Krambambula is an alcoholic mix drink or cocktail that typically consists of red wine and various kinds of liquor, including gin, vodka, or rum. There are many different recipes. Commercially produced versions may also be available in some areas.
In recent years, a Krambambula (Крамбамбуля) vodka drink flavoured with honey and spices similar to mead has been commercially popularized as the national drink of Belarus. The name was also adopted by Krambambula, a Belarusian folk rock band.
A red-colored cherry liqueur called Krambambuli was formerly produced by a distillery in Danzig (Gdańsk) established by Ambrosius Vermöllen, a Mennonite immigrant from De Lier in Holland, who received Danzig citizenship on 6 July 1598. In 1704 the production moved to new premises in the Breitgasse lane marked with the animal symbol of a salmon (German: Lachs) on the façade; hence the brand was named Der Lachs zu Danzig. The distillery also produced the famous Danziger Goldwasser liquer; it was destroyed during World War II and the rebuilt site today houses a restaurant.
In the jargon of German student fraternities, the word Krambambuli was used to identify various drinks such as mulled wine (Glühwein) and Feuerzangenbowle. The popularity of the word was associated to a large degree with Der Krambambulist, a commercium song with a prologue and 102 verses that was published in Halle in 1745 by the privy councillor Christoph Friedrich Wedekind (1709–1777) under the pseudonym Crescentius Coromandel. The song was included in the Allgemeines Deutsches Kommersbuch and was translated into Russian by Nikolay Yazykov in the 19th century.
Der Lachs liquers were perpetuated by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing in his play Minna von Barnhelm, premiered in 1767, they are also mentioned in The Broken Jug by Heinrich von Kleist. Krambambuli is also the title of a story written by Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach in 1883 about a dog named after the beverage brand, filmed several times. A strong krambambulya made with vodka and beer is mentioned in the 1875 comedy Wolves and Sheep by Alexander Ostrovsky.