Last updated on October 16, 2019
Poland is famous for many things but probably one thing that nearly everyone knows about Poland is the Polish vodka. In this post, I’ll tell you the 6 best Polish Vodkas, so you can make sure you don’t buy any low-quality Polish vodka 😉
I have to admit, we have many, many of them! Some are of really good quality and you can get for as little as 25zl per 0,5l (around 6 euros).
We serve Vodka during all the main celebrations in Poland. You will drink it during birthdays, Christmas, family gathering and most importantly weddings 😉 So, if you get an invitation to a Polish wedding, prepare yourself that you will need to drink quite a lot of shots during the whole night. More about Polish wedding traditions you can read in other article we’ve written.
The way how we normally drink vodka in Poland is in the form of a shot. We basically drink a shot and have a sip of a soft drink afterwards. So if you want to drink like a Pole, better prepare yourself for this!
One important phrase to say when you drink with a Pole is “Na zdrowie” which you use when you raise your glasses to say “Cheers”!
Origins of the word Vodka
Vodka in Polish is written Wódka and it was first recorded as early as in 1405 in Sandomierz? It was mentioned in Akta Grodzkie, the court documents from the Palatinate of Sandomierz.
At the time, the word vodka (wódka), however, did not mean alcohol but rather referred to some sort of medicines and cosmetic products, while the beverage was called gorzałka (from the Old Polish gorzeć meaning “to burn”).
So, enough of history, let’s get started with the best Polish Vodkas you should try!
The name of this vodka comes from an animal called żubr (bison) in Polish.
This Polish vodka has a very special herbal taste mainly due to its main ingredient – grass that is gathered in Bialowieza forest in Poland. The grass also gives it a special colour.
As I mentioned above, we normally do not drink vodka in a cocktail form but this vodka is an exception. We pretty much always drink it together with an apple juice. The drink even got its own name and it is called “Szarlotka”, which in Polish means apple pie.
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Sobieski Polish Vodka is another popular vodka brand in Poland. The name comes after a famous Polish king – Jan III Sobieski. This is the king who stopped the Ottoman Empire invasion in the battle of Vienna.
Some time ago, the brand’s face of the Sobieski vodka was of a famous American actor – Bruce Willis. One can find Sobieski vodka not only in a pure version that is distilled with rye and water, but also in some flavoured versions – Raspberry, Lemon, Orange etc.
This might come as a surprise to some people but Belvedere vodka is actually Polish. At least a few of my foreign friends I talked to did not know that this very much premium brand originates from Poland 🙂
The brand has a long-standing quality and is produced continuously since 1910 in the central part of Poland, namely in a distillery called Polmos Żyrardow. This distillery is considered to be one of the world’s longest continuously operating distilleries.
The name of this premium quality vodka originates from the beautiful Belweder palace located in Warsaw. The owner of this palace was the Polish King – Stanislaw August Poniatowski. You should visit this place during your stay in Poland. It is a really nice place, you really will not regret it!
If you are thinking about buying a unique high-quality gift from Poland – Polish vodka Belvedere can be a great idea 🙂
Żoładkowa Gorzka is a very popular Polish brand that means “bitter vodka for the stomach”. Its production started in 1950 and we very often shorten the name to just Żołądkowa.
This vodka has a unique herbal taste and even though the name suggests it actually does not have a sour taste at all. This is the most traditional type of Żołądkowa but, of course, in the market, you can find some other variations of it such as Żoładkowa with honey, peppermint, black cherry etc.
The vodka is also famous internationally. You can find it in such countries as Australia, the USA, Germany, Spain and many others!
Soplica flavoured vodkas
So, this is my absolute favourite! Soplica has many different flavours such as
- hazelnut – my total favourite!
- black currant
- cranberry and many others!
Basically, everyone will find some flavour that they will like. As I mentioned already above, my absolute favourite is the hazelnut one. In my opinion, it tastes a little bit like Nutella but a very strong Nutella 😉
Do not get tricked by it! It is very sweet so you might think it is not strong, but actually it consists of 36% alcohol 🙂
In Poland, it’s quite common to mix the hazelnut vodka with milk, it tastes like a liqueur. But you can also drink it as a shot, if you prefer. Totally up to you!
Whatever you do, it is going to taste great 🙂
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This is another Polish vodka that is very popular, especially internationally. I have seen it even in some bars during my stay in Brazil. The vodka became popular domestically until 1873 and since then its export started to European countries.
Similarly to the other vodka brands I have mentioned above, Wyborowa also offers many variations. The most common ones are the traditional one, Wyborowa Exquisite (premium brand) or a variety of flavoured vodkas (black currant, cherry, pear and plum).
Polish Vodka Museum in Warsaw
So, I mentioned to you the 6 most popular Polish vodkas. If you would like to find out more about the history of this alcohol in Poland you should not hesitate and go and visit the Polish Vodka Museum in Warsaw.
The museum is newly opened in a very special place – Koneser Praga Center where the Warsaw Vodka factory “Koneser” used to operate and where for example Wyborowa vodka was produced.
As a visitor, you will learn about the Polish vodka tradition as well as how Polish Vodka made its international career.