Sunday, May 10, 2009

Bison Grass Vodka!

Okay, so Wikipedia has informed me that Bison Grass Vodka is popular in Poland and Belarus. The grass adds a complex flavor to the vodka, sometimes described as vanilla and chamomile, sometimes described as coconut and almond. The vodka turns a golden color and often comes bottled with some blades of Bison Grass - you know, to be like the worm in tequila, only vegetarian.

So apparently the original distiller is the Zubrowka brand. A popular Polish cocktail involves Zubrowka and unfiltered apple juice = Tantaka. Is there any coincidence between Tutanka = Buffalo (Bison) from Dances With Wolves, and Tantaka = Bison Grass Vodka + apple juice? YOU BE THE JUDGE. Bison Grass Vodka cocktails are becoming all the rage - it's like the new absinthe - now that the vodka doesn't contain the toxic compound coumarin. No wormwood thujone in new Absinthe, no coumarin in new Bison Grass Vodka. What other dubious beverage will become legal in the United States when the (allegedly) toxic element is removed?

Perhaps my landlord could have the lead water ducts replaced with copper, eh? Sometimes tap water is a dubious beverage, and sometimes it isn't. Depends on your pipes, people. Depends on your pipes.


Brian Robinson said...

FYI, the large majority of high quality absinthes available in the States (Pacifique, Leopold, Marteau, Obsello, etc.) contain just as much (and the same type of) wormwood as traditional Belle Epoque style absinthe had.

It is a common misperception that US brands have less wormwood in them because the thujone limit in the US is less than 10 mg/l. Recent studies have shown that many historic brands would actually fall below that limit as well. Many others would have fallen below the EU limit of 35 mg/l.

Thujone itself does not carry over easily into the distillate. You can use substantially more Grande Wormwood in an absinthe than what was used in the early 1900s and still fall below the limit.

Hope that helps.

Brian Robinson
Review Editor
The Wormwood Society

Lindsey said...

Thanks for setting me straight, Brian! I always appreciate some vestige of The Truth.

Looking forward to trying absinthe someday,


Brian Robinson said...

Anytime. :)

There's so much misinformation about absinthe out there that it's almost impossible to figure out what's true unless you take a LOT of time out of your day and dig deep.

It certainly keeps us busy! said...

Thanks for setting the record straight Brian.

As an absinthe connoisseur myself, I am also Polish and Zubrowka Bison Grass Vodka is the only Vodka I will drink. The real stuff goes down smooth like water. Be very careful of imposters. The only brand I will drink is Zubrowka made by "Polmos BiaƂystok".