The gold flakes in Goldschlager liquor are actual flakes of gold leaf. Edible gold leaf made from 22-carat, 23-carat or 24-carat gold and silver alloy is used in drinks and in confectionery applications, such as cake decorating. Gold is safe to ingest as long its alloys are pure.
Gold leaf is made by rolling bars made from gold and small amounts of silver into thin ribbons, then hammering the ribbons into very thin sheets in a process called beating. The sheets are placed between sheets of black paper and go through several beating steps until a super thin leaf is created.