“The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.”

Revelation 8:10-11

dscf1706Wormwood (atremisisa absinthium) is perhaps most famous for its use in making Absinthe. It can be also brewed as a tea for digestion. However, I decided to grow it in order to make my own Piołunówka  for the Black Rat.

dscf1710I hand picked some of the young shoots and combined them with other fresh herbs and spices. I popped it all in a jar with some honey and filled it up with vodka.

dscf1722I wrapped the jar in a cloth and left it on top of a radiator for a full week. I picked it up once a day and gave it a good shake to speed up the maceration.

dscf1738After a week, the time came to taste it. I wasn’t sure if it was going to be good. Wormwood is extremely bitter and if the jar was left for too long my Piołunówka would prove undrinkable. I strained the liquid into  a bottle and had a sip. To my great satisfaction and relief it tastes wonderful!

dscf1787Since it turned out so good I figured I may as well make Black Rats! I added Black Sambuca and set them on fire.

dscf1806Then I transferred them to very appropriate skull tumblers and topped them with ginger wine to finish. dscf1814Piołunówka Recipe

fresh herbs:

  • 10 Mint leafs
  • 5 Lemon balm leaves
  • 5 Borage flowers
  • 4 Wormwood shots (30grams)
  • 3 Nasturtium leaves
  • 2 Oregano springs


  • 8 Black Peppercorns
  • 5 Coriander seeds
  • 3 Cloves
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 Cardamon pod
  • 1 Dried Fennel umbel


  • 10 Raisins
  • 3 Spoons of Honey
  • 1 Tea bag ( I used Ceylon tea)
  • 1 Litre of Vodka


Put honey in a sterilised jar and add a little bit of vodka.

Dissolve the honey by whisking the mixture with a spoon.

Place renaming ingredients and vodka in the jar, then close and wrap in a cloth.

Place in warmth for a week. Shake daily.

Strain ready Piołunówka in to a sterilised bottle.