Polish vodka Krakow has a proud past that brings in travelers from all over the world. As you explore this enchanting destination, you’ll be amazed by the variety of vodka offerings and their deep roots in Poland’s past.

In this blog post, we will delve into the fascinating history of vodka in Poland, including its early production tied to grain exports and the iconic Bison Grass and Wierzynek vodkas. We’ll also discuss potato versus grain vodka and how it has shaped the industry.

As connoisseurs of Polish Vodka Krakow ourselves, we’ll share insider tips on how to taste vodka properly, from ideal temperatures for different qualities to choosing appropriate glassware for optimal aroma capture. Moreover, our recommendations for top-notch vodka bars in both Old Town and Kazimierz (the Jewish Quarter) are sure to elevate your experience.

Lastly, discover where to shop for exquisite bottles of local spirits as well as unforgettable tours and tastings that will immerse you in Krakow’s vibrant culture while educating you about distilling traditions. Let us explore Krakow’s vibrant culture, distilling traditions, and exquisite local spirits together!

Table Of Contents:

History of Vodka in Poland

Poland has a fascinating history when it comes to vodka production, dating back centuries. Vodka evolved from a grain-based beverage into an essential part of Polish culture. Let’s explore the role of grain exports in early Polish vodka Krakow production, historic vodkas like Bison Grass Vodka and Wierzynek, and how potato production influenced the industry.

The role of grain exports in early Polish vodka production

Vodka was initially produced using grains like rye or wheat due to their abundance in Poland. Grain exports shaped the country’s economy during medieval times. As trade routes expanded across Europe, so did the demand for high-quality spirits made from these grains. This increased demand spurred the development of new distillation techniques, paving the way for some of today’s most popular spirits.

Bison Grass Vodka and Wierzynek – historic vodkas with centuries-old roots

Bison Grass Vodka is a traditional Polish vodka brand that dates back over 600 years. It gets its unique flavor from bison grass harvested from one of Europe’s last primeval forests. Another legendary brand is Wierzynek, which traces its origins back to the 14th century. It was named after a famous Krakow merchant who served this spirit at his legendary feast in 1364.

Potato vs. Grain Vodka – impact on the industry

The late 18th century saw the introduction of potatoes to Poland, revolutionizing vodka production by making it cheaper and more accessible. Potatoes were cheaper and more abundant than grains, leading many distilleries to switch their primary ingredient. Though grain-based vodkas are still thought to be of higher quality and have a smoother flavor by aficionados, potatoes have become the go-to for many distilleries due to their affordability and abundance.


Key Takeaway: 

Poland has a long history of vodka production dating back centuries, with grain-based vodkas being the most popular due to their abundance. Bison Grass Vodka and Wierzynek are two historic brands that have been around for over 600 years, while the introduction of potatoes in the late 18th century had a significant impact on the industry.

How to Properly Taste Vodka

Uncovering the secrets behind tasting vodka like a pro is essential for fully appreciating Poland’s famous spirit. In this section, we’ll delve into tips on temperature, glassware selection, and proper sipping techniques that can significantly enhance your experience when trying different types of Polish vodkas.

Ideal Temperatures for Different Qualities of Vodka

The temperature at which you serve vodka plays a crucial role in its taste and aroma. Chilling between 0 and 4°C (32 and 39°F) is the best way to experience the smoothness and nuances of high-quality vodka. Lower-quality vodkas should be served slightly warmer, at around 10°C (50 °F), to mask any harsh flavors or impurities. To achieve these ideal serving temperatures, store your bottle in the freezer or use an ice bucket with water before pouring.

Choosing the Right Glassware for Optimal Aroma Capture

Selecting the right glassware is another important aspect of enjoying vodka to its fullest potential. A small tulip-shaped glass or shot glass with a narrow opening will help concentrate the aromas while minimizing alcohol evaporation. Avoid using wide-mouthed glasses, as they allow too much air exposure, diluting both flavor and scent.

Tips for Savoring Each Sip During Tastings

  • Nose: Hold the glass close to your nose without touching it; take short sniffs rather than deep inhales to avoid overwhelming your senses.
  • Sip: Take a small sip and let it coat your entire mouth, allowing the vodka to interact with your taste buds and reveal its full range of flavors.
  • Swallow: Pay attention to the finish—how long does it linger? Is it smooth or harsh?
  • Breathe: After swallowing, exhale through your nose while keeping your mouth closed. This technique is called “retro-nasal olfaction” and helps you further analyze the vodka’s aroma profile.

Incorporating these tips into your tasting routine will ensure that you fully appreciate each sip of Polish vodka during Krawl Through Krakow, enhancing both your knowledge and enjoyment of this iconic spirit.


Key Takeaway: 

Learn how to properly taste Polish vodka like a pro during your pub crawl in Krakow by following these tips on temperature, glassware selection, and sipping techniques.

Best Vodka Bars in Krakow’s Old Town

Head to Krakow’s Old Town for an unforgettable vodka experience if you’re a fan of the spirit. Here are three top-notch recommendations for experiencing traditional Polish vodkas:

Wodka Cafe – small but mighty selection served with flair

Wodka Cafe may be small, but it boasts an impressive array of over 100 different types of vodka from Poland and beyond. The knowledgeable staff will guide you through their menu while providing interesting tidbits about each spirit. With its intimate atmosphere and diverse offerings, Wodka Cafe is a must-visit spot for any vodka enthusiast.

Ambasada Sledzia – pairing pickled herring with shots

Ambasada Sledzia, or Herring Embassy, offers a truly authentic Polish experience by combining two local favorites: vodka and pickled herring. Their extensive menu features various flavored vodkas alongside delicious herring dishes like marinated fillets or tartare-style preparations. Don’t miss your chance to indulge in this traditional combination.

