Bak’s Bison Grass Vodka is a brand of Zubrówka (Zoo-Bruhv-Ka), which is Polish vodka made from a particular type of grass that’s popular with bison. For years it was banned in America, as the grass contains trace amounts of toxic chemicals. Since neutralized, it’s now been incorporated into American-ready vodkas like Bak’s and ZU.
On the nose, Bak’s Bison Grass Vodka is full of grains, grass and creamy vanilla rather than vodka’s notorious rubbing alcohol top notes. Take a sip and taste more of that vanilla, plus notes of pistachios, cardamom and honey. It’s warm and oily on the palate and finishes with a lingering sweetness that turns dry and spicy at the end.
Notice the blade of bison grass in the bottle. Rather than being distilled from the grass, Bak’s is distilled from grains and then flavored with bison grass. But unlike most flavored vodkas, Bak’s lacks chemical overtones and tastes quite authentic. There’s also a noticeable yellowish color to the spirit. It’s unclear whether that comes from the grass itself or from an artificial coloring agent.
Overall, it’s an interesting vodka – and certainly one with flavor – but it’s not an easy mixer. Zubrówka is often served with apple juice, which works well enough, and basil with a spritz of soda seems a natural pairing. But get more creative than that and the unique flavor can muddle an otherwise drinkable cocktail.
– 40% Alcohol by Volume