Krupnik (also known as Krupnikas in Lithuania) is much like a liqueur, being a sweet alcoholic drink. It is made from a mixture of clover honey and a grain-based spirit, usually vodka. In Poland, it is considered part of a beverage category known as nalewka, essentially a medicinal tincture (similar to the Dominican Republic’s mamajuana). As many recipes include steeping a variety of herbs before adding it to the alcohol. It has been around since as far back as the 16th century, and was often used as a disinfectant by soldiers during World War II.
Example Krupnik Recipe:
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 cups boiling water
- 1/4 vanilla bean, split
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 small cinnamon stick, cracked in half
- 10 black peppercorns
- 20 allspice berries
- 1 1/3 cups honey
- Zest from 1 orange
- 2 cups vodka
Take a large saucepan, water and sugar and heat until it dissolves. Once boiling, add vanilla bean, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon stick, peppercorns and allspice.
Cover, reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.
You’ve just created a simple syrup. Strain out the solid pieces through cheesecloth and return to the saucepan. Add the honey and zest. Heat while stirring until the honey has completely dissolved. Bring to a boil and immediately remove from heat.
Stir in vodka gradually. It can be served hot or cold. Enjoy!