If you are a wine gourmet (or other spirits), you will have to deal with the fact that Polish parties are dominated by vodka. Beer fans should considered themselves lucky because this alcohol is treated as a starter. Real fun begins when a chilled bottle of at least 40% alcohol is opened. How do we drink vodka in Poland? There is no philosophy about it, still, you must remember about several rules.
In Poland, vodka appears on tables during family parties, weddings, in restaurants, clubs and house parties. This alcohol is universal ‒ you can use it to create various drinks. Still, the statement that Poles love drinking it in its pure form is absolutely accurate. Well-chilled alcohol is the basis.
The best idea is to put it in a freezer as soon as you buy it ‒ vodka will not freeze, it will be dense and perfect for drinking. We do not add any ice cubes to pure vodka (without any additions and flavours). It is drunk usually in 50 ml glasses (ladies use 25 ml ones more often) because, according to a common belief, vodka must be drunk bottoms up. Before the first round, we shout “na zdrowie!” [cheers] (you can come across various toasts depending on the occasion, for example: “sto lat” [happy birthday], “no to siup” [here goes] or “do dna” [bottoms up]). Poles do not like washing down vodka. We often chase it with starters: herrings, pickles or sausages.
Sometimes, various drinks based on vodka and other beverage are made. In such case, you can add some ice cubes and even a small umbrella. Polish women like the so-called colourful vodka, foreigners are also fond of it because it contains less alcohol ‒ usually around 32-36%. The most favourite ones are: cytynówka [lemon-flavoured] and wiśniówska [cherry-flavoured]. Nowadays, the market is flooded by lots of exotic flavours, for example: ananasówka [pineapple-flavoured], antonówka [apple-flavoured] or żurawinówka [cranberry-flavoured].
You must be careful when drinking with Poles. The tradition of drinking vodka in Poland is really long. Poles drink much and often, it is really hard to keep up with them. We suggest skipping rounds from time to time.
The most popular vodkas in Poland are: Soplica, Żubrówka, Finlandia, Żołądkowa, Gorzka and Bols. Prices depend on the brand. Usually, a 0,5 litre bottle costs 30 zlotys. It is a purely approximate price.