Goldwasser is a colourless, semi-sweet, grain-based spirit. It is flavoured with aniseed, cinnamon and a selection of herbs and spices. It was originally made in the old port of Danzig, but it is now distilled in several other countries.

The liqueur is known chiefly for the little specks of gold leaf it contains. When the drink is served, the gold specks float about and look like a miniature golden snowstorm. The gold is both tasteless and harmless.


Golnbtsy (goh-lub-see) is a famous Russian dish of cabbage leaves stuffed with meat and prunes and baked in a rich sour cream sauce. Golubtsy is best served with plain boiled rice.

12 large white cabbage leaves

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

1 lb. minced beef

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

6 prunes, soaked overnight, drained, stoned and finely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 oz. butter

1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoons tomato puree

8 fl. oz. sour cream

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon dried dill leaves

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Blanch the cabbages leaves in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain the cabbage in a colander. Cut off the hard white stalks with a sharp knife. Set aside.

In a medium-sized frying-pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Add the onion and fry it, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the onion is soft and golden.

Remove the pan from the heat and turn the onion into a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the beef, salt, pepper, prunes and parsley. Mix well with a fork.

Place a little of the mixture on each cabbage leaf. Roll up the leaves to form small, neat bundles. They should not need to be fastened or tied.

In a large frying-pan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam sub-sides, place the rolls in the pan. Fry for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown.

Transfer the rolls to an ovenproof casserole, large enough to contain them in one layer.

With a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the butter remaining in the pan. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the tomato puree, sour cream, salt, pepper and dill. Return the pan to the heat and bring the sauce to simmering point, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce over the rolls.

Place the casserole in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, basting the rolls occasionally with the sauce.

Serve immediately, straight from the casserole.