• Anntonette Z Alberti

DIY Fruit Nalewki (Aged Polish Fruit Infused Liqueurs)

One of our more popular food demos at PolishFest 2019 was our Nalewki (nah-lef-key) demonstration. Nalewki is the plural word for aged Polish infused liqueurs. A single liqueur is a Nalewka (nah-lef-ka). Nalewki are made by infusing fruit, spices, flowers or herbs in spirits and aging in a cool dark space. The most typical type of spirit is vodka, but brandy or other types of hard liquor can also be used.


Nalewki are typically served straight up in small cordial glasses. That said, it is not unheard-of to pour Nalewka over ice in the summertime. Certain Nalewki are served very cold, such as Likier Truskawkowy, or strawberry Nalewka, which should be refrigerated prior to pouring. And, of course, Nalewki can be substituted for other liqueurs in cocktails, like substituting a black raspberry Nalewka for Chambord in a Kir Royale.


If your host offers you Nalewka, you know you are special. That is because Nalewka is always made in small batches – when it is gone, it is gone forever. Each batch is very unique – the characteristics of the Nalewka are influenced by the sweetness of the fruit, the weather the year it was grown, the composition of the soil, etc. Some even say that the character of the Nalewka is influenced by the mood or intentions of its maker. For example, a certain type (Zenicha Kresowa, made of rosehips) was made by young women to announce availability for marriage – a love potion of sorts.


Nalewki can still be made to commemorate a special event, such as the birth of a child. In this instance, a batch might be made when the child is born, to be opened when the child becomes an adult. A more Catholic variation of this tradition is to make a batch upon a child’s baptism to be opened at the child’s wedding. A batch might be made when a couple gets married so they can take a drink every year on their anniversary to recall the sweetness of their young love.


The basic recipe for a fruit Nalewka is fruit, sugar (or honey), and spirits. Spices and flowers can be added to enhance the flavor. As you become an expert at the art of Nalewki making, you will learn to adjust the amount of sweetness and the proof of the spirits to your own tastes. For example, I prefer to make my Nalewki with less sugar and with normal proof (rather than rectified or over-proof) spirits.


Here are some recipes to get you started:


Tart cherries are traditional for cherry cordial, but if you can't find them then bing, rainier, or other varieties available in the supermarket also work.

Wiśniówka (Cherry Cordial)


Ingredients:

· 2 pounds pitted cherries (tart cherries from the farm stand work best, but supermarket cherries are fine, too)

· 1 cup sugar*

· 2 quarts of rectified white spirits, such as Spirytus or Everclear**

· 2 quart-sized mason jars

· Funnel

· Cheese cloth

· 2 quart-sized bottles for the final product


1. Combine all of the ingredients into two quart-sized mason jars

2. Shake or swirl daily until sugar has dissolved

3. Store the containers (in pantry or basement) for 3 month while the fruit infuses

4. Pour through a sieve, reserving cherries. Save fruit for fruit cake or to server over ice cream

5. Strain liquid again with a cheese cloth lined funnel and re-bottle into a quart-sized container; it is ready to serve!

* I prefer to use ½ cup sugar

** I prefer to use regular proof Luksusowa Polish Potato Vodka


Jezynowka (Blackberry Brandy)


Ingredients:

· 2 6 oz containers of blackberries (handpicked or farm stand are best)

· 1 cup of granulated sugar

· 2 quarts of brandy

· 2 quart-sized mason jars

· Funnel

· Cheese cloth

· 2 quart-sized bottles for the final product



1. Add the blackberries and sugar to two large, quart-sized mason jars

2. Crush the berries into the sugar until they are a thick paste

3. Pour the brandy over the mixture. Stir the ingredients together

4. Store a cool, dark place for at least two weeks to as much as 3 months. The longer you infuse it, the more flavorful it will be.

5. Pour through a sieve, reserving berries. Save fruit for fruit cake or to server over ice cream

6. Strain with a cheese cloth lined funnel into two quart-sized containers. Chill. It is ready to serve!


Likier z Miętowej Truskawki (Strawberry Mint Cordial)


Ingredients:

· 2 6 oz containers of strawberries (handpicked or farm stand are best)

· 1 cup of granulated sugar

· 2 quarts of vodka

· 2 mint sprigs

· 4 quart-sized mason jars

· Funnel

· Cheese cloth

· 2 quart-sized bottles for the final product








1. Combine strawberries and vodka in two quart-sized mason jars

2. Store in a dark, cool place for 1 week

3. After 1 week, pour through a sieve, reserving strawberries, and transfer strawberry-infused vodka into a clean, sterilized glass container. Add a mint sprig to each vodka container and seal

4. Add sugar to strawberries, mix well and transfer to a separate clean, sterilized glass container and seal

5. Place both sets of containers in a dark, cool place for 1 month.

6. After 1 month, thoroughly combine strawberry mixture with vodka, discarding the mint sprigs

7. Pour through a sieve, reserving berries. Save fruit for fruit cake or to server over ice cream

8. Strain through a cheese cloth lined funnel and pour into clean, sterilized glass containers

9. Seal and allow to age in a cool, dark place for several months

10. Serve chilled or over ice with a mint sprig


Na zdrowie!

0 views
TravelAngent copy.jpg

FOLLOW US:

  • w-facebook

© 2015 by Blessed Virigin Mary of Czestochowa Parish