Here comes a list of modern and traditional Polish drinks. Under descriptions you can find some authentic recipes. Going to visit Poland and would like to taste some delicious foods not choosing on spec? You are welcome. All Polish foods listed below constitute a typical Polish menu up to this days. Therefore, while visiting Poland, one will certainly come across many of them. I wish you good luck in exploring Polish tastes and… Smacznego!
List of Polish drinks
Pronounciation: kompot [kɔ̃mˈpɔt]
Compotes are drinks prepared of fruits - usually fresh, sometimes dried. Sugar is added and sometimes cloves are used as a spice. In Poland the most popular fruits are: apples, morello cherries, currants, cherries, strawberries, pears and a rhubarb. Compote is prepared in the summer and stored for the fall and the winter time. It's served cold, together with the fruits. The glass of compote is a typical during a dinner at many Polish homes.
So-called 'susz', prepared of the blend of dried fruits is a special kind of compote. Susz, in contrast with raw fruits compotes, has a brown color, muddy look and a very peculiar taste. Susz is one of compulsory elements of the Christmas Eve supper table.
This is Christmas Eve kompot made of dried fruits - the so-called susz.
Photo from Wikipedia.
Pronounciation: oranżada [ˌɔrãn͇ˈʒada]
Orangeade is – as you probably know - a sweet, alcohol-free, carbonated drink with an orange taste (traditionally). This drink, which travelled to Poland straight from France, spread in the aristocratic Polish cuisine in the 18th century. Basic ingredients of oranzada are sugar and an orange juice or syrup.
Oranzada had its period of magnificence during the Cold War. In communist Poland, poorly and insufficiently equipped with goods of any kind, the orangeade constituted one of basic, bottled drinks available in groceries. There was a technology of producing oranzada of powdered orange juice(!). This products was sold as powder, which dissolved in glass of water gives you, at least from the assumption, a glass of oranzada-type beverage. Another one type of oranzada was sold in plastic bags which thirsty one should pierce with the straw. Today the popularity of this drink is definitely smaller, on the value for Coca-Cola and other 'international' drinks.
Top left image (from producer) depicts modern day Oranzada, quite good and cheap. Top right (by skoczek) and bottom (by klariofon) - this is a little more original Oranzada, sold in small, handy glass bottles. Looks like from communist times and has much better taste.
List of Polish alcoholic beverages
Pronounciation: wódka [ˈvutka]
Wódka, in English vodka, is a very well known pure alcohol, having its origins in Poland, Russia and Ukraine. Vodka has most oftentimes about 40% of alcohol and it is a product of distillation, thinned with water in 2:3 ratio. Vodka is produced of grains, potatoes or more rarely of sugar beets. Vodka not only in Poland and Russia belongs to the most important 'national' alcohols. Also other countries of Central and Northern Europe deal with the production of vodka, they are recognized as so-called 'Vodka belt countries'. These are the following countries of the European Union: Poland, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Sweden.
The most well-known brands of Polish vodka are: Balsam Pomorski (38%, colorless vodka ), Belvedere, Chopin (pure luxury vodka luxury, fourfold distilled, repeatedly awarded, manufactured from the specially selected variety of Stobrawa potatoes traditionally planted in surroundings of Siedlce, Poland), Danziger Goldwasser, Extra Zytnia, Luksusowa, Maximus, Pan Tadeusz (rye vodka, 40%, on the bottle there is an illustration from the first edition of Pan Tadeusz poem by Adam Mickiewicz, year 1834), Sobieski, Starka (traditional dry rye vodka, maturing in oaken barrels from 10 up to 50 years), Wyborowa, Zoladkowa Gorzka, Zubrowka = Bison Grass Vodka in English (every original bottle of Bison Vodka contains one stalk of the grass Hierochloe odorata). A well-known Dutch vodka BOLS is also produced in Poland (since 1994).
All photos from producers.
Pronounciation: piwo [ˈpʲivɔ]
Beer is an oldest and most oftentimes drunk alcohol in the world. Also in Poland beer's popularity is huge, though not equaling Czechs, Germans and Irishman who lead the way in this subject :) Brewing traditions on Polish land reach very, very old times of early Slavic people and beginnings of the Polish statehood. The oldest document recalling the Beer in Poland is 'The Polish Chronicle' by Thetmar from Merseburg. In this chronicle Polish King Bolesław I the Brave (reign: 992-1025!) was dubbed into the beer drinker.
The most popular Polish brands of beer are (in Poland): Zywiec, Tyskie, Zubr, Lech, Okocim, Warka, Debowe Mocne, Tatra. Obviously many companies produce their beers in a few equally popular varieties, e.g. Zywiec and Zywiec Porter, Warka Strong, or for types of Okocim. In Poland there is a large number of small breweries, with little market reach but producing delicious beers - definitely worth trying.
Photos of Okocim and Zywiec Porter come from Wikipedia.
Pronounciation: singular - nalewka [naˈlɛfka], plural - nalewki [naˈlɛfci]
Polish liqueurs - 'nalewka', are alcoholic extracts from fruits, spices, flowers or herbs. Nalewki usually contain 40-45 per cent of alcohol, just like vodka. However, according to many people they taste much better and are equally popular both amongst Men, as well as Women.
Top photo from Wikipedia. Bottom from producer of
Nalewka Babuni (Grandma's Nalewka).
Contrary to ordinary liqueurs, nalewkas are usually aged. Most of the nalewkas have their proper names derived either from the main ingredient or the name of the traditional place of manufacture. The recipes for nalewkas were at times kept in secret by some of the szlachta families and were only given away to the senior children upon the death of the father. Among the common main ingredients are haw, lily-of-the-valley, Cornus alba, black currant, juniper, ginger, green Persian walnut, cherries, wormwood, anise, apricots and many more. Wikipedia
Polish: singular - miód [mʲjut] pitny [pʲitɲi], plural - miody [mʲjɔdɨ] pitne [pʲitnɛ]
Mead is one of traditional Polish alcohols. In Polish it is known as miod pitny, what means 'drinkable honey'. It is produced by fermentation of honey. Meads are sometimes made with various juices to improve the taste, as well as with herbs and spices. Mead made from pure lime honey was peculiarly valued in past. It's popularity is not as high as vodka's and especially beer's, but the taste is really great. You can find and buy different kinds of Polish meads, known as 'poltorak', 'dwojniak', 'trojniak' or 'czworniak', differing in taste, alcohol and honey concentration.
First image by fr.zil and second by Brian Warren.
Third photo is from Wikipedia (by user Mohylek).
Mead was also popular in Central Europe and in the Baltic states. In the Polish language mead is called miód pitny, meaning 'drinkable honey'. In Russia mead remained popular as medovukha and sbiten long after its decline in the West. (…) In Finland a sweet mead called Sima (cognate with zymurgy) is still an essential seasonal brew connected with the Finnish Vappu (May Day) festival. It is usually spiced by adding both the pulp and rind of a lemon. Wikipedia