? ;p

I didn't manage to snap a picture of my roast chicken bcos my little boy, His Majesty, was back from the creche and as usual he was super-hungry and I had to quickly serve dinner to appease his voracious appetite. But you can always refer to the picture in my favourite roast chicken recipe. Just a quick note that due to the addition of honey, the roast chicken does get burnt easily so you have to watch the chicken, turn it around after 30min and drizzle with the sauces, and cover with an aluminium foil if necessary.


  1. Ouch ... dangerous liquor. I've once been very drunk after (ahem) half a bottle of Elixir d'Anvers. I have been thirsty for the whole week thereafter ...

  2. Wow, I am surprised you can drink so much at one go, but I am not surprised that you are completely drunk after that. It is 37% alcohol after all! ;p

    It would take me a few weeks to finish half a bottle. I only drink a very small amount each time, not more than 20ml, and I take it a few sips at a time. I dun gulp it down at one go, it will burn my throat. After drinking, it will warm up my throat and my whole body and before I even realize, I am already snoring ZZZzzz...

  3. I must admit that I haven't touched Elixir after that 'event'. When I have a sore throat I drink hot tea with half a squeezed lemon, sugar and a dash of Stroh Rum 80%. It helps! ;-)

  4. Stroh Rum 80%, first time I have heard of that, that sounds interesting. Good choice if I suffer from insomnia, 80% alcohol will knock me out within a matter of seconds. ;p

  5. Thank you for piquing my interest! I just saw Elixir D'Anvers on a Belgium products website and it caught my attention. Your experiences tell me I do definitely want to give this a try. Thanks!

  6. I'm about to visit Antwerpen, so I shall bring a bottle back. Looking forward to trying it.


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