Bars, Beer and Wine, Cocktails, Food and Drink, Wine
Jul 28, 2015

KAS Krupnikas: A Honey Spiced Liquor Coming to an Astoria Cocktail Near You

Photo Courtesy of @kaskrupnikas A couple of Friday nights ago I walked into Astoria Park Wine and Spirits for their Friday night tastings. When I saw that the bottle on (…)

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IMG_4051Photo Courtesy of @kaskrupnikas

A couple of Friday nights ago I walked into Astoria Park Wine and Spirits for their Friday night tastings. When I saw that the bottle on the tasting table was liquor and not wine, my bee-line strut slowed to a saunter. However, Faye, marketing director of KAS Spirits LLC, caught my eye and immediately convinced me to try KAS Krupnikas.  A few minutes later I was silently thanking Faye for introducing me to this exciting new alcohol and soaking in all the information she was giving us about the krupnikas.

Faye&BottlePhoto Courtesy of Ryan Edwards

Krupnikast is a traditional Lithuanian alcohol developed by Benedictine monks in the Late Middle Ages made with honey and spices. Each recipe is unique and has its own flavor profile based on the spices.

IMG_4054Photo Courtesy of @kaskrupnikas

I caught up with Kas, owner of KAS Krupnikas LLC, on the phone.  His enthusiasm and pride for his product was apparent right away. A native of Lithuania, Kas’s mother nurtured his interest in their native cuisine. After noticing his passion for cooking, she gave him a cookbook, which included a recipe for krupnikas. The recipe has been in their family for over 30 years, and Kas has tweaked it over time.

KASPhoto Courtesy of @kaskrupnikas

Krupnikas is the traditional family drink Lithuanians pulled out for celebrations such as Christmas and weddings. “Anytime you had a serious toast you pulled out the krupnikas,” he joked.  “This was serious (stuff), though, it wasn’t something that you could buy in a store.”

LaveaupourPhoto Courtesy of Ryan Edwards

Kas’s recipe has over 10 spices including Madagascar vanilla, saffron, caraway seeds and nutmeg. It has flavors of orange and lemon and is made from the mixture of both clover and wildflower honeys. All his batches are hand made with local New York products and New York State honey. KAS Krupnikas is 80 proof—strong, but smooth and enjoyable on its own. They use no artificial colors or flavoring and since it is corn-based, it’s gluten free.

SourpourPhoto Courtesy of Ryan Edwards

Thanks to Faye, they have been able to develop over 60 cocktail recipes that celebrate the flavors in KAS’s recipe. On the development of krupnikas cocktails, Kas says, “It’s amazing to me because all of us used to just drink it neat. We either kept in the freezer or had it in the cupboard and it only came out to do little shots, you know, to cheer somebody on for something important, but she has shown that it is a versatile product.”

IMG_4055Photo Courtesy of @kaskrupnikas

KAS Krupnikas is making a splash in the Astoria liquor market and is now being sold at local stores such as Astoria Park Wine & Spirits, Wine Stop, and Off the Vine. Some of our local favorite bars will also be adding krupnikas specials such as The Letlove Inn and Mars.  Though The Letlove Inn has yet to announce their drink(s), Mars has three drinks on their menu featuring KAS: the Tupelo Honey, the French Western, and the Hazy Buzz.

IMG_4059

Photo Courtesy of @kaskrupnikas

On ending our conversation, KAS gave me some advice on what to mix my krupnikas with, and this one was by far my favorite: “Well let me tell you, one shot over ice cream is completely irresistible. I’m sorry I told you that because you’re going to want to eat more ice cream just because it has krupnikas on it.” He wasn’t lying.

 

Do you already have a bottle of KAS at home? Let us know what your favorite KAS concoctions are in the comments!



One Comment

Michael Cavallaro

We enjoy that there are other Lithuanian people, I am married to a beautiful Lithuanian woman , tradition is very important, as of we just made 265 lbs of kilbasi at thanksgiving, as our tradition. Also this year I attempted to make my own krupnikus, it is not ready yet , so that is why my wife’s best friend will be bringing us 4 bottles of your krupnikus, can’t wait

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