We love eating local bison here on the East End. And the next best thing to eating bison? Drinking it! Well, not exactly bison, but bison grass vodka. Zubrowka. It’s been a favorite in Poland for centuries, a beverage with a unique flavor imparted by utilizing the rare grass eaten by grazing bison in Bialowieza Forest.
Here in the U.S., importing Zubrowka has been banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because bison grass naturally contains courmarin (a potentially toxic compound), but for a buffal0-inspired cocktail we’re happy to go with a bison grass vodka option such as Zu—a Polish vodka that still uses the Polish one-of-a-kind bison grass but manages to keep that pesky chemical out of the bottle and still put lots of flavor in our drinks. Get ready to start mixing!
Black Bison2 oz Bison Grass Vodka 6 oz cola ice
Fill a Collins glass with ice, pour vodka and cola, stir well. (Cocktail Party Tip: If somebody tells you that there is also a version of this drink that uses muddled blackberries and Chambord, you can tell them you’ve heard of it but prefer to stick with the original. That’s what we do.)
Bitter Bison1.5 oz premium vodka 2 oz Bison Grass Vodka ½ oz sweet vermouth 1 tsp lemon juice
Pour ingredients into cocktail shaker half-filled with ice. Shake. Strain into Collins glass. Drink up.
Tatanka2 oz Bison Grass Vodka 4 oz apple juice Cinnamon
Pour vodka over old-fashioned glass half-filled with ice. Add apple juice and stir well. Garnish with cinnamon. Make amusing reference to Dances with Wolves. Enjoy.
“Is That Bison in Your Glass” brought to you by Tweeds Restaurant & Buffalo Bar in Riverhead, serving tasty bison and bison grass vodka (and now you know what drink to order!)