Priessnitz – the captivating essence of Jeseníky Mountains

Priessnitzovy lázně Jeseník

It’s said that Jeseníky Mountains are the most beautiful mountains in our country. You don’t have to agree but the picturesque landscape, wild nature, forested ridges, mountain meadows, and wild streams together create a unique set which attracts thousands of tourists. They don’t visit this remarkable place just because of this mountain paradise with natural, historical, and technical treasures. They also head to Priessnitz Spa where is an ideal microclimate for the treatment of the respiratory tract, the blood circulation problems, and the nervous system. Yet here, in this calm place surrounded with mountains, everyone can enjoy the real essence of Jeseníky which can be found in every drop of the herbal liqueur Priessnitz. The author of the original recipe of this captivating drink is Milan Metelka.

The liqueur was made in honour of the Czech natural healer Vincenz Priessnitz (1799-1851). He discovered the positive healing effect of cold water and he was the founder of the first hydrotherapy institute in the world. The liqueur’s recipe is a balanced blend of citrus fruits and twelve herbs macerated in quality alcohol. Milan Metelka created this beverage according to the latest knowledge about aroma and taste of herbal liqueurs as well as requirements of customers.

The liqueur is only sold in Jeseníky and in Metelka Liquor Shop
The unique liqueur in which you can taste a pinch of liquorice, lavender, orange peel and wormwood, is made by the Metelka Company and the Rudolf Jelínek Company fills the bottles. But this wasn’t always like that. “I developed the recipe for another distillery but it went bankrupt. However, Priessnitz Spa wanted to continue in the production. Since 2013, we have produced about ten thousand bottles every three years,” says Milan Metelka.

Almost all of the Priessnitz liqueurs can be only be sold exclusively in shops in Jeseník. “Ninety percent of the liqueur is sold directly in the spa area. And ten percent is consumed by our gastronomic section. But the most of the bottles are bought by customers at our front desk, in the information centre, or in the spa shop. Thanks to our clients who buy the product, they spread the good name of our spa across the Czech Republic and even abroad,” says Kateřina Tomášková who is the sales director of Priessnitz Spa. According to her, the remaining part of the production is available in local shops in the Jeseník region and restaurants. Almost six thousand bottles are sold every year,” she adds.

Thanks to good relationships with the spa, even Milan Metelka can sell the Priessnitz liqueur in his shop and e-shop. “Some of the customers have asked for the liqueur via phone and e-mail. Actually, one customer was from Carlsbad. That’s why I’m very pleased they can buy it in our shops,” added Metelka.

The spa founder himself wouldn’t even allow a single drink

If Priessnitz is served at the right temperature from 8 to 10 °C, all the flavours and fragrances spread evenly. It also excels in comparison with competing products, especially, for those who prefer fragrant herbs to sugar. “Priessnitz has a pleasant herbal, slightly bitter taste. It’s finer than Becherovka and it’s less sweet that other similar beverages and that’s what I like,” said Tomášková.

Although its name is Priessnitz, the founder of world-famous spa wouldn’t probably allow even one shot of the liqueur. Vincenz Priessnitz didn’t recommend alcohol consumption and he always preferred pure spring water for both external and internal use, unlike his rival Johan Schrot. “He would use herbs just for baths and healing wraps, he also use it in food preparing. However, I believe the combination of exceptional herbs and their positive effects can be a benefit for person’s health as well as small amount of the liqueur,” added with a smile the sales director of the spa.