During a recent expedition to Brooklyn, my boyfriend and I looked in the windows of Greenpoint liquor stores to check out the displays of Polish vodka. We always see lots of bottles of different types of vodka, often made from potatoes, which totally makes sense if you’ve ever had a Polish meal. But during our latest visit we noticed something new. This vodka was a light green color, it was marketed as Bison Grass Vodka, and each bottle had some of the grass floating inside it. As we were getting ready to leave Brooklyn my boyfriend mentioned that he’d be curious to try that vodka someday, and so I bought him a bottle for his birthday.
When I went online to see where I could buy it (I did find a place in Manhattan), I discovered some more information about this unusual drink. I discovered that it had been banned in the United States for years, and I also discovered that some bartenders are big fans of it and have developed bison grass-specific drink recipes.
When we examined all of the labels on the bottle, we saw that we were in for an unusual experience …
But here’s the question: What does it taste like?
My main conclusion, after trying it straight and mixed with orange juice as a screwdriver, is that it’s very very WEIRD. I also shared some with a few more taste testers, and “weird” was the #1 most used term when we tried to discuss it. The longer discussion was along the lines of it tastes strong, it smells weird, and it tastes weird. It doesn’t taste or smell like grass clippings as we know them, but there is a taste that’s very hard to define.
We still have most of the bottle left, so we’re going to check out some of those bartender recipes and see if we’ll find a recipe that helps tip the balance between weird and awesome.
This would probably be a good purchase for vodka afficionados (which, admittedly, we are not). But at the very least it definitely makes for an excellent conversation piece!