Easter is on its way- and so is Dyngus Day.
Krupnik, the traditional honey Eastern European/Polish liqueur, is one of the signature drinks of the holiday.
Larkinville-based Buffalo Distilling Co. has been making Krupnik since last March- right in time for Dyngus Day last year.
“We had a pretty limited amount for Dyngus Day last year- and it was pretty much sold out before the party started,” Buffalo Distilling Co. owner Andrew Wegrzyn said.
The Seneca Street distillery now produces its One Foot Cock Krupnik year round.
Getting the recipe for the liqueur took some work, Wegrzyn said.
“If you talk to the Polish community, their family members and grandparents would all make their own variation of Krupnik,” Wegrzyn said. ‘If you ask 100 different people, they’ll give you 100 different ways to make Krupnik.”
The owners at Buffalo Distilling Co. did plenty of research to determine exactly what the flavor profile of their product was going to be.
“It has a little touch of sweetness- we didn’t want it to be too sweet,” Wegrzyn said. “We use fresh local honey and it makes it super smooth.”
Krupnik is made from vodka or a grain-neutral spirit, and honey, spices, and citrus.
Buffalo Distilling Co. uses a vodka base made from all locally-sourced grains, which they mash and distill into the spirit. Then, honey, hand-zested grapefruit and orange and spices are added.
“We used 1,000 lbs. of local honey this year,” Wegrzyn said.
You can find One Foot Cock krupnik in the distillery and on local liquor store shelves year round.
At the distillery’s tasting room, you can order the liqeuer straight up, or in a “Mimoski”- a variation on a mimosa with Krupnik, soda water, and orange juice, or a ‘Polish Smash” or Loganberry Paczki, made with Krupnik and loganberry.
For Christmas and Dyngus Day, Buffalo Distilling Co. also puts out a special barrel-aged version, which is available only in the distillery.
“We use a used barrel,” Wegrzyn said. “We get some flavors pulled out of the different barrels- it gives it a little darker color, and the flavor transforms into something.”
Buffalo Distilling Co. has been open in the Larkinville location since late 2016.
They’ve found plenty support for their Krupnik from Buffalonians.
In March, when they announced via Facebook that they’d be making it- “it went viral,” Wegrzyn said. “People in Buffalo were super supportive- they were rabid for it. It was being shared across the country.”
Buffalo Distilling Co. will be open special hours on Dyngus Day, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., before making their annual appearance in the Dyngus Day parade.