Toast to Warsaw!
“Na zdrowie!” (Cheers) is an expression many foreigners visiting Warsaw soon learn, especially when there’s a chance ot pop out in the evening for a beer or cocktail. Beer-lovers will find a number of well-stocked multi-taps in Warsaw serving a large variety of craft brews from Poland and abroad. Many are brewed in small breweries using time-honoured, traditional methods.
The tipple most associated with Poland is vodka, a strong drink obtained through the fermentation and distillation of grain or potatoes. Apart from such well-known vodka brands as Chopin and Belvedere, also appreciated far beyond Poland’s borders is Żubrówka, a vodka flavoured with a strand of bison grass.
Another high-proof Polish speciality are cordials, aromatic tipples obtained by steeping fruit, honey and/or herbs in strong alcohol.
Although vodkas and cordials are usually drunk alone or with small bite-down snacks, in recent years restaurateurs have taken an interest in them. Some have added selected types of noble tipples to their dinner menus. Such a proposal has been extended to guests by Restauracja Elixir by Dom Wódki, known for its especially well-stocked bar.
A visit to Warsaw is also a good opportunity to sample Polish cider. Poland is Europe’s biggest apple producer, and the Mazowsze region (of which Warsaw is the regional capital) is known for its extensive orchards. Owing to its popularity, cider is widely available in retail shops and bars alike. Connoisseurs have taken note of craft cider produced according to age-old methods from old, local varieties of apples. Polish wines are an interesting bit of little-known trivia. They may be sampled in some restaurants and wine bars.