“It smells of freshly mown hay and spring flowers, of thyme and lavender, and it is so soft on the palate and so comfortable, it’s like listening to music by moonlight ... "
For forty years this writer has faithfully believed that Żubrówka is the most perfect of the flavoured vodkas. Not only is its rye spirit as clean as a whistle, but it has a peculiar meadow-grass freshness and bouquet that most find totally disarming – even those who can’t normally handle a shot of neat liquor seem to sip it tenuously for just a moment before schlücking it down with an aaah, which is followed by a grin
And through their union, the Shoppies, their staff actually run the Australian Labor Party. Due to their stranglehold on the party, that vacuous Jacinta driving the belt and the crash register may well be your next Prime Minister.
"Any fly-byes today at all?" she'll arks. Arks Kevin Rudd and Mike Rann, I think savagely to meself. Have a noice day.
I said at the time that I nearly sprouted horns and cloven hooves on the spot. Like poor old General Custer, I could have died breathing it.
For those who came in late, the Battle of Little Big Horn was originally known as the Battle of the Greasy Grass, greasy meaning rich and sweet bison pasture. Give me greasy grass over little or big horns every time, I say.
The odd faithless detractor suggested I had smelt only my own exhalation upon my egress. And I almost began to believe them as I scoured the meadows and the vineyard headlands over the next few days, failing to isolate one single blade of anything that looked like bison grass or buffalo grass. I eventually lost my receptive capacity to detect the aroma, drenched in it as I must have been. But then we began serious tasting and there it was in the sublime white wines of Castagna and Adam’s Rib.
It didn’t take long to discover that it was banned by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms in the USA in 1978, because that beautiful aroma and flavour comes from the totally natural phenylpropanoid compound coumarin, which, like water, is not too good for humans or rats when extreme amounts are devoured.
Confession, however: I have been tipping this in as a cocktail. I've been serving it on big rocks half-and-half with cold Ku-Ding stick tea, which is the most efficacious and bitter tea in all of China. It's on a par with wormwood, which is another subject again, apart from the Pernod-Ricard link, and the little matter of thujone and absinthe. I love that stuff, too. But I reckon my Żubrówka/Ku-Ding/lime juice and ice is about the best thing I've tipped in there this year, so it cannot be the Zu.
And it IS labelled “the original bison grass vodka”.
And no. No Fly-Byes, thanks. I'm just an ordinary citizen.
We finally got a response. Aussie Żubrówka is the REAL DEAL.