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    Polish Potato Moonshine: A New Player in the EU Spirits Market

    The Polish Ministry of Agriculture announced on Thursday that potato moonshine, known as “okowita ziemniaczana,” could become a Polish specialty in the EU spirits market. New EU regulations effective from May 13, 2024, introduce revised definitions for alcoholic beverages, aiming to better inform consumers.

    Defining Polish Distinctiveness

    Previous EU regulations lacked a separate category for Polish potato moonshine, classifying it under fruit-based spirits. However, Poland initiated discussions in 2022 for a distinct definition, akin to whiskey, allowing distillation below 94.8% volume.

    Under the new definition, “okowita z ziemniaków” must be solely fermented and distilled from potato bulbs to below 94.8% volume, retaining the aroma and taste of the raw material. Prohibitions include alcohol or flavor additives, except for caramel coloring.

    Diversification of EU Spirits

    These regulations extend beyond potato moonshine, encompassing birch and maple sap spirits as well as bread-based liquors, ensuring fresh ingredients to prevent the use of expired products. New product labels will feature designations like “birch sap moonshine,” “maple sap moonshine,” “birch and maple sap moonshine,” and “bread moonshine,” reflecting the diverse range of EU spirits.

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