Krambambula is a honey-infused vodka drink flavored with spices. This delicately sweet drink goes down easy and warms in cold weather really well. One can say that it’s a Belarusian mulled wine or grog, although, it is usually served cold.
This infusion was first introduced to the public in the 18th century in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (modern Belarus). It was regarded as a drink of nobles because during this time spices from India were pricey. Now anyone who feels like it can make Krambambula at home using a traditional recipe. Luckily the required ingredients have become about a few hundred times less expensive.
- 250 ml of water
- 0.5 liter of vodka
- 3 tbsp of liquid honey
- 3 peppercorns
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 buds of cloves
- 1 pinch of nutmeg
- 3 allspices
Water can be replaced with ethanol (40-45%). Using cloudy moonshine is not recommended as it neutralizes infusion’s aroma. You can add spices to your taste—simply add new or remove those you don’t like. As for the honey, it should be buckwheat or floral.
Classic Krambambula Recipe
- Crush nutmeg, cloves, and allspice in a mortar or in a coffee grinder.
- Pour water and 250 ml of vodka in a cooking pot. Add the crushed or milled spices and a cinnamon stick and stir.
- Bring to a boil at low heat.
- Cover with a lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Take the pot off the stove and cool it to 50-60°C. Now add vodka (250 ml) and honey. Stir.
- Cover with a lid and leave for 5 minutes.
- Strain the infusion through 2-3 layers of cheesecloth and decant it into a fermentation container. Add peppercorns and seal.
- Infuse for 8-10 days in a dark place at room temperature.
- Decant your homemade Krambambula through a tube into a storing container (for example, a bottle) and seal it.
It has about 25% ABV; shelf-life is up to 5 years if stored in a dark place. It is better to be served warm.