by Stevie on March 2, 2011

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Killepitsch is a fairly obscure liquor made of ninety-plus herbs, fruits and nuts. We have not seen this drink for ages and ages, that is until last week. I took a suggestion from a student in my class and went to Cask, a small boutique wine and liquor shop in the South of Market neighborhood. While perusing the numerous varieties of bourbon, whiskey, scotch and tequila, I chanced on the last bottle of this drink of the gods. Wow.

Hegui and I became acquainted with this Düsseldorf speciality years ago in New York. At the time, we had a wonderful friend, Tina, who called that German city home. She was studying at a culinary school in the Big Apple when we met. As she traveled frequently back and forth, she would bring us tiny bottles of Killepitsch as treats. Sadly, we’ve lost touch over all these years. I wonder what she’s been up to lately?

After dinner drinks, or digestifs, particularly some of the brownish looking ones, aren’t always popular with dinner guests, as everyone always assumes that they’ll be quite bitter (think Cynar or Campari). Killepitsch is a pleasant surprise as it is not especially bitter but has loads of wonderful flavors! We sat sipping some the other night and came up with dozens of tastes. On the nose we noted dandelion, camphor, Angostura bitters and some intense alcohol. The top three flavors were clove, cinnamon and artichoke. But we also detected a lot of citrus like: orange peel and pith, Satsuma, blood orange and Grand Marnier. There was sage, nutmeg, thyme, molasses, wasabe, rosemary, garigue, coffee, fig, the skin of walnut and more. Really this tastes like a delightful garden poured into a glass.

Killepitsch is so aromatic and interesting that you’ll be transfixed as you ponder all of its subtle charms.

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Raul Carvalho March 2, 2011 at 2:31 am

bom dia,

gostei muito do seu blog e pelo que li… e nada melhor que o vinho para acompanhar as refeições bem preparadas…

Peço-lhe um um favor, que coloque o link do nosso blog no seu site para que as pessoas também possam conhecer mais sobre vinho…

Forte abraço

Shelley March 2, 2011 at 7:35 am

Hmmm, never heard of it before. I’m so behind the times- after I started drinking wine I got lazy about keep up with learning about/discovering new beers and alcohols. I’m trying to get better at it, though. I just recently learned of Fernet. Can’t quite say I’m a total convert to digestifs but I did enjoy the taste.
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LeQuan March 2, 2011 at 8:40 am

Interesting drink, I’ve never seen this before. Thanks for sharing.
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tasteofbeirut March 5, 2011 at 8:16 pm

With all these flavors and scents. I should get me a bottle and get rid of my overflowing spice cabinet and use that in my cooking! 🙂
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jr2015 May 31, 2011 at 12:43 pm

After just doing a rare round of after-dinner killepitsch shots at my house with friends, i can confirm that this beverage is a travesty – Q. why use ninety flavours when the only two contributing ones are sweetness and the burning sensation? I realise that shot may not be the actual prescribed use of this drink but whatever….

Heguiberto May 31, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Hi Jr2015,
Thanks for finding weirdcombinations!
Sorry you didn’t like killepitsch, I think there is a world of flavors there 🙂

Diana Carter July 11, 2011 at 11:24 am

We are very happy about this article on Killepitsch, our favorite herbal liquor! To learn more about this spirit and many more, visit

Tia February 16, 2012 at 1:15 pm

I was given this little gem by a liquor distributor. To try it if you had a hangover or an upset stomach. I have taken 4 times and everytime the hangover or stomach upset was immediately eliminated. I have been trying to find more of this magic elixur!

Bruce January 17, 2013 at 8:28 am

Simply delicious!! Mix 50/50 with diet mtn dew for a great relaxing drink or straight for the brave!!

Heguiberto January 17, 2013 at 10:33 am

Thanks for stopping by! Your suggestion sounds good. We’ll give it a try 🙂

Tiffanie June 18, 2015 at 4:55 pm

My fiance just found this stuff at our local liquor stuff in a decorated bottle . We were told it’s better then Jager we will be trying it tonight! What can it be mixed with? Does anyone know if there is any nuts in this? It smells wonderful and are the herbs similar to those in Jager? Can’t wait to know more! 🙂

Heguiberto July 2, 2015 at 2:31 pm

Hi Tiffanie,
I think that it is supposed to drink as is. But the idea of mixing it with something sounds like a good idea. Let me know how it tastes if you do do that.
As for nuts, according to the label it only has herbs so I would imagine no nuts?

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