Sobieski is a Polish vodka distilled from rye grown in Poland. Popularly called Sobi, it has the taste of a premium vodka but falls within the budget-friendly price range.
This vodka has a crisp and clean taste you'd expect from a country renowned for producing great vodka. It's smooth enough to drink straight and creates fantastic mixed drinks. Sobieski Vodka is a top pick for a "well" vodka that you can keep stocked regularly in the bar and, with a handful of flavored vodkas, the brand's portfolio can cover almost any vodka cocktail.
- Ingredients: rye
- Proof: 70–80
- ABV: 35–40%
- Calories in a 1 1/2-ounce shot: 109
- Origin: Poland
- Taste: Crisp, clean
- Aged: unaged
- Serve: straight-up, on the rocks, cocktails, shots
What Is Sobieski Made From?
The story of Sobieski Vodka itself is rather short but its roots are deep in the Polish heritage of vodka. The brand name is taken from King Jan III Sobieski, a 17th-century ruler who is regarded by some as "the last great King of Poland." Sobieski has been distilled in Poland since 1864, though it was not released in the United States until 2007. Today, the Sobieski Vodka brand is own by Marie Brizard Wine & Spirits.
Unlike many Polish vodkas that are distilled from potatoes, Sobieski Vodka is made from golden Dankowski rye grown in Poland's Mazowse fields. The vodka's water is naturally filtered from the Oligocene epoch springs. The vodka is distilled in a continuous column still, and the brand originally claimed that the vodka was distilled four times. That focus has changed, and Sobieski now promotes the use of continuous distillation and quality ingredients rather than the multiple distillation other brands tout in their marketing. The flavored vodkas are infused with natural ingredients.
The regular vodkas are bottled at 40 percent alcohol by volume (ABV, 80 proof), while the flavored vodkas are 35 percent ABV (70 proof). These strengths are standard in the vodka industry.
What Does Sobieski Vodka Taste Like?
Sobieski is "real vodka," a pure form of distilled spirit that is relatively tasteless while leaving your palate clean and refreshed. It does not have the heavy alcohol notes found in many of the cheaper brands.
This base vodka has an aroma that is light and fruity. The taste is nice and smooth and light, with the slightest hints of freshly harvested rye. It finishes with a semi-dry, silky fruit tone in a very short burst.
For several years in the 2000s, Sobi followed the vodka market trend and produced a seemingly endless line of flavored vodkas. The portfolio included a variety of fashionable flavors, from black cherry and cinnamon to espresso and caramel, and many took on Polish names of the flavor (e.g., Vanilia, Cynamon, Karamel). As the flavored vodka boom waned, Sobi was rebranded with sleeker, modern labels, lost some marketing clichés, and narrowed the portfolio to just a few reliable flavors.
- Sobieski Clear Vodka: The flagship of the brand, this bottling is the basic 80-proof Sobieski Vodka that is smoother than many of its similarly-priced competitors. It is the foundation for all of the flavored vodkas.
- Sobieski Estate Single Rye Vodka: In 2015, Sobieski released this premium vodka with the intent of competing with top-shelf brands. It is the same strength as the brand's standard vodka, impeccably smooth and perfect for vodka martinis. Expect to pay almost double for this upgrade.
- Sobieski Vanilla Vodka: A great vanilla-infused vodka, it has a sweet and tantalizing fragrance filled with light vanilla and cream. The palate retains that profile but gets a little sweeter and is backed by a rich, buttery texture. The finish is slightly dry and filled with a rich yet subtle caramel.
- Sobieski Cytron Vodka: The brand's lemon vodka, Cytron is an excellent citrus-infused vodka that can work in many cocktails. It has a crisp citrus aroma with lemon zest at the forefront that follows into the taste with juicy freshness. This smooth vodka finishes dry with a tart abruptness.
- Sobieski Orange Vodka: For a different citrus taste, this orange-flavored vodka is an equally tasty base for drinks. It has a ripe orange tang and well-balanced sweetness with hints of vanilla.
- Sobieski Raspberry Vodka: When a cocktail calls for a berry-flavored vodka, this raspberry offering is an excellent choice. It has the taste and aroma of real raspberries and notes of sweet vanilla and cream.
How to Drink Sobieski Vodka
Sobieski is everything you expect from a good Polish vodka. It is fantastic when chilled, so pop the bottle in the freezer for a bit and enjoy it straight. You can also simply enjoy it on the rocks or shake it with ice for a quick chill.
Any Sobieski Vodka—whether flavored or not—is an excellent foundation for mixed drinks and cocktails. At such a low price, it can easily become your go-to for everyday drinking. Enjoy the clear vodka in any of your favorite vodka cocktails, from the vodka tonic to the Moscow mule or white Russian. If you splurge on the Estate vodka, mix it into a martini or two. Try either citrus vodka in a cosmopolitan or similar cocktails with a darker fruit profile to give the drink a bright kick. And, Sobi's vanilla vodka can work in nearly every drink recipe that calls for that flavor.
Sobi's smoothness, nice range of flavors, and affordability make this brand an excellent choice for vodka cocktails. While you could stick to some of the standard and well-known drink recipes, give your next bottle of Sobieski a try in some of these creative cocktails:
- Blueberry Lavender Spritzer
- Deep Blue Sea Martini
- The Polished Princess
- Raspberry Press
- White Chocolatini