Starka Vodka

An aged vodka made in Poland and Russia. Polish version at right.

According to the Polmos Vodka Site, the tradition of aging vodka originated in Poland and goes back for many centuries. The story goes that a long, long time ago a baby girl was born. A barrel of vodka was safely buried underground. Years goes by.. and on the day of the daughter's wedding the barrel would be dug up, and set up for the wedding celebration. Imagine the surprise of the parents when they realized that there was a different vodka in the barrel. Everyone loves what the vodka, the time and the oak barrel had made. They realize that it was the aging process in the oak barrel that made this vodka so special. Beautiful golden color, a unique brandy-like taste, smooooth.. Aged for at least five years, and of limited supply, this rare Vodka has been awarded a gold medal by the world.

Further refinements are described in Classic Vodka by Nicholas Faith and Ian Wisniewski:

Poland and Russia boast the widest range of flavoured vodkas, spanning such ingredients as rowan berries, juniper, honey, pepper, lemon, blackcurrant and cherries. While some styles are produced by both countries, there are significant differences in the ingredients used. Russian lemon vodka, Limonnaya, for example, uses lemon peel, while the Polish version, Cytrynowka uses lemon tree leaves as well as lemon peel. Similarly, both countries produce Starka, an aged vodka. The Poles blend unrectified rye spirit with tiny amount of Malaga wine, which is aged for a minimum of 10 years in small oak casks. [note from the publisher:........................] The Russians combine grain spirits flavoured with an infusion of apple and pear tree leaves, together with brandy and port.