Zubrowka is a Bison Grass infused vodka from Poland and its national spirit. Until recently this vodka was not available in the USA. Apparently Bison Grass is classified as a carcinogenic and was banned. I am not sure that what is sold today as Bison Grass Vodka in the USA even has Bison Grass in it?
When Joy and I visited Poland last summer, this was the first spirit I tried there. We went to dinner in the Jewish Sector of Krakow and it was on the menu. I ordered it neat, but the friends we were with had the waitress bring a side of apple juice. In Poland, this is served with apple juice. I’m using the bottle Marcin brought to me for Christmas so I am reviewing the real Zubrowka. On this visit, Marcin brought me a bottle covered in grass. This is popular as a gift during the holidays.
The vodka is a clear, pale yellowish green color like you would expect a grass infused spirit to look. There is enough body that it does slide down the tasting glass slowly.
The bottle has a very nice Bison on the label. There is even a blade of bison grass inside, which is a little darker, yellowish green. The bottle is also embossed with blades of grass. The label is all in Polish, so I am having a hard time reading it.
The alcohol level for this spirit is 37.5 ABV, which is 75 proof for us in the States.
The taste has a cinnamon-like quality with vanilla and green grass tones with a sweetness. It’s not so grassy that you think your a cow though. It is smooth throughout the drink and the bison grass really comes out in the aftertaste in a pleasant way. In Poland, I did drink most of it with apple juice and it went well with that. But this spirit is very drinkable neat. Ice does not inhibit the taste or smells at all. So you will not hurt the taste by icing it down. It is still slightly sweet with the bison grass spice coming through.
Since I did not have apple juice as a mixer, I used ginger ale with the Zubrowka. I guess I made a Bison Grass High Ball. A High Ball is any spirit mixed with a carbonated mixer.
Bison Grass High Ball
- 1 1/2 oz Zubrowka
- 6 oz Vernor’s Ginger Ale
Mix vodka and ginger ale and add ice.
It was a nice surprise to taste how well these mixed together. I thought the ginger ale would overpower the drink. The bison grass spice complemented the ginger ale.
So I’ll sit here and enjoy the rest of Bison Grass High Ball in the 12 Bar Blues Bar.