Showing posts with label Hriato. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hriato. Show all posts

Dec 20, 2019

Slovak Christmas Drink

Hriatô (Pronounced hree-AH-two-oh) is traditionally served around Christmas and is easy to make. It is a mouthful even before the pork fat hits your lips, but this honey-infused, bacon-dappled hot brandy cocktail graces the upper echelons of winter warmers in Slovakia.

Home cooks begin by frying up bacon in a healthy dollop of lard. Once it is crisp, they drizzle in honey, allowing the sweet and salty blend to mingle. Finally, they add a good amount of potent fruit brandy. Hriatô’s base brandy, often the plum-based slivovka, is a potent distillate (usually more than 50 percent alcohol by volume).

Hriatô can indeed look a bit unappetizing on first glance. As the cloudy liquid begins to cool, the fat separates, initially forming glistening droplets on the drink’s surface, then a layer of settled fat. When enjoyed fresh, the fried bacon bobs in the boozy brew, balancing the honeyed liquid with a savory umami pork flavor. Pork is central to Slovakian cuisine, and even the national dish, bryndzové halušky, a rich meal of gnocchi-like dumplings and sheep’s milk cheese, receives a healthy smattering of bacon.