Sunday, August 1, 2010


Long before I came to Vienna people kept telling me to go to the Schnapsmuseum in Vienna. Now I didn't now that Vienna is famous for its Schnaps but apparently they are. A group of 6 of us went on a tour through the 'museum' and got to taste the various types available.

Its a very short tour, only a few rooms but the information garnered is worth the visit. I learnt not only about the process of producing Schnaps but also about Absinthe, Brandy and Liqueurs. We also received a history lesson on Austria and its alcohol laws.

I also learnt that the original distillery was much larger but was bombed in 1945 and they lost 11 buildings in just minutes. There are a series of photographs on the walls from various eras that show the destruction and the history of the family. One of the family was a driver for the Emporer, another an advisor.

Our tour guide is actually the owners son who only does tours on the weekend as a favour to the family. Imagine having the keys to a Schnaps distillery as a student...the parties must have been fabulous.

The tour concluded with a tasting of all the different varieties and a demonstration on how to tell the difference between proper Schnaps and the artificially sweetened stuff. Needless to say that the real stuff smells just like rotten fruit...wonderful.

Following our tour our guide decided that some food would be a good idea to soak up all the alcohol we'd manage to consume. Our choice came from the Lonely Planet: Kokoma, a seafood restaurant that was actually fairly decent. Definitely one of the better meals I've had a Viennese restaurant.

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