German Christmas gifts: Asbach brandies and chocolates

German Christmas gifts: Asbach brandies and chocolates

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

Asbach is a brandy produced on the basis of wine distillates and a specialty of one of our favorite charming towns along the Rhine: Rüdesheim.

One of Germany’s premium spirits, this drink looks back upon over a hundred years of history. Its creator was Hugo Asbach, born in Cologne in 1868 and trained as a winemaker in France. Upon his return to Germany in 1892, he founded his company on the banks of the romantic Rhine. Even as far back as 1937, the company recognized the leg-up that good marketing can give a product, coming up with the slogan “The spirit of wine is in Asbach.” Asbach was also one of the first companies to advertise on TV, having turned to the medium while it was still in its infancy.

While Asbach Uralt brandy is the company’s standard product, a handful of specialty versions exist, including the Asbach Privatbrand, aged for 8 years, and the Asbach Selection, aged for 21 years. While the .7 liter bottle exceeds our 10 euro budget guideline, a .04 liter bottle of the tipple comes in well within our self-imposed limit and makes a great stocking stuffer.

What’s also rather heavenly are combinations of the spirit with chocolate. According to, this specialty dates back to the 1920s, a time when it was scandalous for a woman to be seen consuming alcohol in public. The savvy Mr. Asbach therefore decided to develop the Asbach-filled chocolate, and the product proved a hit with the ladies. The technique he came up with to get the liquid into the chocolate, known as the cold-casting method, is used by the company to date. Today, Asbach chocolates are made under license by Rüdesheimer Confiserie, also in Rüdesheim.

Some of the sweet treats to be enjoyed by those of legal age include brandy beans, chocolate-covered cherries, chocolate bars, pralines, miniature chocolate bottles, coffee truffles and much more.


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