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19th of March 1863, in a house in a suburb of Antwerp, François-Xavier de Beukelaer – after finishing his studies as a doctor and pharmacist – discovered early in the morning after years of research, the recipe for a delicious liqueur: Elixir d’Anvers.

Ivan Nolet & Carl-Ivan Nolet, Father & Son

Elixir d’Anvers soon became famous for his rich, unique and exciting flavoured aroma.

The production process of Elixir d’Anvers takes about five months and is a result of maceration (herbs, barks,…) followed by distillation and aging in oak barrels. This unique taste is based on an equally unique mixture of herbs. There are dozens of them, and they come from all over the world: plants, roots and peels of citrus fruits. They are kept in refrigerated rooms and storage bins on the first floor of the distillery, where they are mixed in a specially designed chamber.


This is where the authentic and artisanal production process, which takes about five months in total, starts.

Two large jute bags of herbs are needed for one distillation: more than 80 kilos in total. The herbs are weighed on a large scale in the mixing chamber, before being carried downstairs to the copper stills in the distillery. In the earliest years after its invention, Elixir d’Anvers grew from a drink that was first given to horses with colic to the favourite drink of older ladies and gentlemen. The liqueur has now become a beloved beverage with a rich, unique and exciting flavoured aroma, elegant and perfumed with a sweet herbal and complex taste.

The exceptional quality of Elixir d’Anvers has been awarded with dozens of medals and diplomas of honour, not only in Europe but also in Australia, Africa and the United States. One of the most striking diplomas comes from Boulognesur-Mer, France (1887) and bears the signature of Louis Pasteur. FX de Beukelaer can proudly call itself one of the oldest and most famous liqueur distilleries in Belgium.

Historic landmarked building of FX de Beukelaer in the hearth of Antwerp

In addition to Elixir d’Anvers, the distillery recently launched Elixir d’Anvers Extra. This liqueur has matured even longer and has an even more intense and complex taste. For this unique and limited edition, they let their traditionally distilled Elixir d’Anvers mature for two years in oak barrels. This gives the subtle aromas of the dozens of plants, herbs and barks an extra soft and deep character with a refined touch of wood.


The innovation of this authentic product is well received by the customer. In 2022, Elixir d’Anvers Extra has been awarded at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in London. With a score of 95, Elixir d’Anvers Extra achieved ‘Gold’. The awards won at the IWSC are considered the industry’s greatest recognition. In total, some 4,000 spirits from more than 90 different countries were assessed by 85 experts. In addition to the gold medal from the IWSC, Elixir d’Anvers Extra has also achieved “Gold” at the Frankfurt International

The old office of FX de Beukelaer

“Innovation with a traditional brand like Elixir d’Anvers is quite a challenge, as we don’t want to lose the identity and the long history behind the brand. Innovating by creating a declination of Elixir d’Anvers where we extend the maturation process enables us to keep this identity while increasing the overall quality of the product. This was for us the right way to do innovation” says Carl-Ivan Nolet.

Elixir d’Anvers riping in old oak barrels

Elixir d’Anvers is best enjoyed pure or on the rocks. Its unique taste has been favoured by many generations, and nowadays it inspires chefs and mixologists to create inventive dishes and cocktails.

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