Monday, December 7, 2015

Krupnik (Honey Vodka) for the guns

I was having a tidy out a bit ago and found the dregs of a very old bottle of krupnik in the wine rack. It had to go - what was left had lost much of its original flavour, but it reminded me of how good it was, and though it wouldn't be hard to find somewhere selling it, I'd quite like to make my own for next winter.

The bottle I had was Polish, and I had thought it was particularly a Polish thing but Wikipedia says it was invented by monks around the 16th century and is popular in a few Slavic countries. To be fair it's probably popular anywhere it's been tried. It's a heady, warming, blend of honey, spices, and vodka. 

Try as I might I couldn't think of any book I knew that had a polish connection, much less one that complimented the farm house kitchen feel this particular liqueur conjurs for me. In the end I thought about who I used to sell it to when I worked somewhere that stocked it. The answer, excepting Polish ex pats, was the shooting set. 

There turns out to be quite a bit of friendly competition amongst shooting types to provide interesting/different/obscure liqueurs on shoot days along the lines of sloe gin, Kings ginger, or similar. Krupnik falls right into that tradition so it seems quite fitting to pair it with 'BB's 'The Shooting Man's Bedside Book'.

I've been learning to shoot over the last couple of years, strictly clay pigeons - even if I could afford it the idea of shooting birds for sport doesn't appeal very much. Clay pigeons however are a lot of fun, not necessarily an expensive sport (the biggest cost is a gun, after that you don't need much - a hat, glasses, ear defenders, and pockets - and none of it needs to cost much) and is quite accessible for not terribly fit women approaching middle age... It doesn't have the drinking culture that game shooting has, but where guns are involved I can only see that as a plus. 

I picked up 'The Shooting Man's Bedside Book' as a Christmas present for my mother last year (she's the one that sold me on shooting) and liked it so much I got myself the next copy I managed to find. It's a compendium of all sorts of anecdotes, advice, poetry, records of things shot, and as a bonus has some charming illustrations. It's an oddly appealing little book, and just the thing to curl up with by a fire (ideally in a house with hot and cold running dogs on tap) on a cold winter afternoon with that glass of krupnik, and no intention of going anywhere. 


  1. That sounds delicious, have you a recipe that you would be willing to post up?

    It seems that auto-correct has been active in the second line of your third paragraph...

    I have never shot with rifles but I did used to belong to a gun range, shooting hand guns, that was fun!

  2. I don't have a recipe yet, but when I do. Thanks for the auto correct warning. No idea how it came up with that! Shoot with a shot gun, didn't get on well with it when I tried a rifle, and never tried a hand gun. They scare me a bit.

  3. This is a new one to me -- so enjoying this series, and now catching up on all of the posts properly. I cannot imagine that a big slug of this would assist my aim should I ever pick up a gun. I assume one drinks it after?! Maybe not...

  4. Before I think, there are a lot more accidents than ever generally talked about.... I wouldn't do it myself, but on the few occasions when I've been out with an actual shoot (just to watch) the hot mince pies and cold champagne and sloe gin have been a perk. On the whole it's better for the pheasants if no one can see straight too.

  5. (I've just read a book [one of the Bobby Owen detective series by E.R.Punshon] where one of the suspects was noted to have shot his own stags and not had to rely on the clever ghillie standing behind him, shooting simultaneously so as to aid the illusion of killing it himself. I think I'd definitely just drink and keep my hands at my side!)

  6. Think your way is best. With clay shooting it's strictly tea and sausage sandwiches in the club house afterwoulds. Much more suitable!