Fire Vodka

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Krupnik, in Poland, or Krupnikas in Lithuania, is a liqueur infused with honey and herbs. I’m at least partly Lithuanian and I jumped at the opportunity to make some when I found the recipe. My Lithuanian grandfather kept bees in retirement and huge gallon jars of honey ranged the walls of his kitchen. This liqueur very much brings me back to the scents of my childhood. Now my kitchen smells like his used to, of honey, spices, and grain alcohol. Just now, coming in the front door I actually paused in the threshold to inhale the weighty aroma. It was delicious. It smelled like essence of Christmas. And I made the liqueur last night too.

Word of warning, however, this stuff is strong. Curl your pubes kind of strong. It made my apartment smell like Christmas, but lifting the lid on the pot, I was blown back by the smells of honey and booze. I recommend mixing this drink with sparking wine or ginger ale or pouring it over ice cream. Drinking it straight is overwhelming.

It’s also served warm on occasion, sometimes as a cold remedy.

Krupnikas

10 cardamom pods

½ nutmeg seed

2 teaspoons caraway seeds

10 whole cloves

10 allspice berries

6 cinnamon sticks

1 vanilla bean, split open

2 teaspoons whole peppercorns

1 pinch saffron

Two inch piece fresh ginger, peeled

2 1-inch pieces fresh turmeric, peeled

3 strips orange zest

3 strips lemon zest

4 cups water

2 pounds raw honey

1-quart grain alcohol

1.) Place cardamom pods and nutmeg seed on a cutting board and crack them with the bottom of a heavy skillet. Split open the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds. Put cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla pod and seeds, caraway seeds, coves, allspice berries, cinnamon sticks, peppercorns, saffron, ginger, turmeric orange zest, lemon zest and water in a pot and bring to a boil.

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2.) Leave liquid at a high simmer for half an hour or until it has reduced by half. Strain out the herbs and spices and reserve the liquid.

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3.) Place honey in a pot and bring to a boil. Take honey off the heat and add the spiced water and grain alcohol. Strain several times through a wire mesh sieve. Heat on low just until it’s all heated through. Do not boil.

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4.) Allow the pot to sit overnight. Then pour into sterilized bottles and leave for two weeks. The longer you leave it, the clearer the liquid should become.

4 thoughts on “Fire Vodka

  1. This sounds AMAZEBALLS. I gave infused rum and vodka for christmas this year and it was a big hit all around…I’m thinking this makes that look like child’s play! Totally planning on doing this as soon as i can track down the spices i don’t already have. Awesome post!

  2. Thanks a bunch! It’s really easy to make (aside from the whole sticky kitchen floor thing…honey boils super fast.) The only hard ingredient to find is fresh turmeric and I saw lots of versions of this recipe online that didn’t use it.

  3. Wow, what a fabulous recipe. Healthy yet rejuvenating. It is quite similar to other recipes I have found, yet better! I cannot wait to try it! Thank you!

  4. Darn it. I saw fresh turmeric for the first time ever at my local organics store just yesterday. Having no need for it I didnt buy any. I have ALL the other ingredients except the grain alcohol. I am thinking cheap vodka will work as well. This sounds amazing and I will definitely try it.

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