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Traditional Chiloé Gold Liquor Recipe
Traditional Chiloé Gold Liquor Recipe

Gold liquor is an alcoholic beverage primarily made from whey, brandy, and saffron. It is considered the typical liquor of Chonchi, as only a few residents of that locality still produce it in Chiloé, in southern Chile.

How to make Chiloé Gold Liquor?

The original recipe is believed to have been developed from the influence of Dutch settlers and Spanish Jesuits who arrived on Chiloé Island from the mid-17th century.

Nutritional Information

Category: Beverages
Cuisine: Chilean
Calories: 400
Preparation: 8 days
Servings: 12 people

Original Chiloé Gold Liquor recipe


  • 1 liter of raw whole milk
  • 1 liter of warm boiled water
  • 1 liter of 90% alcohol
  • 1 kg granulated sugar
  • 10 cloves
  • 2 vanilla pods
  • 2 lemons
  • A pinch of saffron


  1. In a large glass container, place the alcohol, milk, sugar, cloves, vanilla, lemon (zest and juice), and saffron, stirring gently until everything is well integrated. The milk will curdle, separating the whey and the protein content due to the action of the acid.
  2. Macerate the mixture for 10 days, stirring with a wooden spoon once every 24 hours for about 5 minutes.
  3. Strain with filter paper, drop by drop, directly into clean and sanitized transparent glass bottles. Close tightly and store in a cool, dry place. Serve the gold liquor as an aperitif or digestif, in small glasses.

History of Chilean Gold Liquor

The popular belief at the end of the 16th century, when alchemy was in full swing, was that gold possessed multiple healing properties, and it was during this time that a Dutch doctor allegedly invented a new concoction made from shavings of the precious metal.

The new drink quickly gained recognition throughout Europe and from there, it is said to have reached America through the hands of religious figures and sailors from the Old World, who visited and often settled in the city of Castro in the 17th century.

Thus, new culinary traditions began to gradually merge, mainly because the Huilliche people historically had already developed multiple liquors from the fermentation of grains and fruits.

Did you know?

Legend has it that while immigrants may have shared the original recipe for making liquor from gold shavings with very few locals, it was due to the lack of availability of the metal and its extremely high value that saffron began to be used to give the liquor that characteristic golden-yellow color.


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