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Type Mixed drink
Served Straight up; without ice
Standard garnish


Standard drinkware Anything that will hold liquid
Commonly used ingredients

Varies by recipe

Preparation In a large pot over medium heat, mix the water with honey, and stir to combine. Stir in the orange and lemon quarters, raisins, cinnamon sticks, caraway seeds, allspice berries, and cloves, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and strain the liquid into a large pot. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Slowly pour the grain alcohol into the honey mixture, and stir to combine. Pour into bottles, and cap; refrigerate until use. Serve gently warmed in glasses.
Notes Attend Christmas Eve Mass prior to drinking. Christmas day mass is generally out of the question.

Boilo is a traditional Christmas or Yuletide drink in the Coal Region of northeastern and east central Pennsylvania.

Boilo is a variation of a traditional Lithuanian liqueur called "Krupnik", or "Krupnikas".[1]

Characteristically boilo has a standard recipe including citrus fruits (such as oranges and lemons), herbs and spices (such as nutmeg, cloves, caraway seed, and anise seed), and other ingredients such as honey and ginger ale. The traditional base ingredient in boilo is moonshine. Many modern recipes have replaced home-brewed moonshine with blended whiskey, rye or grain alcohol,[2] and may be made on a stove top or in a slow cooker.[3] Some recipes specify Four Queens whiskey. Variations on the traditional recipe include honeyberry boilo, "tomata" boilo, blueberry boilo, and apple pie boilo. Some traditions recommend that holiday music and decorating accompany the cooking process, to add to the festive effect of the beverage.[4]

As with krupnik, some believe it to have curative properties for the onset of fall/winter related ailments such as a cold or influenza.

There are many boilo taste test contests held annually in the Coal Region of Pennsylvania where home brewers compete over whose recipe is most authentic and whose boilo is the most easy drinking. The Annual Pfeiffenberger Boilo Contest is among the most prestigious and intense of such contests. Dozens of family boilo recipes are judged and a series of voting parameters and rounds of taste-testing decide the winner.

As of December 2012 an "instant" version of the drink is available commercially. However this produces a much sweeter boilo than is generally produced by traditional recipes.


  1. ^ "CoalSpeak: Dictionary of the Coal Region". Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
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