People in Poland often make their own vodkas using rectified spirit for medicinal purposes. My grandma Ziuta always had Orzechówka (a bittertasting nut vodka) on hand, which she used to treat stomach complaints with. You can easily infuse ordinary vodka with spices and I’ve found that this cardamom infusion is particularly lovely. 






Skill level

Average: 4.7 (10 votes)


  • 50 g (1¾ oz) good-quality dark chocolate
  • 50 ml (2 fl oz/scant ¼ cup) single (light) cream
  • large pinch of ground cinnamon, plus extra to serve
  • 100 ml (3½ fl oz/scant ½ cup) cardamom-infused vodka (see Note)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


You will need to infuse your vodka at least 4 days prior to this recipe.

Cooling time 20 minutes

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. As soon as it has melted remove from the heat and whisk in the cream and cinnamon.

Allow to cool completely before shaking it in a cocktail shaker with the vodka over ice, then pour it into a martini glass. Alternatively, shake in a jam jar and strain into a glass.

Sprinkle over a little more ground cinnamon before serving.


• Add some cardamom pods to a bottle of vodka, seal it and leave it at room temperature (turning the bottle once a day). Within four or five days the cardamom flavour will have developed, but I like to leave it even longer – a week or two – before using it in this cocktail. 


Recipes and images from Polska: New Polish Cooking by Zuza Zak (Hardie Grant Books, $45, hbk).

View our Readable feasts review and more recipes from the book here.