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Żubrówka, pronounced “zoo-BROV-ka”, may just be the most famous brand of Polish vodka in the world. With the iconic bison on the label, it is hard to miss seeing a bottle of this vodka when on display. Named after the grass eaten by the bison in the Białowieża Forest area where the vodka is made, this unique brand of vodka is now over 600 years old.
Żubrówka has been around since at least the 16th century, or at least, that is when its production was first recorded. Just two centuries later, this humble vodka was popular among both the aristocrats and the peasants. The Polmos company began to mass-produce Żubrówka vodka in 1926 but it fell under the control of the USSR before being nationalized in 1939. The brand is registered by Sojuzplodoimport/Russia and the Polmos Białystok company in Białystok, Poland.
Żubrówka currently offers seven different versions of its world-famous vodka:
Other Relevant Information
In the US, the name Żubrówka is considered a generic name, like aspirin. That means that anyone can market any product under the Żubrówka name, so double-check to be sure you are getting a true Polish Żubrówka vodka. Also, the US Food and Drug Administration does not allow the import of authentic Żubrówka because bison grass contains a natural blood thinner. Any Żubrówka sold in the US uses a herbal approximation of the flavour imparted by the Polish bison grass. This US version is sold under the name of “Zu”, short for Żubrówka.