Frisky Bison

674 Manhattan Ave BrooklynWhen I lived in Greenpoint, I was able to fully immerse myself in the local Polish culture by working at the bar directly below my apartment, Stone’s Tavern (RIP).

I thank the patrons for several things: introducing me to this song (although I’m less than grateful for all the Crazy Frog songs), Patron XO shots, homemade pierogies, and two traditional Polish mixed drinks.

The first is Żywiec (a common lager) mixed with “juice” – or raspberry syrup. Not something I would drink daily but it was a great combo if you’ve craving dessert, and a very common way of making less than stellar beer taste pretty good.

The other drink uses Bison Vodka (Żubrówka) – the one with a blade of grass in the bottle – and apple juice. It’s known as tatanka or szarlotka in Poland, or a Frisky Bison in English.

Maybe because apple juice is typically considered a child’s beverage, but it’s difficult to find a cocktail that uses it at all (note: ironically, milk is considered a drink only for kids abroad, so Europeans are equally perplexed by the American love of cow juice, both by the glass and in mixed drinks).

For this drink I use Polish apple juice whenever I can find it – a thick, and unfiltered juice. Since apple season has officially arrived, you can easily substitute apple cider for the juice and enjoy a tasty Polish cocktail.

I like using 1 part vodka for 2 parts juice, but it’s all up to your personal taste. Mix together well, and serve in a chilled glass. Na zdrowie!


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