Hi, I'm Andie.

I live near the Swiss Alps, in Bern, and I love not only melting cheese, but all kinds of Swiss cooking. 

En Guetä!

Swiss Love Potions

Swiss Love Potions

 
swiss love potions
 

For me, the greatest Swiss love potion is fondue.

Sweaty faces grinning at each other over a steaming pot of cheese, lots of wine, and a meal consisting of only dairy and carbohydrates—a boozy, cheesy haze of desire.

Rule number one: bread falls off, kiss your neighbour.

Cheesy love, Swiss style.

But the Swiss have other elixirs for when they want to make a match, and two of my personal favourites are the cherry flavoured liqueur Röteli, from canton Graubünden, and Brächere Brönnts, a golden, caramelly schnapps from the Emmental.

Röteli
 
rüteli
 

Röteli is a liqueur made with dried cherries and spices that dates back to the 19th century. It was traditionally made by families in Graubünden, each using a different spice mixture.

Although now it’s enjoyed throughout the year, it was traditional to drink Röteli on New Year's Eve. In the olden days, Bündner bachelors would go from farmhouse to farmhouse visiting unmarried farmer's daughters. At each farm they would sample a glass of Röteli that the single ladies (under the watchful eye of their mothers) had made.

The further back in the valley the men went, the drunker they got, and the better looking and more appealing the daughters became, giving a big advantage to those who lived in remote farmhouses. Under the sway of the ladies and their love drink, many bachelors proposed marriage.

Where can I get it?

There is a standard version of Röteli that is available in most Swiss spirit-selling shops—Coop, Denner, etc.

There are also more localised versions available in the canton of Graubünden—for example, this version from the city of Chur.

Röteli

Röteli lends itself to many drinks, and is nice simply mixed into cola or Rivella. Here I use it warm and cold, sweetening a hot toddy, and intoxicating a creamy vanilla milkshake.

For another mixed drink made with Röteli (and the the harrowing tale of the first time I drank the liqueur), see my post here.


röteli toddy
 

Per person:

150 ml black tea

100 ml orange juice

1 shot Röteli


Warm together over medium heat, but don’t boil.


röteli milkshake
 

Per person:

250 ml milk

1 big scoop vanilla ice cream

1 shot Röteli


Blend well.


 
brachere bronnts
 

Before the ease of readily available cotton, Swiss farm families would make linen by hand, by processing flax. This day long event was called the breaking, or Brächete, and was held thorughout the Emmental.

brachere bronnts

All this hard work demanded a proper reward at the end of the day and that came via a strong caramel schnapps—Brächere Brönnts, named for the event where it was served.

As dusk fell, the exhausted flax breakers would imbibe the rejuvenating liquid, play their accordions, and dance into the night.

Love blossomed, as the villagers waited to see what young man carried home which young lady’s spinning wheel.

Where can I get it?

Brächere Brönnts is typically only available at the Brächete, held in Zäziwil on the last Wednesday of September, or perhaps in very local establishments. Your best bet is to make your own.

More on the festival and how to make your own, here.

hot chocolate

It’s lovely on its own, but stir your Brächere Brönnts into decadent hot chocolate for a particularly stimulating potion. If you can’t find it and don’t have time to make it, stir in another spirit—absinthe? Rum? Baileys?


schoggi mit schuss
 

Per person:

250 ml milk

50 g dark chocolate, chopped

pinch of salt

shot of booze


In a small pot, warm about half of the milk until steaming.

Whisk in the chocolate and salt until completely melted.

Whisk in the remaining milk and booze, heating to your liking, but making sure it doesn’t boil.


Bretzeli Cheesecake

Bretzeli Cheesecake

Schinkengipfeli

Schinkengipfeli