Saturday, May 26, 2012


Another Polish offering for you - Krupnik.  This is a drink that goes back in my family for quite some time.  I still remember when my parents discovered it locally and just had to get a bottle.  It's not every day that you find a drink with your name on it, and butt-kicking booze is way cooler then soup.

It's been a long time since I've had any - the last time we made the road trip to visit my parents, I believe (my mother likes to add it to her tea - I highly recommend it), but I've regaled my children with the story of it, joking that it was an old family recipe.  It isn't, though my mother does have a Polish cookbook with a recipe that my father used.  It was quite the thing to see, and it left the house smelling of honey and spices.

Being a rather cheap sort, I haven't actually bought a bottle for myself in years, though we did find a liquor store that sold it at a much more reasonable price - about $25, or $5-$10 less then anywhere else I've seen it of late.  This particular bottle was a Mother's Day gift. :-D

This is a drink that I've seen classified as a whiskey, liqueur or mead - though the recipe to make it at home calls for vodka.  I've also heard it called honey or fire whiskey.  It is typically drunk straight (though as I mentioned, it does go well with tea) warm, at room temperature or on ice.  At 40% alcohol, it packs quite a kick.  The warmer it is, the more powerful the hit, and the more flavourful.  Sipped from a cognac style glass, allowed to warm in your hand, the vapours rising up are enough to make the eyes burn!  Especially if you wear glasses.  The taste is sweet and wonderfully spiced with cinnamon and cloves.  It's warm and smooth on the way down, and the heat and flavours linger.  This is not the sort of drink to be drunk quickly.  Sip and savour!  I definitely recommend giving it a try.  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Zubrowka Bison grass vodka

So there we were, traipsing through the liquor store (as one does) when suddenly... fur. Green fur. Green suspiciously muppet-esque fur. After a moment of speculation, my mother uttered a happy cry and picked the offending object up.


Zu-what-now? It's got a bison on it. That's pretty cool.

Zubrowka, as it happens, is a very well regarded Polish vodka that my mother may or may not have tried before but was obviously familiar enough with to be excited. I like vodka well enough, so we brought it home. It was about then that it fully sank in exactly what "bison grass vodka" is.
The answer is "literal".

So yes, not only does it contain a very nice blade of grass but it is very chipper about that fact. It's grass from a primordial forest! Handpicked! Imparts a flavour and colour! And underneath that information was a wealthy list of recipes, most of which included apple. We chose the simplest one. (One part Zubrowka, one part apple juice, with ice, garnished with an apple slice.)
One its own, Zubrowka has an ever-so-faint green tint and is crystal clear. 

We all agreed that it tastes a bit floral, goes down smoothly (for a vodka, so I'll leave that to your discretion) and has an exceedingly pleasant aftertaste. I'd say a little lilac-y.
With the apple juice, the flavours marry beautifully into a light, clear honey flavour.

There was another recipe that involved cinnamon, and I imagine that being a perfect combination. We'll have to try it sometime.

Overall, I would highly recommend it. We got the bottle for under thirty dollars and I plan to pick it up again in the future.
(Are you supposed to eat the grass, though? Is it like the tequila-worm? Mysteries.)

Oh, and we're baaaack~!