On Dyngus Day, popular Krupnik brand may be hard to find
If Krupnik is your drink of choice on Dyngus Day, don’t count on it being part of the celebrations at local bars and the homes of friends and family. One of the most popular brands of the Polish honey-based grain alcohol has been in short supply – if any at all – at local liquor stores this year.
Krupnik can come in varying flavors, according to the style it’s made in. It’s something that was especially true when people did their own distilling, according to Premiere Wine and Liquor store general manager Kevin Driscoll.
“People used to make it at home in different measurements with the spices. But the most common one, or I guess the most sought after one is Polmos Old Krupnik,” said Driscoll.
Polmos has been especially hard to find this year. Driscoll said he’s heard from his wholesalers that the Polmos distillery in Poland recently moved, causing a three month lag in supply.
“That is what I’m told. I haven’t really researched it myself,” said Driscoll. “We were wondering ourselves and asking our wholesalers, ‘Where is the Polmos?’ because it’s one of those things that you don’t think of having. You always have to have it. I remember it here for years and years and years, but when you’re out of it, people get a little upset and they want to know when it’s back in stock.”
The expectations Driscoll has been sharing with his customers is that Polmos Old Krupnik will be back on shelves by late summer. In the meantime, his store is offering a recipe for making Krupnik at home. Driscoll said it’s a fairly simple process that the average home-distiller can do, and many are taking advantage of.
Driscoll explained, “you gather your spices – vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, all spice, and any other ones you may be particular to – a vodka, some water and you combine those into a sauce pan, bring them to a boil, and then skim off any residue at the top, and simmer that for a while.” The mixture is then strained twice over the next two days, then cooled before being ready for drinking.
While the drink is especially popular for Dyngus Day celebrations, consumed as shots or served over ice, its traditional use is a little less celebratory. Driscoll said Krupnik has primarily been used as a post-dinner digestif.
“They sometimes would serve it warmed and, just like an Italian would use an herbal digestif after a meal, the Poles used Krupnik in such fashion,” said Driscoll.
Some people even make a spritzer out of Krupnik.
Whatever way you drink it, if you can find Old Krupnik this year, consider yourself lucky.