The Polish Cultural Institute New York
THE VODKA CONTRACT
A dramatic story of love, herbs and vodka combined with tango, luxury cuisine and a taste of Williamsburg's newest cocktail:
THE KOSCIUSZKO BRIDGE
Thursday, May 25, 2017
6:30pm - 8:00pm
MOFAD Lab: 62 Bayard Street, Brooklyn, NY 11222
Admission: $30 PURCHASE ONLINE
Did you know that the iconic Austin Nichols building in Williamsburg, next to the legendary Domino Sugar Factory, has a legacy that includes vodka, herbs, tango and love?
Austin-Nichols House, today a residential apartment building, was once home to a major American spirits distributor when the country was emerging from Prohibition. A young salesman saw an opportunity to introduce Polish vodkas nationwide - and unleash a legacy of heady aromatics and potent brews for the American public. Elizabeth Koszarski-Skrabonja tells the story of how her father's pursuit of Zubrówka, Wisniówka and Wyborowa turned into a wartime drama in August 1939, and how he met the woman of his dreams at sea.
One of the early spirits included in the 1939 Vodka Contract was Zubrówka. Seasoned with a grass that grows only in the primordial Bialowieza Forest (and is the favorite meal of Polish bison), Zubrówka is not only the name of the town in The Grand Budapest Hotel it is a liquor with a 600 year legacy. Described by the author W. Somerset Maugham in The Razor's Edge, "Zubrówka smells of freshly mown hay and spring flowers, of thyme and lavender and is so soft on the palate and so comfortable, it's like listening to music by moonlight."
Designed especially for this event at the Museum Of Food and Drink by Joel Lee Kulp - owner of local cocktail mainstays, The Richardson & Grand Ferry Tavern, The Kosciuszko Bridge is a new cocktail honoring a hero of two continents: Tadeusz Kosciuszko, who fought for liberty in Poland and America. This humanist, engineer, and designer of the fortifications at West Point deserves more than the re-dedication of his namesake bridge linking Queens and Brooklyn and a year-long celebration of his legacy by UNESCO: he deserves a good drink. In the spirit of liberty joining the spirits of two nations, The Kosciuszko Bridge is born in Brooklyn.
Polish bites from educator and chef Karolina Gumpert.
Live entertainment and pre-war Polish tango from Azuz Ensemble.
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THE VODKA CONTRACT STORY