How the recipe for today's Magenbittern was created, is unfortunately not documented. Supposedly, a wandering monk handed over the recipe’s framework to the first Sulinger Lüning generation just
before his death. At that time, herbal extracts were the only active ingredients in medicine, and at the very least, the stomach and digestion-assisting effects were well known at the time. The
herbal extracts, that were previously difficult to import, were gradually optimized with the increasing availability. Just remember the former English and Arabs spice monopolies. More than 20
ingredients were needed for the production process, although star anise and cloves have an easily recognizable taste. However, harmonizing all of the ingredients and the active ingredients’
bioavailability is key. We will talk about that later. The list of ingredients has not changed substantially in the last 200 years. The exact combination and inspection of the carefully selected
herbs and spices is personally set by the respective distillation master. Maceration extracts the aromas and active ingredients. Very gently and slowly. This cold extract is mixed with a fine
distillate of wheat, formerly from grain, and then stored for a long time in clay pots. Storage rounds off the taste by cross-linking the esters.
This can already be influenced by each individual spice: harvesting procedures, the respective growth conditions. In addition, the harvest year, storage, transport, grinding or processing
conditions etc. have an effect on the respective aromas. The skill of the distiller now consists of determining the type and content of the absolute alcohol responsible for the respective
extraction and the duration of the extraction process, which is essential for the respective extraction of flavor and active ingredient.
When taking the different harvesting and processing factors from year to year into consideration, the respective individual herbal extracts will unavoidably vary in taste annually. The
distiller’s expertise consists of composing volumes of the individual herbal extracts within the overall recipe structure in such a way that the harmonious balance and optimum effect are
maintained and kept as constant as possible from batch to batch. This is not always easy and requires the distiller not only to have a delicate palate, but also constant tasting, comparing and
analyzing. If you happen to wonder about the distiller’s occasional red nose, then one can interpret this as a sign of dedicated quality awareness.
After this first round of composition, the bitter extracts obtained are mixed with a fine distillate of wheat and filled into large clay vats. Here they are stored until the taste and active
esters have linked and interconnected. Tasting at regular intervals, helps the distiller find the right time for further processing. His refined tongue and experience determine whether a small
shot of heavy Malaga red wine or a round of port wine should be added to achieve a harmonious balance. That remains his secret. After the highest quality is obtained using this process, it is
bottled and sometimes stored up to nine months. Its brown coloration prevents the taste esters from deviating when subjected to light.
The standard bitter, also known as bitterwort, is still bottled in the traditional 70-year-old 0.7-liter bottle with its typical shape.
This high quality premium bitter, which is bottled exclusively in a 0.5-liter bottle and has the same shape and texture of the original bottle, just like it was manufactured and used in 1779. The
embossing, an oval with name and founding year, was faithfully re-incorporated into the bottle shape and we are very proud of that. For 15 years, we have been looking for a manufacturer who still
masters this traditional process and also applies it to smaller lots.
With premium bitters, the individual herbs and spices are macerated individually or in groups depending on their extraction behavior. Their active ingredients are extracted by 96% alcohol. This
gives us flavor esters as well as essential oils. The individual concentrates thus obtained are determined in their quality and flavor consistency by the exposure time and amount of alcohol. The
herbal and spice sediments are then distilled once more. With this technique, those active ingredients are obtained that resist the alcohol extraction.
In summary: through individual maceration and distillation, the variation of substance volumes, the exposure to alcohol in time and quantity and the coordination of the final composition
(quantity) of the individual extracts, the manufacturing process produces a consistent and high-quality premium bitter, a culmination of special events.
Finally, it should be mentioned that German Legislation prohibits the advertising of spirits and its medicinal effects. Therefore, we cannot talk about the effect of the essential oils of the
individual herbs or herbal mixture.