In Poland, drinking Vodka is not just an habit but part of a culture; here I’ll tell you where to drink Polish Vodka (the best one) and learn about this culture.
I noticed that my post about the best types of vodka that you can drink in Krakow and where to find them has been increasingly appreciated.
As I’m at the service of my readers, let me provide more insight into this much appreciated topic by listing some very special places where to drink special vodka in a special way.
Vodka Museum, Warsaw
To learn how to drink Polish vodka, let’s start from a place where vodka is narrated, illustrated and explained in its historical and cultural features. I’d like to start with a museum instead of a club because even drinking is a cultural aspect and it risks ending up in the bad practices of “drinking to get drunk” without some backup theory and illustration given by experts.
At the Museum of Vodka in Warsaw, you’ll learn that, among other things, the so-called “one shot drinking” practice or gulping down your glass of spirits all at once has got nothing to do with drinking culture.
Vodka should be sipped and it’s supposed to complement a long ending of the evening (even morning or afternoon based on the circumstances).
Elixir Restaurant, Warsaw
After having laid the foundations, we can now build up certainties. Elixir Restaurant, in the heart of Warsaw, is a real vodka atelier and offers more than 500 types of this drink, ranging from the most common products to limited editions for extraordinary occasions.
What’s more, this is the best place to try Polish traditional dishes revised in fusion and modern terms and, above all, to taste with a guided combination of food and vodka tasting.
Pubs or communist dwellings in Nowa Huta
Nowa Huta is a neighbourhood-town about 10 km from Krakow.
It is a residential neighbourhood with a nice level of urban green and long tree-lined avenues (also known as Paris of Poland). This place is actually very far from the common idea of the former Soviet suburbs.
Nowa Huta, which means “new steel plant”, has a very peculiar history: it was a sort of “showcase city” of the regime, where Poles were invited to go and live, thus proving that they preferred the pretty much advertised communist model to democracy.
Today it looks unbelievable, yet the political and ideological blocs that were tearing Europe apart in the post-war period actually used propaganda to compete with each other. Besides, working in the steel plant, although in a neighbourhood ruled by the Stalinist model, could be really appealing to a population that had been living exclusively on agriculture.
Yet, the Polish population has always been an example of resistance and resilience to both the Nazi-fascist regime, as I tell you in this post, and the Soviet communist regime. It’s exactly here that the Solidarność trade union was born and developed as the leader of the first heavy attacks on the regime.
You can find it all out while sipping the type of vodka that was served back then, sitting in clubs that still faithfully display the communist style of Nowa Huta, some of which are identical to the places back in the 50’s.
In Nowa Huta in a Trabant
If you want to learn more about this history, I suggest you choose Crazy Guides, which is a funny and comfortable way, yet also extremely accurate, to visit the place. Young and friendly guides will actually come pick you up at the hotel and drive you around in an original Trabant for less that 40 euros. You can then visit different clubs and even the houses of Nowa Huta that are still intact and identical to the past in the interior of the time.
Dwor Sierakow Estate, Dobczyce
The small and picturesque rural municipality of Dobczyce is located in the Lesser Poland Voivodeship and it is home to the wonderful Dwor Sierakow estate. It is a cozy manor-house surrounded by gardens, forests and a lot of fresh air, but also the place where the vodka named after the same estate is produced. It is basically one of the best vodka brands in Poland, if not the most important.
It goes without saying that you will have the chance to go for excellent guided tastings and to enjoy your drink next to one of the fireplaces set in the cozy common rooms, maybe after having dinner in the dining room.
The place is 100% pet friendly and it is actually really appreciated by travellers who like to bring their dogs along, even if big, when they make a trip or go on vacation.
Do you like Vodka? Have you ever tried Polish vodka?