No lie: The provenance of “Zubrowka” is confusing. Several bison grass vodkas are on the market, and they all call themselves Zubrowka, which is the generic Polish term for the spirit. If you go looking for a brand name, you’ll find it, usually buried or hidden behind the Zubrowka label. It’s the equivalent of Jack Daniel’s putting WHISKEY in giant type and its own brand name on the back of the bottle.
ZU is Remy Cointreau’s import of this spirit, and in keeping with the rest of the market, Zubrowka is much easier to see: The large “ZU” is obscured behind a giant bison on the label.
No matter, now that we know what we’re dealing with — Polish grain vodka, flavored with bison grass (read here for backstory) — we can get to the business at hand.
ZU is light yellow in color (artificial yellow color is added), and the nose, as with Bak’s, offers citrus, herbs, and distinct pistachio character. The pistachio is stronger on the palate, but ZU offers a pleasant sweetness that comes across less like pistachio nut and more like pistachio ice cream. Not harsh, it’s creamy, with a lasting, lemony sweet finish. This is a vodka that grows on you, and I even find it pleasant as a sipper, with many possibilities in cocktails, too.
A- / $27 / zubrowka.com
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