Evidence behind the origins of vodka is limited, with some claiming it was created in Poland in the 8th century, and others believing 9th century Russia.
Vodka is a satisfying drink with a fine history, so it’s no shocker that both Poland and Russia assertively define it as their own.
As far as consumption goes, it’s worth noting the validity of sipping on a spirit neat. Drinking neat is the perfect way to precisely appreciate every detail of what the distiller has created. Most vodka will go down the hatch relatively smoothly and painlessly, failing to have a rough “bite” or aftertaste. Which is why the Russians and Polish have insistently sipped it neat for centuries! Tempted to adopt the traditions of true vodka craftsmen? Chilled gives you our top 10 list of Polish vodkas to sip neat! In no special order.
Here we have an honest vodka, made by people who are passionate about the spirit. The process of the Polish spirit entails the following: The rye is obtained, it is then milled, cooked, and fermented. It is distilled five times and mellowed through a charcoal filter twice. Finally, it sits and rests. That’s all. The result is clean, high-quality vodka that tastes good in and out of cocktails.
This Potato vodka targets a masculine consumer market, stating boldly that their spirit is made from “the manliest of all vegetables.” With a name that means “luxurious” in Polish, Luksusowa is premium vodka created in 1928. First, they take “100% Polish potatoes and mash the hell out of them.” Then ferment and distill it through a single copper column making a raw spirit of about 90% ABV. They also make sure to dispose of impurities and fusil oils. Lastly, it’s diluted with only the purest water to 40% ABV and filtered for clarity.
Named in honor of John III Sobieski, king of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth from 1674 to 1696. Sobieski’s basic vodka is 100% pure rye vodka. It is distilled in Poland with quality rye and crystalline water only. They produce four flavored vodkas made from natural flavorings: Cytron, Orange, Raspberry and Vanilla. It’s not only premium quality vodka but it’s a history lesson in a bottle.
Here’s a brand that puts a different spin and strays away from the generic definition of vodka. Tadeusz Dorda, Founder and CEO explains, “We are set apart from other vodka brands not only by our unique philosophy but also because we do not produce any artificially flavored vodka. We prefer to keep our vodkas pure and let their ingredients speak for themselves.” Chopin produces three different single-ingredient vodkas: potato, rye, and wheat.
Made in one of the world’s longest operating Polish distilleries stationed in the heart of central Poland, Polmos Zyrardów has been producing vodka since 1910. With one of the world’s strictest production regulations, each step of the production of Belvedere Vodka must take place on Polish soil with locally sourced ingredients respective to Polish vodka geographical requirements.
Award-winning Wyborowa is a contender for most popular Polish vodka in the world. It finds itself as a top pick for weddings in Poland. The flagship bottle is produced from Polish rye. Flavor-wise, Wyborowa is not the mildest of vodkas in the market, but fortunately it’s well balanced.
Żubrówka—Bison Grass Vodka
There is no other vodka that tastes like Żubrówka. The rye-based distillate is flavored with bison grass, which grows in the Białowieża forest. It tastes great when mixed but is unmatched when left on its own. Its taste is described as a mild fragrance of mown hay with a subtle “floral taste.”
The vodka brand offers “crystal clear” expressions and many flavored liqueurs like quince, lemon, and hazelnut. This honeyed Polish favorite is sweet liquor made from honey and variety of pleasant herbs. Not to be confused with the soup and honey-spiced alcoholic concoction of the same name.
J.A. Baczewski Vodka
Monopolowa: Baczewski. Legendary vodka in production since 1781, it’s one of the few vodkas distilled from potatoes. Baczewski is distilled based on an original formula. Its smoothness and distinctive taste are mind-blowing.
Translates to “oak vodka.” It’s an herbal spirit based on Black Elderflower and Oakwood. The taste is a hybrid of sweetness and spiciness. Hints of vanilla and pepper are uncovered throughout every sip.