This is a strong, hot, honey drink from Poland, which is flavoured with cloves, cinnamon, vanilla and citrus rind. Krupnik (kroop-nik), one of the oldest-known drinks in Poland, was drunk in medieval times by fighting men before they went to battle to give them the strength to repel invaders. The word krupnik means barley, a grain from which vodka is made.
15 FLUID OUNCES
4 fl. oz. clear honey
4 fl. oz. water
4-inch stick of cinnamon
1 vanilla pod
½ teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 strip orange rind
8 fl. oz. vodka
In a medium-sized saucepan, dissolve the honey in the water over low heat, stirring occasionally. Increase the heat to moderate and bring the mixture to the boil.
Add the cloves, cinnamon, vanilla pod, and lemon and orange rind to the pan and bring the mixture to the boil again.
Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 5 minutes. Return the pan to the heat and bring to the boil again. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 40 minutes.
Strain the liquids into a jug or bowl. Wipe the vanilla pod and reserve it for future use. Discard the other flavourings.
Return the liquid to the pan and bring them to the boil over moderate heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vodka. Pour the drink into mugs or heatproof glasses and serve immediately.