Savouring Vodka in Warsaw

Photo source: ©Elixir Restaurant by Dom Wódki

We’ve often praised the long and [literally] colourful history of Polish vodka at IYP. We’ve written about variations of vodka, where to find the best places to try it, and now we’re onboard with a new cultural shift – slowly enjoying vodka.

Vodka related venues in Warsaw
Polish vodka is often used as a means to an end, to drink as quickly and as much as possible. This is not how Polish vodka should be treated. It should be respectfully tasted and savoured. Now, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that there are those in Poland who treat vodka the same way their western European counterparts treat their own national drinks. The cultural norm of drinking as quickly as possible, to pure enjoyment, is gradually changing (although there will always be hardcore proponents of the ‘bottoms up!’ approach).
Think about Scotland and the approach to whisky, which has become a cultural phenomenon in itself, with distillery tours being all the rage, drams of the water of life being enjoyed slowly, lovingly. Think about France, and how wine has permeated French culture, for they do it the right way – drinking slowly, savouring the taste, almost lovingly sipping from the glass.  OK, I’ll stop there, you get my point…
We often praise Polish vodka, its history, it’s modern-day variations, and now, proponents of treating Poland’s national drink with the respect it deserves. Now you need not just drink vodka to get your party hat on, or to wash down steak tartare to prevent a ticky belly in the many shot bars across Warsaw, oh no, now you need to try food-pairing with fantastic modern variations of Polish classics like pickled herring (śledź), sipped with fantastic variations of vodka sourced from small distilleries (as odd as it sounds, horseradish flavoured vodka is as delightful as it is unique).

To this end, if you’re in Warsaw, we wholeheartedly suggest a visit to Elixir Restaurant by Dom Wódki to experience some wonderful food with vodka to match.  If eating’s not your thing, then a visit to the nearby Vodka Museum is a must. Showcasing thousands of artifacts to accompany a thorough walkthrough of Polish vodka making history, you will not leave disappointed. With fantastic pieces ranging from a Napoleonic Soldier’s canteen, once filled with vodka for the bitter winter during the Russian campaign, to other pieces showing how vodka was produced and exported during 1930s prohibition-era U.S.A, and what consumption looked like in Poland during German occupation. Not only will you learn a whole lot more about vodka in general, you will leave with a new appreciation for the Polish spirit… and not just because there is a tasting at the end of your visit. Na zdrowie!

Vodka Venues

Elixir Restaurant by Dom Wódki

A classy establishment where you can try over 500 vodkas from around Poland and the globe.

Vodka Museum

This place aims to show you the fascinating history of Polish vodka, and to teach you how it should be respectfully, slowly sipped, tasted, and more importantly – enjoyed.

Polish Vodka Museum (Muzeum Polskiej Wódki)

located in the site of a former Vodka factory, a newly re-opened Polish vodka museum where you can learn about the history of  this wonderful spirit.

Woda Ognista

With a 1920s-30s interior decor, their seasonal menu with fantastic Polish style cocktails and dishes will take you on a journey through Warsaw’s cultural history.


Las Vegas meets the former People’s Republic of Poland in what is a brash, loud, and fun drinking den.


Located in a fantastic old building, this is a place to come and experience ‘the Polish soul’ of the 1920s. The menu harks back to simple but good Polish foods with a modern touch.

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