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Tag Archives: krupnik

June 18, 2011 – Milwaukee

Ahh, Polishfest weekend in Milwaukee at the Summerfest grounds!  What could be better than Polish food, Polish beer, Polish vodka and polka music all day long!  On this day, nothing!

As is our usual custom, Gwen and I took the girls down on Saturday afternoon to eat, browse the market and listen to some polka music.  The day was perfect, sunny with just enough breeze off the lake to keep us comfortable.  We picked up our lunch at Busia’s Kitchen and had a sampling of everything they had.  The pierogi’s stuffed with potatoe were excellent with a nice buttery flavor and the fried onions that they were served with were a nice touch.  I enjoyed the stuffed cabbage.  The filling was tender and the tomato sauce had a touch of sweetness that I liked.  The sauerkraut was also good, slightly sweet (again) and with a touch of caraway seed.  Finally, Gwen had the Polish nachos – homemade potato chips with a creamy cheese sauce, diced polish sausage and tomato.  They were delicious, if not truly Polish!  The only disappointment were the potato pancakes which were limp and very doughy.

During the afternoon, while we browsed the market, I enjoyed a Tyskie beer.  Although Tyskie is owned by SABMiller (I know, disappointing), it is a very nice pilsner that still has its Polish character and beats a Bud or MGD any day of the week (and twice on Polishfest!).  It’s a full bodied pilsner and goes down smooth.

With our bellies full, we headed home for a short siesta and a Stanski. Round two was Saturday night with our friends Greg and Patti (and a brief cameo by Mark and Sue).  We started off with polka lessons and within 30 minutes could do a passable Polish Hop.  Next was dinner – more pierogies, yum!  Then, the vodka tasting.

The vodka tasting was again sponsored by Sobieski.  However, I have to admit that the Sobieski brand has been diminished in my mind with their recent introduction of flavored vodkas.  I always had admired them for not jumping on the flavored bandwagon, so this was very disappointing. 

Fortunately, I got over my disappointment and enjoyed several Krupniks on ice as we polka’d the rest of the night away!

James Thurber

Day 69, Cocktails 65, 66

“One martini is alright, two martinis are too many and three martinis are not enough.”  I have to say that James Thurber’s take on martinis is spot on!  Through the lens of history I remain jealous of the cohort that enjoyed the golden age of nightclubs, dining, entertainment and cocktails of the 50’s and 60’s, as Thurber did.

In our own little way Gwen and I try to relive the swank life when we are at home on Friday nights, such as last night.  After a swim in the pool and having fired up the grill we contemplated which movie to watch (Gwen’s job) and what martini style cocktail to enjoy (my job).  Normally the cocktail would be a straight up martini, but since I’m on this little adventure, the order of the day is something new.  Also, note that I wrote martini style cocktail.  To me, there is only one cockatil called a martini.  It does drive me to distraction when we go to a bar or lounge and are offered the opportunity to peruse the “martini” menu.  It’s not a martini menu, its a cocktail menu!  A martini is a cocktail!  It would be like going to an Italian restaurant and looking over the spaghetti section of the menu and seeing penne, ziti and linguine!

Whew, OK, I got that off my chest.  So, back to the cocktails for the night.  I pulled my copy of the “Martini Book” by Sally Ann Berk off the shelf down in the Twilight Lounge (I know, the book’s title is incorrect, but I’ve finished whining for now), and started browsing for a cocktail to make.  After a bit of searching I decided to try a modified version of what is called the Cold Comfort.

  Cold Comfort

  • 3 oz Chopin vodka
  • 1/4 oz lemon juice
  • 1/4 oz krupnik honey liqueur

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes and shake to chill.  Pour into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a flamed lemon peel.

While not to Gwen’s liking I did enjoy this crisp, lemon – honey flavored drink built on a solid foundation of vodka.  At 3-1/2 oz of 80 proof liquor it definately qualifies as boozy, which makes it a good starter for a night in.

For round two I decided to strike out on my own after mixing up a virgin cocktail for #2 daughter that included orgeat syrup.  Orgeat is an almond flavored bar syrup, essential for any well stocked tiki bar (more on that topic in upcoming posts). 

  Blue Almond

  • 3 oz Chopin vodka
  • 1/4 oz Blue Curacao
  • 1/8 oz orgeat

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing glass with 4-5 ice cubes and stir, stir, stir to chill and mix.  Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

This was much more agreeable to Gwen and I enjoyed it as well.  I was able to strike a nice balance of orange flavor from the curacao with sweet almond from the orgeat.  Of course, the blue color is always pretty in a chilled cocktail glass.

As for the movie, we got about 1/2 way through Slumdog Millionaire.  Not exactly cocktail swilling fare, but a very powerful film.  If you haven’t seen it yet and want to feel fortunate for what you have then by all means, watch it.

Cheers!

Day 68, Cocktail 64

They say every thing is bigger in Texas.  Personally, I think Alaska is a bit bigger, but I guess I won’t quibble on the size issue.  What I do know is that this particular cocktail, sampled earlier this week while I was on my grapefruit binge was pretty good.  The original recipe called for honey, but I substituted Krupnik, my Polish honey flavored liqueur.  The results were very satisfying, producing a drink that was pleasant and balanced.  I continue to be amazed at how the krupnik / grapefruit combo works in so many different cocktails!  Saddle this one up on a warm, sunny afternoon and head for your favorite beach or pool!

  Tex Collins

  • 1-1/2 oz gin
  • 1-1/2 oz grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz krupnik honey liqueur
  • Seltzer water

Combine the gin, grapefruit juice and krupnik in a mixing glass with ice and stir to combine and chill.  Strain into a collins glass filled with ice cubes.  Top with the seltzer water.

Cheers!

Try a beehive!

 

Day 67, Cocktail 63 

Tonight it’s the B-52’s at Summerfest, and what better way to get ready for the show than a Beehive? 

  Beehive 

  • 1-1/2 oz bourbon
  • 3/4 oz krupnik
  • 2 oz grapefruit juice

Combine the ingredients in a shaker with 4-5 ice cubes.  Shake to chill and mix.  Pour into a chilled cocktail glass. 

The sweet honey flavor of the krupnik mixes well with the bourbon (much to my suprise) and mellows out the tart grapefruit juice.  This falls into the category of ingredients I’d never have put together, but once again I’ve learned that it works.  Now to get ready for the show! 

Cheers!