thank the bison
This is a review of Grasovka vodka from Poland. I sampled it in Germany in 2011. It’s a greenish infusion with a blade of grass in the bottle, 38% alcohol, and I thought it was a lost opportunity.
This is the one brand of Polish vodka that is particularly popular in Germany: Grasovka vodka. It’s infused with bison grass, and it has a bison on its label. Go to a German house party, and you might see people mixing this stuff with apple juice.
I have one question, though.
where is Grasovka vodka really from?
I did some digging, and I found a shiny official website called grasovka.de:
The first thing I noticed was that they must have recently redesigned the bottle. Good for them. And it said VODKA OF POLAND on the label. Okay, so Poland it is then. But wait! Why would the official website of a Polish vodka have a German domain and not a Polish one?
So I went to Wikipedia, and there it said that Grasovka vodka belonged to the German Underberg group. Apparently even the name Grasovka was a German invention. “Gras” means “grass” in German – as in the bison grass used in the infusion. Hm.
Another thing it said on the Wiki page was that Grasovka vodka was produced in Poland and bottled in Germany.
So in the end I guess it’s a Polish vodka after all.
it’s for ze Germans
The thing is this, though: my Polish friends tell me that they don’t drink Grasovka vodka in Poland. They prefer Żubrówka Bison Grass vodka, and they find it odd that anyone would drink anything else.
I decided to give both a try. Whichever I could get my hands on first.
bison grass saves the day
So I got a bottle of Grasovka vodka for about 14€/700ml. I thought the bottle design looked kinda cheesy. Also, it was a bit too colorful for my taste. The redesigned version they have on their website looks much better.
As always for a review, I sampled Grasovka vodka neat and at room temperature. The smell was interesting. It had a strong note of alcohol, but there was also something else wafting under it. The bison grass, I assumed.
Too bad I found the taste disappointing: it just wasn’t smooth enough. The bison grass flavor was there, yes, but the vodka struggled on its way down the throat, taking away from the enjoyment. The aftertaste on the other hand was excellent. Every breath through the nose filled my head with a nice, full aroma, something satisfyingly herbal.
apple juice, folks
Overall, I think an opportunity was lost on Grasovka vodka. Sure, it’s fun to mix this with apple juice, but if you want to enjoy it neat, then you might find the quality of the vodka itself to be a bit lacking.
People should spend less money on advertising and make better vodka!