Paczki Day Vodka is back

Paczki Day Vodka is back

Susan Selasky

Paczki Day Vodka is back and bigger this year with more bottles available, new flavors and a bottled pre-made cocktail.

How about a little vodka to go with your paczki?

A vodka distilled with traditional Paczki was born out of a tribute to the sweet Polish treat is back just in time for Fat Tuesday on Feb. 16.

Now in its fourth year, Paczki Day Vodka (PDV) created by Detroit City Distillery, goes on sale Feb. 1.

And this year you can experience it even more with new small batch flavors and a bottled cocktail.

Michael Forsyth, co-owner and founder of Detroit City Distillery in the Eastern Market district, said they’ve made about five times more than last year. Producing that amount took 1,296 paczki or 108 dozen. With each batch, Forsyth said, they distilled 18 dozen paczki in the potato vodka.

“One thing that makes Pączki Day Vodka especially tasty, is sourcing the finest potato vodka straight from Poland,” says Michael Forsyth, co-owner of Detroit City Distillery in a news release.

When Paczki Day Vodka went on sale last February, the distillery sold out of about 1,200 fifth-size bottles in 4 1/2 hours. On launch day last February, people lined up for blocks around the distillery to get a taste. Requests came in from across the U.S., Canada and Europe according to the distillery.

This year there’s a change in labeling adding a paczki on the back of the bottle.

“We really wanted to have fun featuring the main ingredient with a pączki “floating” on the back of the bottle,” Forsyth said in an email. “We also wanted to honor the culture with a label that looks like the Polish flag.”

New limited-edition PDV are old world paczki flavors of plum jam and wild rose available in 750 milliliter-size bottles for $30 each in limited quantities.

New bottled cocktails include the Polish Daisy cocktail. It’s made with PDV, vanilla simple syrup, Cocchi Americano (an Italian aperitif and lemon juice. It’s $9 per bottle or $30 for a four pack.

The distillery also came out with a Polish Bloody Mary made with the same polish potato vodka but distilled with Srodek’sfreshly-ground, homemade horseradish. Srodek’s is a Polish market in Hamtramck and Sterling Heights. It’s $12 per bottle or $40 for a four pack.

“After witnessing the epic response to Paczki Day Vodka, we decided to get even more creative by producing small-batch versions of PDV, like plum and rose, that will transport die-hard pączki-lovers back to their childhood memories in grandma’s kitchen,” Forsyth said in a news release.

Paczki Day Vodka was created in February 2017 by DCD distiller Steve Orzechowski. He came up with the idea to honor his Polish heritage and the Paczki Day annual tradition.

“I made Pączki Day Vodka because I wanted to capture the essence of the Hamtramck Pączki Day party in a bottle,” Orzechowski said in a news release. “I thought it’d be a fun way to honor my Polish heritage and create a small-batch spirit we shared with our closest friends and family.”

And then Paczki Day Vodka grew.

“But, as more and more people tried it and loved it, and the requests came pouring in, we realized we’d created something unique,” Orzechowski said. “It’s a real honor to create something that the community has made part of the celebration and the comradery of the day.”

How’s it made? 

Picture a big, 500-gallon, copper pot of 100% Polish potato vodka. Added to that big vat are dozens of raspberry-filled paczki from Hamtramck’s beloved New Palace Bakery in Hamtramck. Whole and pulled apart paczki float around and bask in the vodka for a 24-hour soak.

After distilling, the results are a clear, smooth vodka with hints raspberry and the sugary pastry.

Detroit City Distillery recommends serving the vodka chilled over ice, in a cocktail or as a paczki chaser.

How does it taste? 

Paczki Day Vodka has every essence of the beloved Polish pastries known throughout metro Detroit on Fat Tuesday ahead of the Lenten season — with fewer calories. Over ice is best, as it really does taste great, and, of course, less filling.

You can buy Paczki Day Vodka online for curb-side pickup at the distillery beginning 9 a.m. Monday. A 750 milliliter-size bottle is $30. Pickup is at Detroit City Distillery tasting room Feb. 3-14 at 2462 Riopelle in Eastern Market district. Some liquor stores will also sell Paczki Day Vodka while supplies last.

Bars, restaurants and liquor stores, Detroit City Distillery said, can order Pączki Day Vodka, with limited, through the Michigan Liquor Control Commission.

Contact Detroit Free food writer Susan Selasky: 313-222-6872 or Follow @SusanMariecooks on Twitter.

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