5 Things to know about Vodka in Poland


Drinks writer Laura Studarus has never been a fan of vodka. In her latest article for Paste Magazine, Laura admits that her perception of the liquor changed after visiting Poland on a couple of occasions.

On het most recent visit, Laura reached out to Eat Polska food tours to help her better understand her home away from home’s drink of choice. Here’s what she took away from their time together.

Vodka was originally considered medicine, not booze

The history of vodka in Poland dates back to the middle ages. The first mention of the drink was in 1405—not as an intoxicant, but rather as a medicine, which monks referred to as “the water of life.”

There’s really not much difference between low and high end vodka

Different ingredients will render a different mouthfeel. Potato vodka is heavier and has a sharper taste, where rye (95% of Polish vodka is produced from rye) results in a lighter, smoother drinking experience. Wyborowa is one of Poland’s main vodka exports, but the only notable difference between their standard and “exquisite” line is an elegantly twisted bottle designed by architect Frank Gehry.

Flavoured vodka is a big deal in Poland

Unlike the marshmallow/cookie dough/sugar orgy-flavoured varietals that wander unchecked through university campuses across the globe, Polish infused liquors, or “nalewka,” rely exclusively on fresh fruit to create a pleasant, dessert-like aroma.

The Polish don’t drink vodka to get drunk

Wanna know why Poles are seen as having a high alcohol tolerance? Because they don’t drink to get drunk. Their trick is to sip it slowly, pairing it with plenty of salty and high-fat snacks.

The history of Polish Vodka is pretty crazy

You can read all about it here.