A visit to Poland would not be complete without a sampling of one or more of the famous Polish produced vodkas. Vodka itself dates back over a thousand years with origins in Poland and Russia – the name Vodka meaning ‘water’ (‘Woda’ in Polish). Vodka was established as Poland’s national drink in the 16th century, while also being used in medicine and the production of gunpowder – certainly after tasting some varieties, you’ll know why!
Most of today’s Polish vodkas are available in bars and pubs globally, so you may recognize many of the brands, but might need some guidance about where to start. For a smooth clear Vodka that is ideal for mixing with soft drinks or juices we suggest Wyborowa either in its clear form or flavoured varieties.
If you want to try something different, then one of the more famous herbal vodkas is Zubrowka – translated to Bison Grass Vodka, with a long stem of grass contained in each bottle. This rye vodka has flavours of vanilla, coconut and almonds and can be drunk over ice or is ideal when mixed with apple juice.
For those wanting a more premium variety, then Chopin vodka is your answer. Each bottle is made with 3 kilograms of potatoes and distilled 4 times, the vodka borrowing the name of one of Poland’s most famous composers and winning global quality awards over the last few years. This quality makes it the ideal choice if you want to sample a local vodka straight or over ice.
If too much pierogi and vodka has turned your stomach then don’t pack your bags just yet! Żołądkowa (which is easier to drink than it is to pronounce, phonetically something like rze-want-kowa) is a herbal vodka who’s name translates to ‘bitter vodka for the stomach’ and is marketed and widely recognised to ease stomach digestion; although we’re yet to see the scientific research on this!