Ark of taste
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Dereniówka is a Polish alcoholic drink of about 40-50% alcohol by volume. It is made from wild Cornelian cherry dogwood locally known as dereń (Cornus mas). It is a medium to large deciduous shrub with red, olive-shaped, sweet-sour tasting fruits. They contain valuable nutrients, such as vitamin C, flavonoids, and organic acids. They ripen in mid to late summer. It is also said, that the best fruits are those which fall down from the bush because they develop a different aroma from those still on the bush.

Dereniówka was mainly prepared by noble families. It would be a shame for the family to not treat a guest with a glass of homemade dereniówka. Unfortunately, during the communist time, the tradition of its preparation was almost lost. However, nowadays, there are some signs of its revival, as local producers try to recall the presence of Dereniówka. It is occasionally made for home consumption only.

The fruits are set aside with the addition of sugar in order to turn the sugar into a syrup. In earlier times, honey was also used. Later, the spirit is poured over fruits and the prepared mixture is left in a dark place for 6-8 weeks. During this time, the taste, color, essence, and nutrients are being extracted from fruits to alcohol. Due to well-balanced fragrances, the Dereniówka is a highly appreciated drink. Dereniówka is mainly served after a meal as digestive. It is drunk on special occasions like weddings and family celebrations.

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Distilled and fermented beverages

Nominated by:Giovanni Giorgi