A country loves a secret. Whether it’s a recipe handed down for generations or a production method that has stood the test of time, its origin country will be proud to say that they can firmly stamp their name alongside that brand. One such name is Davna. A Polish vodka that created from old-time recipes and causing a stir with rival brands, especially a certain bison grass vodka. So what is Davna, and more importantly, how can I say such a thing to rival established names?
Davna’s main flavour is Bizon where its secret recipe was recently unearthed by two Polish vodka connoisseurs looking to recapture the traditional, authentic flavours of old-school Polish vodkas. The rediscovered recipe for Davna Bizon has never been released, but promises ‘to capture the clean, delicate taste of bison grass, which has been used to flavour Polish vodka for hundreds of years.’
Interesting, especially to a man who loves the traditionalism of spirits and drinks. But how does it re-create these ‘traditional’ recipes?
The bizon grass is the favoured food of Poland’s bison which roam the last primeval forest in Europe. Picked in early summer, the bison grass, or Hierochloe Odorata grass, is harvested in early summer within the Bialowieza forest in Eastern Poland. The grass is harvested in full bloom then dried naturally. The dried grass is spread on screens and then gently heated and washed over with high strength alcohol for several days to ‘draw’ out the aromatic essence. It’s Czeri (cherry) flavour, the other in its portfolio, uses freshly hand-picked cherries from a Polish orchard in East and South Poland and then macerated for two weeks in top quality vodka. It is then rested for a full year in oak barrels before blending with natural extracts from cinnamon, almonds, cloves and vanilla. After this, it’s rested for a further seven days then filtered and bottled.
So with two flavours coming from traditional recipes, how do they fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes on each –
Davna Bizon – 40%
Soft herbs and light almonds on the nose, with the herbs coming through more dominant on the palate. A little sharp near the finish with a fresh ‘grassy’ flavour that lingers on a dry end.
Davna Czeri – 38%
Soft cherry on the nose with a slight cinnamon aroma. A slight spice hit on the palate to begin with the cherry just overpowering it as it develops. Rather short but warming.
Not bad on its own, and ones that can go simply with apple juice (Bizon) and coca cola (Czeri). Worth asking for if you ever came across it within your favourite bar, or indeed your own drinks cabinet.
Check out the rest of the photos, taken at Epernay, via my Facebook page.
© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.