Krupnik is one of those brands you may see all the time on back-bars or cocktail menus, but never bat an eye-lid as it’s rarely seen as a base ingredient to a drink. I myself have been using this honey liqueur for around 4 years now, and it was part of my first self-cocktail creation. Krupnik is rather versatile, and has up to 50 different aromatic spices and herbs as well as its main ingredient of bees honey. The history of this Polish liqueur is rather shrouded in mystery, but here’s a rough guide:
Legend has it that the recipe was created by the Benedictine monks in the 1300’s at a monastery in Niaśviž which was founded by Mikołaj Krzysztof “Sierotka” Radziwiłł. Known in Poland and Lithuania at least since 16th century, it soon became popular among the szlachta of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. There are numerous recipes preserved to our times in countless szlachta diaries. Krupnik was also used as a common medicinal disinfectant to Polish soldiers in World War II.
Based on grain spirit and honey, it is mass-produced and versions consist of 40%-50% (80-100 proof) alcohol, but traditional versions will use 80% – 100% grain alcohol as the base. It is a distant relative of the medovukha (Russian) or miód pitny (Polish), a honey-made spirit popular in all Slavic countries.
Below, I give to you my tasting notes on this centuries old liqueur –
Krupnik – 38%
Bold herbal aromas instantly hit the nose, with a thick honey aroma slowly dominating. The palate enjoys a sweet offering which is rather light and short. Hints of spice linger on the tongue as it nears the end.
As you can imagine, with its versatility, there are plenty of cocktail recipes out their, but this one has caught my eye –
Creamy Bee Martini
25 ml Krupnik
25 ml Chambord
Chill the martini glass. Pour the ingredients into your shaker tin in the order shown and add plenty of ice. Shake until icy cold. Dust the rim of your glass with the cinnamon and then strain in the mixed ingredients. Add a raspberry or two as a garnish.
So if you see Krupnik in your favourite bar, ask your bartender to create you something good using this time-tested liqueur. Disappointed? You wont be.
Check out the rest of the photos, taken at The Circle 360, via my Facebook page.
© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.