”The Polish (like the Russians) drink their vodka like other drink water”. That is an assumption that is often heard. And I believe that there is more vodka sold in Poland than in other countries. So what’s better than to have a vodka tasting while in Poland? We got to take part in one while in Gdansk. This is our experience!
Polish Vodka Tasting
Our evening started off with a tip to minimize the risk of getting a hangover. You should always start with the weakest vodka and work your way up to the strong stuff. Not sure if it works or not but it sounds logical.
We had our dinner at Corréze in Gdansk so our tasting started there. Krzysztof and Jan came to our table and started with some vodka history. It was really informative and interesting. I love the fact that it was not just to drink shot after shot. We got information about everything we drank and about vodka in general.
Did you know that the origin of vodka is said to be from Poland but that the Russians are better at producing it? And did you know that the word alcohol means a purified substance in Arabic?
Vodka tasting at Corréze, Gdansk
Our first shot was Ostoya, a 50% wheat vodka. It was served cold but not ice cold. It turns out that if you serve the vodka ice cold you will not taste the flavor. Good to know because we always serve our vodka ice cold so no more!
The Ostoya was good but not as good as the second shot that we got. The Belverde is a VIP vodka in Poland and you could taste that too. It was way smoother in taste and did not have the acetone after flavor that many vodkas have.
So far so good. All of us in the group were drinking the shots. And then we were off the next place for some more tasting.
Vodka tasting at Polskie Kino, Gdansk
The Polskie Kino is a shot bar in Gdansk. This place is like a “pre-party” = you come here and have some drinks before you go out dancing. I loved this place. Even if it was packed with people and we had to shout to be able to hear each other, this place had the coolest tables ever. They were all made out of posters from famous movies.
At the Polskie Kino, we started with a shot of Truskawkowa. Translated that means strawberries. And the vodka tasted like fresh strawberries. It was 20% alcohol but the flavor was more just from the strawberries. This was my favorite of all times and I wish that I could buy a bottle of that vodka. Unfortunately, the Truskawkowa is made at the bar. However, if you are in Gdansk, make sure to go to the bar and try this vodka out! Our second shot at this bar was Orzechówka. This was 20% alcohol with the taste of nuts. The smell of this one was like in a candy store and it had a strong nutty taste. Really good if you ask us.
At this point, some of us started to just take a small sip and not the whole shot. And everything that was left in the glass, slipped down our guide Krzysztofs throat. I believe that we all in silence agreed on getting him drunk :).
Vodka tasting at Tabaka bar, Gdansk
Our last stop was at the Tabaka bar where we got to try the real Tabaka Shot. The bar is located in, what used to be the oldest pharmacy in Gdansk. This place is very popular and is always crowded. We were here to try the famous Tabaka shot. This shot includes snorting tobacco into your nose and then taking a shot of 40% alcohol vodka. Ok so this was a first for me and I freaked out when I heard that I was supposed to snort the tobacco. The tobacco that is going up your nose is not the regular tobacco but super dried and then pulverized. Do I need to tell you that I felt like a junkie?!
Tabaka Shot is supposed to be snorted
Mini took his shot without snorting the tobacco. I felt the need to try and it hurt my nose. The tobacco is strong and I couldn’t take it all. The best part was that when I complained that my nose hurt – Krzysztof told me that I had hurt my nose on the straw that I was snorting the tobacco with. Hahaha yeah right! The Tabaka Shot turned out to be a hit amongst most of our company. Poland is thinking of banning the Tabaka but so far you can buy it in several stores. Some of our friends even wanted to buy some Tabaka to bring back home. They said that it cleared their nose and made it easier to breathe. However, Mini and I did not like it!
The final shot was Zubrówka that is somewhat of a signature vodka for Poland. The vodka is made out of rye and has a straw inside. The color of the vodka becomes more yellow and they say that it’s because there is pee on the grass that bisons leave behind. Not sure if it’s true but the vodka is ok to drink.
Party group at the press trip
I feel pretty safe saying that we all were very satisfied with the vodka tasting. Some of us had a few more shots before heading back to the hotel. We got our wish with getting our guide drunk. Yes, he was wasted by the end of the evening. Monika (our dear friend) liked the Tabaka Shots and even if we were tired since we have been touristing all day – we all stayed up and had a great vodka tasting.
I’m not sure how professional we were as journalists at the end but one thing’s for sure – We had a great time!
Book your own vodka tasting
The tasting was done by experience Poland. If you are not uptight we definitely recommend them for your vodka tasting while in Poland. The company organizes different nightlife tours in different cities. They have been on the market since 2011 and they already have 12 000 + happy customers. Visit their website at www.xperiencepoland.com