Over the weekend, temperatures dipped down to the coldest it’s been since our move to Warsaw – 0F or -18C.
We decided the freezing temps and snowy weather meant it was finally time to try grzane piwo (pronounced geh-sza-neh pi-vo) or Polish hot/mulled beer. The idea of hot, spiced beer never appealed to us. In fact, I thought it sounded downright awful, but don’t knock it until you tried it, right?
I had even heard grzane piwo is considered to be good for you when you have a sore throat. Records dating back to the 17th century enthuse about the healthy properties of hot beer.
We happened to be near one of our favorite, funky bars, Spiskowcy Rozkoszy, so we popped in and ordered two grzane piwo. My legs were numb from walking around in the frigid temperatures, so hot beer sounded like a good idea…at the time.
We patiently waited while our bartender heated our beer with honey and spices. The bar also offered grzane piwo with ginger or raspberry syrup. Our pints of frothy, hot beer arrived with straws.
Jason and I did a proper cheers and tried the hot beer. I clearly made a face and knew immediately I did not like my first taste of grzane piwo. I tried to chug down the rest of the glass, but I just couldn’t. The taste reminded me of warmed Budweiser sweetened with honey and spices.
Apparently, grzane piwo is an acquired taste or something you either love or hate. Right now, I’m in the latter camp.
But at least I tried it, and I’ll even give it one more chance. Perhaps the raspberry-flavored one will be better? Or else I’ll stick with my steaming hot mugs of grzane wino (Polish mulled wine) this winter.
|Polish mulled wine with a shot of rum or vodka is a much better choice!|
|One of the snow-covered parks in the Powiśle neighborhood of Warsaw.|
|We've received about 6 inches (15 cm.) of snow over the last few days.|