There are not many Polish products that have made a worldwide carrier more spectacular than Polish Vodka (which is spelled Wódka in Polish and is the diminutive of the word “woda” – water). Vodka (its manufacturing process and geographical indication “POLISH VODKA/POLSKA WÓDKA”), a Polish national alcoholic beverage is subject to legal protection by the Act of 18 November 2006 on Manufacturing of Spirit Liquors and Registration and Protection of Geographical Indications of Spirit Liquors.
Based on an amendment of 13 January 2013 to this act, the legal definition of Polish Vodka has been changed. According to the new provision the name Polish Vodka may be used only for vodka:
- with no other supplements than water, or flavor vodka with a dominant flavor different than the flavor of products used to produce the vodka and level of sugar not higher than 100 gram per one liter of pure alcohol;
- based on ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin and produced from rye, wheat, barley, oats, triticale or potatoes grown on the territory of Poland;
- produced entirely on the territory of Poland; and
- which may be mellowed in the storage to acquire special organoleptic proprieties.
The most significant change consists in the limitation of grains used to produce Polish Vodka which have to be traditionally grown on the territory of Poland. Furthermore, the new definition specifically indicates that all stages of the production of Polish Vodka must take place on the territory of Poland (the previous definition included only producing and bottling on the territory of Poland which theoretically allowed conducting parts of the production in other countries).
No self-respecting producer of Polish Vodka would produce vodka contrary to the definition above. Nonetheless it is always wise to look at the label and check whether you are drinking a genuine Polish Vodka. So always remember, no original Polish Vodka is made of rice or corn!