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Poland

Beer and Vodka

Beer is becoming increasingly popular in Poland. Among the recommendable brands are Żywiec, Tyskie, Okocim, Lech, Heweliusz and Tatra. It is worth testing the other beers too: Królewskie, Warka, Piast, Brok and Żubr. Besides these, it is easy to find Czech, German, Danish or Slovak beers. In pubs beer is often served with raspberry or blackcurrant juice (piwo z sokiem) and drunk using a straw. During colder seasons the popular refreshment is hot beer with cloves and cinnamon, sweetened with honey (piwo grzane).

Vodka consumption is a bit on the wane, although it still has many supporters. Still, it is considered the drink that makes human contact easy-going and enables discussions about the more difficult topics. The name for vodka is related to “woda” (water), while formerly it was called okowita (from “aqua vitae” – “the water of life” in Latin). It goes well with herring or gherkins.

If you want to try the most famous brands, choose Żubrówka (“bison vodka”) with its characteristic bison label and distilled in Białowieża, the last bison reserve in Europe. Żubrówka has a long blade of special grass in the bottle, which gives the vodka a slight greenish shade and a special flavour. The most usual vodkas are Wyborowa, Sobieski or Luksusowa. Very special is Krupnik – vodka with honey and herbs, or Vodka Goldwasser – vodka with flakes of real gold in it.

Mead (miód pitny) is one of the oldest drinks of all Slavonic nations. It is favoured for its very delicate, sweet taste.

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