Broda is a type of nalewka (na-lef-ka), a Polish word which means “tincture” in English. It is made by steeping herbs or fruits in an alcoholic solution. They are often sweetened with sugar or honey. Unlike ordinary liqueurs, nalewki are usually aged. Broda is a type of nalewka called “cytrynówka”, meaning “lemon vodka”.

Creating sweetened alcoholic tinctures gained popularity in Poland during the 16th century, with the oldest known book referencing nalewka being published in Kraków in 1534.

From the 16th to the 19th centuries, the houses of Polish nobility would typically produce and stock a variety of nalewki, and the recipes were passed down from generation to generation in home almanacs called “Silva rerum”. Families in the Polish nobility, known as Szlachta, often kept these recipes secret, and they were only given to the senior children upon the death of the father. The production of nalewka later spread to ordinary households, and from the mid to late 19th century a large number of books were published describing processes and recipes, as well as instructions for obtaining ingredients.

We are not sure how we ended up with the best recipe, but we’re not complaining!