Miedzymiastowa – industrial-chic setting featuring over 100 varieties

Located within walking distance from the Main Market Square, Miedzymiastowa Bar & Bistro offers an inviting industrial-chic ambiance perfect for enjoying some high-quality spirits. With over 100 different types of vodka on their menu, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Be sure to ask the friendly bartenders for recommendations or try one of their creative cocktails.

If you’re looking to sample the finest vodkas Poland has to offer, head over to one of Krakow’s Old Town bars for an unforgettable experience. So why wait? Grab your friends and embark on a night filled with delicious drinks and great company.

Top Vodka Bars in Kazimierz (Jewish Quarter)

Experience the best vodka Krakow has to offer by exploring Kazimierz’s vibrant nightlife scene. This historic district boasts an eclectic mix of bars, perfect for those looking to try creative cocktails or homemade infused spirits based around classic Polish vodkas.


If you’re searching for a more laid-back experience, head to Entropia. This colorful spot specializes in homemade infused vodka tastings, allowing patrons to sample flavors ranging from fruity concoctions to spicy delights. Their friendly bartenders are always happy to recommend pairings based on your preferences.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore these top vodka bars in Kazimierz as you Krawl Through Krakow. Each venue offers a unique experience that showcases the versatility and rich history of Polish vodka Krakow.

Vodka Shopping in Krakow

When in Krakow, you have to bring back some of Poland’s famous vodka as souvenirs for your peeps. In Krakow, you’ll find plenty of stores offering a variety of Polish vodkas at great prices for your souvenir shopping. Here are some top picks:

Szambelan Store & Staropolskie Trunki – taste before you buy

Szambelan Store and Staropolskie Trunki offer a unique shopping experience by letting you sample various vodkas before making a purchase. This way, you can choose the perfect vodka for your taste buds or your gift recipients.

Regionalne Alkohole – wide variety in Kazimierz district

If you’re exploring the vibrant Kazimierz district, don’t miss Regionalne Alkohole. This shop has an impressive collection of regional spirits, including many hard-to-find varieties from small-scale producers across Poland.

Aside from these specialty stores, there are also numerous liquor stores scattered throughout Krakow where you can find popular brands like Bison Grass Vodka and Wyborowa Exquisite Wodka. But if you want something unique or handcrafted, check out our recommended spots above.

  • Tips for selecting the perfect vodka souvenir:
  • Choose a vodka that represents the region you visited, such as one made from local ingredients or produced by a nearby distillery.
  • If possible, opt for a bottle with unique packaging or design to make it an eye-catching gift.
  • Consider purchasing flavored vodkas for those who may not enjoy traditional vodka.

Wherever you decide to shop for Polish vodka in Krakow, remember to pack your bottles carefully when traveling home. You don’t want any unfortunate accidents ruining your precious souvenirs. And of course, always drink responsibly and share these delicious spirits with friends and family while recounting tales of your unforgettable trip to Poland’s beautiful city of Krakow.


Key Takeaway: 

Krakow is known for its famous Polish vodka, and there are many specialty shops where you can find a wide selection of vodkas at great prices. Some top picks include Szambelan Store & Staropolskie Trunki, which allows you to taste before buying, and Regionalne Alkohole in the Kazimierz district with an impressive collection of regional spirits from small-scale producers across Poland. Remember to choose a vodka that represents the region you visited and pack your bottles carefully when traveling home.

The Best Vodka Tours and Tastings in Krakow

Embark on a spirited adventure by participating in one of the many guided tours or tastings offered throughout Krakow. These experiences allow you to dive deep into Poland’s famous vodka culture, learning about its production, history, and traditions while enjoying samples at some of the city’s top bars.

Krawl Through Krakow Vodka Tour

Welcome to the Krawl through Krakow Vodka Tour, where you can embark on an extraordinary journey through the rich traditions and captivating history of Polish vodka. This tour offers a truly immersive experience that goes beyond simply sipping the spirit. It’s an opportunity to delve into the stories and legends that have shaped this iconic Polish tradition.

During the tour, you will be guided by knowledgeable and enthusiastic experts who will regale you with funny anecdotes and fascinating historical accounts. They will introduce you to the various production processes that make each vodka distinct, showcasing the meticulous care and attention given to every step. One of the highlights of the tour is getting to sample a wide variety of vodkas. From traditional classics to innovative flavors, you’ll have a chance to indulge your taste buds and discover your personal favorites. Alongside each tasting, you’ll learn about the origins and unique characteristics of each vodka, deepening your appreciation for its craftsmanship and artistry. 

But this isn’t just any tasting experience – it’s a celebration of Polish vodka Krakow and vibrant social culture. As you engage in conversation with fellow participants or locals, gain insights into customs like “Na Zdrowie!” (cheers) or other rituals associated with this beloved drink. You’ll witness firsthand how vodka brings people together fosters camaraderie!

FAQs in Relation to Polish Vodka Krakow

What is the #1 vodka in Poland?

The top-ranked Polish vodka is often considered to be Belvedere, known for its high-quality ingredients and smooth taste.

What is unique about Polish vodka?

Polish vodka Krakow stands out due to its strict production regulations, ensuring a minimum of 40% alcohol by volume (ABV) and using only traditional grains or potatoes.


Looking for the perfect vodka? Look no further than Polish Vodka Krakow – with a rich history and numerous bars to choose from, there’s something for every vodka enthusiast. Did you know that grain exports played a significant role in early production, or that the impact of potato versus grain vodka on the industry is still felt today? Properly tasting vodka requires attention to temperature and glassware but with top-notch bars like these offering unique selections and experiences, your taste buds will be thoroughly satisfied. And don’t forget about tours like Krawl Through Krakow for an amazing time.