Grzaniec: The Traditional Polish Winter Drink

You’ve probably heard about mulled wine, but what are your thoughts on hot spiced beer?

Grzane Wino and Grzane Piwo

In Poland, both grzane wino (mulled wine) and grzane piwo (mulled beer) are especially popular during the cold winter months. Mulled beer is very similar to mulled wine as it is heated with citrus and spices and served hot. You may also find these drinks under another name, grzaniec, which is the generic word meaning a mulled alcoholic drink.


These drinks are often enjoyed at traditional Christmas markets in Poland, where you will often find a makeshift two-story bar that resembles a charming wooden Santa Claus cabin. You might even have the chance to drink grzaniec out of a porcelain Santa Claus boot! Grzaniec galicyjski, is the name for the specific type of mulled wine that you will find at Polish Christmas markets.

wroclaw-christmas-market.jpgChristmas Market in Wrocław

Aside from Christmas markets, you can also find these drinks served in bars, restaurants or homemade in the kitchen. They are the perfect way to warm up after a chilly and fun day spent outdoors hiking, sledding, ice skating or on a winter kulig (sleigh ride!).

Here are two recipes: Key To Poland's very own recipe for grzane wino and a delicious recipe for grzane piwo from Polish Your Kitchen.

Na zdrowie!

Key To Poland's Recipe for Grzane Wino

grzane-wino.jpgGrzane Wino


  • 1 bottle (750 ml) of dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 orange - sliced into rounds
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise


  1. Add all ingredients to a pot and stir briefly to combine.
  2. Warm the mulled wine on medium-high heat until it barely starts to boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low, cover, and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Use a fine mesh strainer to remove spices and orange.
  5. Stir in extra sweetener if needed.
  6. Serve warm and enjoy! Na zdrowie!

Polish Your Kitchen's Recipe for Grzane Piwo

In general, beer has a relatively low alcohol content. Typically lager beer is used when making grzane piwo as it averages having about 5% alcohol. Simmering the beer helps to extract the flavor form the spices but it also causes the alcohol to evaporate. In order to maintain some level of alcohol content in your grzane piwo, it is important to warm the liquid but not boil it. 

Find the original recipe for grzane piwo from Polish Your Kitchen here.



  • 1 bottle of your favorite beer (preferably something darker like a lager)
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • 1/2 stick of cinnamon (or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
  • 1/4 cups of orange juice


  1. Pour beer into pot and add all remaining ingredients.
  2. Simmer on medium heat. Make sure to watch it closely so that it does not boil over. You don’t want the liquid to boil, just to warm.
  3. Once hot, remove from heat and allow it to stand for a few minutes. If it is not sweet enough, add another teaspoon of honey.

Na Zdrowie!!

We hope you enjoy these recipes and that they help sustain you through the winter!

Learn more about Polish cuisine.

If you have any questions about planning your private tour to Poland or to learn about visiting Poland during the Christmas season, please contact us!

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We are Damian and Elizabeth, a Polish-American couple, and we are excited to share Poland with you! We have traveled around the world and seen many places but find ourselves most inspired by our home countries.

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