Recipe #4: Repeal Day Brews

December 5, 2012

The thirteen years of Prohibition were a dark time for the United States. The criminalization of alcohol increased America’s thirst for the liquid gold, and led to a rise in civil delinquency and organized crime (does the name Al Capone ring a bell?).


But on this day, 78 years ago, at 5:32 pm EST, the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified – effectively repealing the 18th Amendment and bringing an end to the Prohibition. For that reason, we celebrate! We celebrate the rich and delicious traditions of craft fermentation and distillation, the beauty of a well-mixed cocktail, and most importantly, the responsible enjoyment of alcohol as a social custom. No other holiday celebrates our law-given right to imbibe – so stop by your local bar, pick up a six-pack, or make your own creation – just because you can.


Here are two traditional Polish drink recipes to get you started. Because both you and I know that few and far between know their way around booze like a well-seasoned Pole. Na zdrowie!!!

Mulled Beer (Piwo Grzane)

Let go of any misconceptions you may have of any type of beer that isn’t ice-cold and try this concoction. Perfect on a cold day, mulled beer tastes a little like hot, spiced cider.


3 1/3 cups light beer
4 Tbsp honey
4 cloves
4 cardamom pods
1/2 knob of nutmeg
Juice and zest of one orange


Combine all ingredients into a pot and heat, being careful not to let the mixture boil. Strain and serve in mugs.

Polish Soup aka Spiced Honey Cordial (Krupnik Polski)

This drink is one of the oldest known beverages in Poland. Be warned, it’s not for the faint of heart.


3/4 cup honey
1 cup water
4 cloves
1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 knob of nutmeg
1 cinnamon stick
Juice and zest of one orange
2 cups 95% ABV/190 proof grain alcohol (Spirytus or Everclear)*


*In many parts of the US, legally obtaining 190-proof spirits can pose a problem. 100-proof vodka is an acceptable substitute – though the finished product will be very weak.


1. Bring the water and honey to a boil and carefully remove any foam that comes to the surface. Add cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla bean, and orange zest, can cook covered for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for 30 minutes to cool.


2. Strain this mixture, add alcohol, and serve immediately in small clay cups or bowls. Alternatively, the finished mixture can be poured into a bottle and stored in a cool, dark place until it is ready to be enjoyed. Warm before serving, making sure the liquid never comes to a boil (lest the alcohol evaporates).