vodka

The Polish Kiss

by Jen on May 20, 2011

One of my oldest friends Jessica came over and introduced me to this cocktail that stars Żubrówka, or Bison Grass Vodka.  Żubrówka, a traditional Polish spirit, is made from rye and flavored with – you guessed it – the grass that the bison munch on.

The traditional drink is made with apple juice, but on Jessica’s suggestion, we used sparkling apple cider for a less sweet variation.  Thank goodness we did!  Even without the apple juice, this is a drink to satisfy your sweet tooth.

I enjoyed how light and refreshing it was.  Tasted separately, the Żubrówka has a unique flavor that is almost nutty.   The word Żubrówka comes from the Polish word for grass and bison.  You can always find the Żubrówka among the other vodkas because the bottle contains a long strand of bison grass.

Jessica, the Żubrówka expert, assured me that this is not the best Żubrówka. I thought it was pretty good though!

The Polish Kiss

Stir 1 1/2 ounces Żubrówka with 1 1/2 ounces of apple juice or sparkling apple cider.  Jessica served it cold and up, but it would be good on ice on a hot day.

Jessica refused to take a photo with me, but I assure you, she was there.

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A Gin Bloody Mary?

by Jen on February 22, 2011

I am not one to turn down a late morning cocktail.  The Bloody Mary has long been one of my favorites, but last year I stopped drinking vodka and never looked back (well…except for once in awhile…).

The Bloody Mary is an awesome early morning drink because it’s chock full of tomato and veggie goodness.

I’m willing to bet that it’s the most nutritious cocktail out there–especially the way I make them. I love veggies so I add a few spicy green beans and olives to the traditional celery garnish.

There’s a version of the Bloody Mary called the Bloody Maria where you substitute tequila for the vodka. We haven’t ventured too far in Tequilaland (maybe we will this year!) but I was willing to swap in gin and see what happened.

I make a very imprecise Bloody Mary and don’t bother to measure all the ingredients.  Everyone likes their Bloody Maries a little different–more Tabasco, less horseradish.  I think it’s a drink that is best made to your taste.

Don't forget the celery salt rim!

The Recipe

Wet the rim of a pint glass with a lemon and coat it in celery salt.

Add some ice cubes and an ounce and a half of gin (or vodka if you’re not on board for this experiment)

Start with 1/2 teaspoon of horseradish, a dash each of Tabasco and Worcestershire, a shake of black pepper, and a squeeze of a lemon.

Stir and taste. Add more as you see fit. I at least double the horseradish and Worcestershire.

Garnish with AT LEAST a celery stick adding spicy green beans, olives and whatever you’re moved to.

ENJOY

Load that sucker up with veggies galore!

The Verdict

Disappointingly, my gin Bloody Mary tasted exactly like a vodka Bloody Mary. All the delicious flavor of the gin was masked by the strong spices. I’m going to have to look elsewhere for a favorite morning gin drink, and admit that vodka does have its place on our cocktail shelf. No point in wasting gin!

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