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Psiwo kozicowe

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It has a bittersweet taste and a distinct, juniper aroma. It is slightly sparkling and is a great thirst quencher. The beverage, psiwo kozicowe, is brewed in the Kurpie area almost in every home, and its recipe is passed down from generation to generation. Contrary to other kinds of beer, its production uses honey, sugar and juniper berries. The name psiwo kozicowe is derived from juniper shoots, once called kozice, which Kurpie once used to drive horses.

Inhabitants of the Kurpie region never had easy lives. The low-quality, sandy and infertile land would not provide much opportunity for the development of agriculture, and therefore, sufficient amount of food. Therefore, naturally the forest became the source of edible plants, including juniper, which to this day is common in the occurs commonly present in the Kurpie Wilderness. Honey was also abundant, as Kurpie, aka Kurpsie, were enthusiastic beekeepers, keeping bees in barć, tree trunk bee hives.

As it later turned out, both components: juniper and honey proved perfect in the preparation of this original beverage. In the early twentieth century, psiwo was treated as a ceremonial beverage, which appeared on the tables on feast days and family events such as weddings, christenings and funerals. The gourmets of psiwo in Kurpie said:

Juniper psiwo,

Sweet and ripe,

Will live a long life,

He who drinks quarts.

Nowadays, the beverage is once again finding favour among Kurpie. It is said no genuine Kurpie wedding can go without it. You can also sample it during events and festivals organised in the Kurpie region. It is appreciated even by the most discerning gourmets. Psiwo is a regional product.

Although in many homes its recipe is kept secret, Stanisław Ropiak of the village of Myszyniec allows taking a sneak peak behind the curtain. This is how we can learn what is needed for its preparation.


1 l of honey,

0.5 kg of dried juniper berries,

1.5 cups of sugar,

30g of yeasts,

20 hop cones,

10 l of water.

Boil water and cool it down. Grind juniper berries, or mash them in a mortar, pour over some water, add hops and slow-cook it for approx. two hours. Decant the suspension, add cool water sweetened with sugar. At the end, add honey and yeasts. Pour the beverage into bottles, seal them tightly and put away to store in a warm place. Then cool down and serve cold.

Instead of fresh hops cones you can use a dried hops extract, 100 g hops per a litre of water. The remaining components should be used according to the following proportions:

1 kg of dried juniper berries,

9 l of water,

1 kg of sugar,




Grind the juniper berries and pour some boiling water on them, put away for several hours, decant and add to nine litres of water and sugar. Cook all, skimming off the foam. Combine with the extract of dried hops, cool down. Add yeast, honey and raisins. Put away for 2 – 3 days in a warm place. Then pour the beer into bottles. It tastes best cool.