What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you think of the best Polish drinks? I bet it is vodka.
However, there are many more interesting drinks from Poland that are worth mentioning. I gathered here the most popular, loved, and known among Poles. From the fruit kompot to alcoholic śliwowicka łącka- we have covered it all.
I divided this article into 2 sections: the first part is only about the non-alcoholic drinks that are great for people of all ages.
In the second part, I listed the most popular Polish drinks that are for adults only.
Are you ready? Here we go!
Non-Alcoholic Polish Drinks
Easy to make, delicious, and healthy.
Kompot has 3 simple ingredients: fruits, water, and (optionally) a sweetener. You can serve it cold, usually with dinner or lunch.
The first of many fermented beverages on our list of the best Polish drinks!
Kwas chlebowy is made of yeast, fermented bread, sugar, and water.
The drink is really healthy- it supports digestive processes, and reduces bloating and constipation. On top of that, kwas chlebowy perfectly hydrates and quenches thirst in the greatest heat.
At first kwas chlebowy was a drink of poor people, simple and cheap to prepare. However, over time, the higher class and the monks also appreciated this drink. Generations were passing the recipe from one to another, but sadly, industrially produced colorful drinks replaced once common kwas chlebowy. Kwas chlebowy has a sweet and sour taste with a bit of bitterness as well, you can sense the smell of yeast in it too.
It’s basically fermented milk. Even though it may sound disgusting, it’s the healthiest Polish drink and one of the healthiest drinks in the world.
Rich in natural bacteria, it will help your guts work well. Specialists recommend drinking kefir during antibiotic therapy.
In Poland, kefir is usually drunk as a snack or served with mashed potatoes and fried eggs for dinner.
Although kefir is not originally Polish, as it comes from the North Caucasian regions, you might want to know, that the Polish version of Kefir contains a lot fewer calories than kefir from other places.
It’s very similar to kefir, however, the taste is milder.
Maślanka is what is left in the process of making butter out of milk. It has fewer calories than kefir, however, it’s not as healthy as its older brother.
Maslanka doesn’t only come in its original version, there is plenty of variations, and usually, they have the tests of fruits. The most popular one is maślanka with strawberry flavor.
Zakwas Buraczany (Beet Kvass)
Last but not least- a traditional Polish drink that is made of fermented beetroots, salt, garlic, and water. The tradition of making Beet Kvas is related to the history of displaced people who came to Western Pomerania after World War II from pre-war eastern Poland, bringing with them their culinary achievements.
It supports body cleansing and strengthens the immune system. See my fermented beet juice recipe (follow the link).
Alcoholic Polish Drinks
Now let’s jump into the best Polish drinks that are not for kids. Number one is, of course, vodka!
For many, Polish vodka is the absolute best in the world. It can be made of grains or potatoes. Best served cold, with juice or ogorek kiszony. It’s a must at every Polish wedding, birthday, or any other party. Some high-quality vodkas come in very fancy bottles and they can make a really good gift for a vodka fan.
One bottle costs as little as $5.
Poles like the beer cold, straight out of the fridge. In the wintertime, we drink mulled beer.
Polish beer is stronger than in other countries in the world- it’s ranging from 5% to 12% ABV.
What may be surprising, many Poles like drinking beer with syrups (ginger or raspberry syrups) through the straw.
Grzaniec Galicyjski (mulled wine)
In the wintertime, Poles love to warm up with a glass of Polish mulled wine. As a drink of highlanders, it is very strong and can not only warm you up but also cheer you up.
The most popular brand is Grzaniec Galicyjski. The wine is sweet and seasoned with cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and honey. You can typically serve it with oranges and cloves.
Szarlotka (apple pie coctail)
You only need two ingredients to make this super-simple drink.
- apple juice
- zubrowka (Polish bison grass vodka)
Traditionally served with ice, it’s definitely one of the best Polish drinks to try!
As a variety, you can try to sprinkle the top of your drink with cinnamon.
Miód Pitny (Mead)
Centuries ago, nobility and knighthood loved miód pitny.
Old Polish recipes are still in use and we can still enjoy those drinks with the same taste that kings drank in the old days.
Literally translated as a “drinking honey”, this Polish alcoholic drink is made of fermented honey and water.
Miód pitny can be drunk both hot and cold. It is delicious, and you can drink them without any additives.
In old times miód was served in clay mugs, today it is served with a white wine glass.
Depending on the type, the ABV is ranging between 3,5% to 20%.
Rosolis and Nalewka
Polish sweet liquors are famous all over the world.
The most unique is rosolis which is exclusively produced in one factory in Poland from an over-hundred-year-old recipe.
What is nalewka? It’s basically a vodka made of fruits, flowers, herbs, nuts, or even candies. The most popular are:
- Rose rosolis
- Herb rosolis
Śliwowica and Bimber
Usually homemade, this alcoholic Polish drink is really strong (up to 70% ABV). If you have not tasted it before, make sure to have something to bite or drink right after you have it.
Made of grains, potatoes, grains, candies, sugar, or virtually anything else, bimber is a must-served at every Polish wedding (but not only!). At a polish wedding, you will often find a side table, with many traditional drinks displayed. You can taste away as much as you like, but remember the percentage of alcohol consumed will have an impact on you.
Surprisingly, the taste is milder than vodka, so you don’t actually feel how strong the drink you’ve just had is.
The most popular type of bimber you can find in Poland is śliwowica łącka which is made of plum. If you go to visit South parts of Poland, someone will surely offer you this drink to try on.
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