It’s not just the reputation of Polish cuisine that has undergone rehabilitation these past few years, but also that of the country’s vodka. Long seen as ‘just a quick way to get smashed’, a new understanding of the drink has formed in recent times. This reevaluation was boosted yet further by last summer’s opening of the Polish Vodka Museum, a quite stunning effort inside a historic 19th century distillery.

Spread across five thematic exhibition halls and a screening room, the nation’s 600-year-old love affair with the drink is documented in a manner that, whilst meticulously detailed, comes interlaced with dry bursts of humor. Slick and visually enticing, visits reach a zenith inside a room stacked with glinting bottles. Laid out like royal jewels, it’s difficult not to be awed by this gleaming collection of vessels salvaged from times gone by.

And the real fun, that’s probably saved to last: wrapping up the experience, visitors enter an interactive chamber in which they learn about salutation customs, test their alcohol knowledge on a quiz machine and strap on goggles that demonstrate the disorienting effects of over consumption (tip: don’t try this when hungover). More than a museum, think of this place as a calling card for the new face of vodka.

Polish Vodka Museum pl. Konesera 1, muzeumpolskiejwodki.pl

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