Riga Black Balsam

Riga Black Balsam is a spirit of about 45% that originated in the city of Riga during the 18th century. It was said to be a cure for many ailments and marketed in a similar way to many of the elixirs of the era.

Riga Black Balsam label from an old Soviet period bottle
Riga Black Balsam label from an old Soviet period bottle

Riga Black Balsam is known locally in Latvia as Rīgas Melnais balzams. It is a spirit local to Riga that is often considered to have medicinal uses even by Latvians today. Such ailments as digestive problems and the common cold, it is said, are remedied with Riga Black Balsam.

Riga Black Balsam is made using many different natural ingredients, with some locals saying no one really knows what ingredients are actually in it! Join our Beer and Balsam tour to get a full experience of this special drink!