To the delight of pączki lovers everywhere, Detroit City Distillery’s (DCD) limited-edition Pączki Day Vodka (PDV) will return with sales commencing online on Friday, Feb. 11, at 8 a.m.
The spirit is distilled with fresh-baked raspberry pączki from the legendary, family-owned New Palace Bakery of Hamtramck.
What started as an experiment making 20 bottles for family and friends five years ago has become a must-have sensation within Michigan’s Polish community. Last year, the Distillery sold out of 4,200 bottles online in just 22 minutes, while many liquor stores sold out as soon as it hit the shelves.
“The level of excitement and demand for this product never ceases to amaze me. It’s always a huge challenge to work around the clock to try to make enough, but we have so much fun doing it,” said Michael Forsyth, co-owner of Detroit City Distillery, in a press release. “Due to requests already pouring in, we anticipate yet another fast sellout in 2022.”
“When I first made Pączki Day Vodka, my goal was to capture the essence of the Hamtramck’s Pączki Day party in a bottle. Now, PDV has become part of people’s Pączki Day tradition,” says Steve Orzechowski, Distiller at DCD. “It’s an honor to make something we can all be proud of that celebrates our Polish community.”
How it’s Made
This year the Distillery will procure over 3,000 glazed raspberry pączki from Hamtramck’s New Palace Bakery to distill in 100 percent potato vodka from Poland and Michigan. Each batch uses 18-dozen pączki baked fresh that morning, which are then are soaked for 24 hours in vodka inside a 500-gallon copper pot still before they are distilled.
What Does it Taste Like?
The magic of distillation transforms the pączki and vodka into a crystal-clear spirit that is smooth, buttery and has a distinct raspberry finish. Pączki Day Vodka is best enjoyed chilled over ice, mixed in a cocktail or as a pączki chaser.
“There are only two ingredients: vodka and pączki. There are no artificial ingredients, flavors or sweeteners that you find in mainstream flavored vodka. The goal is to make a true craft spirit that highlights the taste of these perfectly handmade, glazed raspberry pączki from Hamtramck.” says Michael Forsyth, co-owner of Detroit City Distillery. “This year, we blended potato vodka straight from Poland with Michigan potato vodka to create a perfect blend that embodies what this spirit is all about. At 88 proof, it’s ultra-smooth, and you can really taste the raspberry and buttery pastry of the pączki.”
How to Buy
Sales will commence online via www.detroitcitydistillery.com/shop on Friday, February 11 at 8 AM. PDV bottles are $35 each. Customers can collect their purchases at DCD’s Tasting Room at 2462 Riopelle Street in Detroit’s Eastern Market from Friday, February 18 through Sunday, February 27. Customers may also purchase PDV at select liquor stores while supplies last. www.detroitcitydistillery.com.
Paczki Day Party – Detroit City Distillery Tasting Room
Date: Saturday, February 26, 10 AM to 11 PM
Location: 2462 Riopelle Street in Eastern Market – Detroit City Distillery Tasting Room – Indoors and outdoors, with limited capacity and free admission. The outdoor patio area encompasses an entire city block.
Events: Local Polish music, food and Paczki Day Vodka libations will be served. More info @detroitcitydistillery on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
What Are Pączki?
For the uninitiated, pączki(plural) or pączek (singular) are rich, filled donuts in various flavors enjoyed on Fat Tuesday before Lent. Pączkiresemble donuts but are made with an enriched dough that often incorporates eggs, butter and milk, as well as vodka, which limits the absorption of fats during frying, keeping the exterior crust crisp. Pączkiare coated in powdered sugar or glaze and come in traditional flavors like raspberry, strawberry, lemon, plum, apple and custard.