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Home made fruit vodka from Poland

18 Nov 2009 /  #1
I was in Poland last year to visit my realtive and they made fruit vodka. It was called nalefki. Not good at spelling. Does anyone know how to make it.
18 Nov 2009 /  #2
years ago I remember people making vodka from fruit and it was called " bimber ".I think another word for it was : "samogona"----Strong stuff !!!!!
18 Nov 2009 /  #3
Nalewki not “nalefki”

polkamaniac “Nalewka” is not samogona or bimber, it’s more like liquor at about 45%.

There’s so many, usually with fruit but they can also be made with herbs, roots, honey and other ingredients even nuts or combination of. It all depends on which one is of interest to you. Was it made of sour cherries? “Wiśniówka” probably most popular.

Basic recipe:
1 kilo of sour cherries
1/2 l of spirytus (You can buy it in US)
1/2 l of vodka (Your favorite)
1/2 l of water
Glass full of sugar.
Boil syrup out of water and sugar. Strain it and let it cool. In a glass jar place sour cherries previously washed, they don’t have to be pitted (I usually add few extra ones, crushed) but be careful there is a benefit to leaving them in as well as they can be harmful. Benefit is that they contain (HCN) which gives the finished product extra flavor as well as extra kick and a slight bitter taste, however in a large enough quantity (HCN) or Hydrogen cyanide can be lethal. Then add few cloves, spirytus and vodka, make a tight seal and leave it in a sunny warm environment for about 4 weeks. Strain to individual bottles. You can consume it right away; however for a better taste place the bottles in a cool dark place for a couple more weeks.

The cherries themselves you can use as garnish on pastry or ice-cream, delicious.
18 Nov 2009 /  #4
Does anyone know how to make it.

These are a bit more Polish specific.

I made quite a lot last year. Remember that ones made with spirytus and then diluted down tend to turn out better than ones with vodka (Bimber works very well in a nalewka recipe), the fruit must be clean and dry, and do not, repeat not, use plastic bottles. That can be dangerous.

Jagoda and Wiśnia seem to work best. Coffee and (expensive) chocolate is less authentic but very good.

There are lots of recipes though and people often have their favourite.


I just saw Piorun's post, and it's very similar to one I made that really worked well, though everyone said to leave it in the dark, away from the sun. Worth trying, and I agree about the cherry stones.
20 Nov 2009 /  #5
From what I read ,It`s almost the same as I make with Spyritus.The only difference is I dilute the spyritus to half the potency and then I use a premixed flavoured syrop such as berries,cherries-lemon-raspberry etc.but not real fruit.
20 Nov 2009 /  #6
It`s almost the same as I make with Spirytus

That works too. And sounds good.

A few people suggested making the nalewka with fruit, letting it mature for a few weeks, straining it and then diluting it down with sugar syrup before leaving it for a couple of months. I tried it that way and the results were good.

Premixed fruit syrup could work well if there aren't any artificial ingredients, or the spirytus has been diluted first - or if it'd be drunk quite quickly after. It wouldn't be a good idea to dissolve something with food additives in 90% alcohol unless the recipe is tried and tested.

Banana sounds good - I might try some this year. A few banana nalewka recipes also include vanilla.
21 Apr 2010 /  #7
Nalewki is a very old Polish tradition. It used to be that every household made their own and they would compete on who's was better. I make several batches every year here in SoCal - some traditional and some with the kinds of fruit you don't get in Poland. Here is a good description and history of the tradition and here is a list of my recipes.
f stop  
21 Apr 2010 /  #8
I just remember it as being some spiritus poured over cherries. Needed sugar!

Piorun - I was looking at what to do with sugar syrup in your recipe - strained, cooled, then what?
1 Oct 2019 /  #9
they made fruit vodka. It was called nalefki.

I once made a nalewka but seeing how much spirit/vodka is needed, I gave up. It is much cheaper and healthier to make your own fruit wine.
2 Oct 2019 /  #10
everyone said to leave it in the dark, away from the sun

Storing it in a dark area doesn't do anything to flavor. It only helps maintain any color it gets from the cherries. This is a common practice for any wine or spirit made from fruit if it has color. Brown bottles are good for this too.

I haven't made any kind of nalewki in a while. It's time to make a big batch.

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