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Any Ice-Fishing Boilo Drinkers Out There?

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January 06, 2014

Any Ice-Fishing Boilo Drinkers Out There?

By David Draper

I’m a reformed ice fisherman. Reformed as in I don’t spend nearly every waking winter moment either on the hard water or planning for my ice-fishing trip like I used to. Don’t get me wrong, I still love to sit on a frozen lake hoping to pull a big fish through a small hole (which sounds like a metaphor for my current career). I just don’t get out there as much these days. When I was an ice angler, I liked to take along a little nip to keep me warm, usually a bottle of Dr. McGillicuddy’s Mentholmint Schnapps.

Not only did having a bottle nearby keep me warm, offering a sip to newfound friends (ice fishing is, more so than most angling endeavors, a social affair) was a great way to, shall we say, break the ice. That usually led to inside information on what was biting and where. Alcohol is, after all, the greatest social lubricant of all.

In doing a bit of reading lately, I discovered a new drink popular among ice fisherman, especially those in the northeast and in particular, Pennsylvania’s coal country. It’s called boilo. An Americanized version of an old Lithuanian cordial, boilo is a homemade concoction formerly (and sometimes currently) made with high-test grain alcohol and a variety of fruit and spices. It sounds a lot like what we call “apple pie.” Until recently, I’ve never heard of boilo, so I’m wondering if any Wild Chef readers have experienced the elixir. With the subfreezing temperatures covering most of the country, I think a batch of it may be in order. Here’s the recipe I’ll be basing my batch on.

Comments (4)

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from wittsec wrote 15 weeks 2 days ago

That sounds delicious and seems like a great way to stay warm, or at least not care about the cold.

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from haverodwilltravel wrote 15 weeks 2 days ago

Once I ice fished for myself, now I do it for the grandkids. The "Apple Pie" you are referring to is very tasty in very small does. Years ago we did White Crème De Menthe. At least our breath smelled fresh. :)

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from CL3 wrote 15 weeks 2 days ago

Yep. Was given my allotment this Christmas from family. Always boilo on the ice (and other places). And, we've got nice ice pretty early here in Northeast PA (at least that I can recall). It's whiskey-based and my family makes it either with orange-honey base or grapefruit base. I haven't made it myself though. Nice to have it given to me!

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from CL3 wrote 15 weeks 2 days ago

I will add, watch how much you drink because it goes down real easy out in the cold, then BOOM! You're hammered!

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from CL3 wrote 15 weeks 2 days ago

I will add, watch how much you drink because it goes down real easy out in the cold, then BOOM! You're hammered!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from wittsec wrote 15 weeks 2 days ago

That sounds delicious and seems like a great way to stay warm, or at least not care about the cold.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from haverodwilltravel wrote 15 weeks 2 days ago

Once I ice fished for myself, now I do it for the grandkids. The "Apple Pie" you are referring to is very tasty in very small does. Years ago we did White Crème De Menthe. At least our breath smelled fresh. :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from CL3 wrote 15 weeks 2 days ago

Yep. Was given my allotment this Christmas from family. Always boilo on the ice (and other places). And, we've got nice ice pretty early here in Northeast PA (at least that I can recall). It's whiskey-based and my family makes it either with orange-honey base or grapefruit base. I haven't made it myself though. Nice to have it given to me!

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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