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Croatian family’s craft cordials earn global acclaim

Kapronca Family Estate

(Photo credit: Imanje Kapronca)

Elderflower, raspberry, and mint craft cordials, made without any chemical additives or preservatives in Koprivnica in Croatia, have earned recognition at the prestigious Great Taste competition in London, organised by the Fine Food Association. 

The Kapronca Family Estate (Imanje Kapronca) has been honoured with the title of Great Taste Producer, placing them among the world’s top-quality small food producers.

“When the sun shines and warms the mint, the essential oils begin to evaporate, creating such an intense aroma. We always harvest it before sunrise so that all the flavours remain in the leaves, which then release them during the cordial-making process,” 27-year-old Zvonimir Pavlic told Dobra hrana. 

Their journey into craft cordial making began in 2012 with elderflower cordial. Zvonimir elaborated on the story, sharing that his mother, Senka, used to make it annually for the family’s consumption. Soon, friends discovered its deliciousness, and the bottles quickly disappeared from the pantry shelves. 

In conversations with friends, they came up with the idea to try making the cordial based on their mother’s recipe for a broader market, as many were already asking if they could buy it.

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A post shared by Imanje Kapronca (@imanjekapronca)

However, the transition wasn’t as simple as they initially thought. 

“Making cordial in a small pot is one thing, but doing it on a larger scale is entirely different. We wanted to maintain the same flavour that my wife used to prepare while increasing the quantity. There were many attempts and trials, and our close and extended family would participate in blind taste tests almost every day. We would create several syrup variants, and then the evaluation process would begin. It took time, but in the end, we perfected the recipe and managed to maintain the same quality. After all, we didn’t want to offer something to the market that we wouldn’t love and enjoy ourselves,” explained Vladimir Pavlic, Zvonimir’s father, to Dobra hrana.

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A post shared by Imanje Kapronca (@imanjekapronca)

Their hard work paid off when they received an email they couldn’t believe. Their craft cordials were among the world’s best products. 

“Thanks to this global recognition, our ‘food Oscar,’ we signed a contract with a major retail chain, and now our cordials are on their shelves all over Croatia,” proudly stated Zvonimir. 

They planted mint, experimented with various ratios, and produced a cordial that has become especially sought after during the summer, as it can be used in cocktails as well, and it also won a Great Taste award. 

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A post shared by Imanje Kapronca (@imanjekapronca)

Since they received three consecutive awards within five years, according to the association’s rules, the Kapronca Family Estate earned the title of Great Taste Producer.

The Kapronca family’s commitment to creating natural and delicious cordials has taken them on a remarkable journey, placing them among the world’s finest small-scale food producers. Their dedication to maintaining the highest quality in their products has not only won them awards but also the hearts of cordial lovers across Croatia and beyond. 

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