BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Dyngus Day is just over a month away, and this year, for the first time, Western New Yorkers will be able to enjoy locally-distilled krupnik.
The Buffalo Distilling Company is launching its version of the sweet, Polish liqueur Saturday.
“It’s got a lot of sweetness from the honey, but it’s a nice smoothness too from the honey, a nice viscosity. It’s got a nice body and flavor, and then the spices add a little bit of zing to it,” explained Andy Wegrzyn, co-founder of the Buffalo Distilling Company.
Wegrzyn grew up in the Polish community on the East Side of Buffalo, and says krupnik is a part of the area’s cultural heritage. “We wanted to make a small batch of it for our sake, and it kind of took off and the demand’s been pretty good, and we’re realizing Buffalo’s maybe one of the biggest market’s for krupnik in the world,” he said.
The Buffalo Distilling Company has been accepting pre-orders for its krupnik ahead of its release date Saturday. It will also be stocking some local liquor store shelves, including those at Gates Circle Liquors, which also ships the product across the country.
Every bottle of the Buffalo Distilling Company krupnik starts with the Buffalo Distilling Company’s classic vodka, made with local grains, cooked in a massive mash tank then distilled and gauged down to the correct proof. From there, the crew adds fresh lemon zest, a proprietary blend of spices, and locally-produced honey to give the krupnik its iconic flavor.
The locally-sourced ingredients are important for all of the Buffalo Distilling Company’s products.
“People in Buffalo, especially, they love supporting local businesses, and so they’re not just supporting us, they’re supporting our orchard out in Pendleton, Smith Orchard, and they’re supporting Sheldon Grain down in Strykersville,” Wegrzyn said. “The flavor of the spirits that we’re making is the true flavor of Western New York.”
Now, the Buffalo Distilling Company is ready to roll out its krupnik for the wider Western New York community.
Saturday, March 3, they’re hosting a krupnik release Polka Party to celebrate the launch. “We’re having a polka band called Special Delivery. We’re having Polish sandwiches, Polish platters, and we’re just going to have a big old fun day,” said Roy Bakos, the director of hospitality and pleasures for the Buffalo Distilling Company.
Of course, the celebrations will also feature special krupnik cocktails, including the so-called “Adam Mickiewicz” drink.
It’s named after the Adam Mickiewicz Polish library on Fillmore who inspired idea to make krupnik, Bakos said. It’s a chilled krupnik cocktail, served over a Johnnie Ryan iced tea float with some essence of citrus.
Everyone is invited a raise a glass of Adam Mickiewicz or any other krupnik concoction and say a toast like ‘na zdrowie’, which is Polish for cheers, to celebrate the the new liqueur and the old traditions in Western New York.
“We are part of Buffalo. We’re super happy to be part of Buffalo, and one of the things that makes this city great is our ethnic heritage and the way that our city truly is a city of immigrants,” Bakos said.
“Everybody’s Irish on Saint Patrick’s Day. Now it seems that on Dyngus day, everybody’s Polish. And it’s one of the biggest Dyngus Day celebrations in the world and we wanted to be a part of it,” he added.
To learn more about the Buffalo Distilling Compnay krupnik and Saturday’s celebration, click here.