|This article does not cite any references or sources. (August 2007)|
|Country of origin||Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth|
|Introduced||16th century or earlier|
|Alcohol by volume||38% and higher (commercial versions)|
|Proof||80-100 (commercial versions)|
|Related products||List of vodkas|
Krupnik (Polish), or Krupnikas (Lithuanian), is a traditional sweet alcoholic drink similar to a liqueur, based on grain spirit (usually vodka) and honey, popular in Poland and Lithuania. In Poland it is grouped in the nalewka category of alcoholic beverages. Mass-produced versions of Krupnik consist of 40%-50% (80-100 proof) alcohol, but traditional versions will use 80% - 100% grain alcohol as the base. Honey, in particular clover honey, is the main ingredient to add sweetness, as well as up to 50 different herbs. There are many versions and some recipes are passed down through generations. It originated in the territories of present day Lithuania, which were at the time part of the larger Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Krupnik is sometimes heated before being served.
It is a distant relative of the medovukha (Russian) or miód pitny (Polish), a honey-made spirit popular in all Slavic countries.
Legend has it that the recipe was created by the Benedictine monks at a monastery in Niaśviž which was founded by Mikołaj Krzysztof "Sierotka" Radziwiłł. Known in Poland and Lithuania at least since 16th century, it soon became popular among the szlachta of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. There are numerous recipes preserved to our times in countless szlachta diaries. Krupnik was also used as a common medicinal disinfectant to Polish soldiers in World War II.
At times, spicy seasonings and herbs are added to flavour. The brand of the honey and the ratio of seasonings are key points for final taste of krupnik. It may be served hot, at room temperature or chilled. A specific sort of krupnik which contains more herbs and less honey is brewed by Karaims.