Escape of the Day: Black Balsam

Riga Black Balsam

Crack open a bottle of Riga Black Balsam, pour yourself a shot, and ready your all-important coffee chaser. Prieka! Gridskipper calls the stuff “scary Latvian booze” but it actually goes down pretty easy. It tastes like the crazy herbs I get from my acupunturist (which I swear made me hallucinate one time) only much more palatable.

I bought my bottle of bitters in Riga in April, and finally opened it today–before noon, no less–to toast the fact that I had finally booked a moving truck for my return to the South. Perhaps you can come up with a meaningful occasion of your own, like convincing your boss to let you work from home one day a week, or finishing a short story you’ve been trying to write, or practicing supta virasana three days in a row.

Whatever you decide to celebrate, get some here. But heed the warning of my Latvian friend Rihards: “Be careful, it’s quite strong herbal stuff.” He’s not kidding.

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