Viryta (Lithuanian Honey Liqueur)
"This is a sweet, very potent beverage that can be found at Lithuanian festivals and Lithuanian social clubs in Baltimore. They usually pronounce it 'VIT-a-tis'. Viryta is usually homemade by descendants of Lithuanian immigrants, using recipes that have been handed down through the generations, and is a popular commodity around the holidays. It took me years to finally get someone to teach me how to make it; most of the people around Baltimore who make it are very secretive about their family recipes! I'd probably catch an earful if she knew I posted it online!"
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Ingredients8 d 1 h 15 m servings 187
Original recipe yields 36 servings (2 750ml bottles)
- Peel orange and lemon in a circular motion in a large strip. Place peels in a warm, dry area to dry for 24 hours.
- Stir honey, 1 cup water, sugar, caraway seeds, cloves, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and ground nutmeg together in a large pot; bring to a rolling boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes. Add dried orange and lemon peels to honey mixture; continue to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat; discard fruit peels. Stir grain alcohol and remaining 2 1/2 cups water into honey mixture. Transfer mixture to a glass container and tightly cover with a lid. Place in a cool location out of direct sunlight and let set, gently swirling container every few days, for 1 week.
- Strain mixture through double-layered cheesecloth to remove sediment. Pour liqueur into bottles or decanters and seal.
- Cook's Note:
- Some people confuse Viryta with Krupnik, but they are two different types of honey-flavored spirits. Krupnik is a Polish liqueur with a vodka base; Viryta is of Lithuanian origin and has a grain alcohol base and much higher alcoholic content per ounce.
- Liquid must set in a tightly-covered glass container. This is very important, as leaving the mixture uncovered during its 'setting' period will allow much of the alcohol to evaporate.
Per Serving: 187 calories; 0.2 28.1 0.2 0 3 Full nutrition
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