Looking for a cool Ukrainian gift to show off to your friends when you get back home? Why not be the “toast” of the town and return with a bottle of Ukrainian horilka (vodka)? Ukrainians pride themselves on making some of the finest vodka on the planet, so why not bring some back for your own loved ones to try?
The old adage that ‘you get what you pay for’ doesn’t ring true when it comes to Ukrainian horilka. Despite being some of the finest quality vodkas on the planet, you’ll only have to shell out a few dollars for a bottle.
Khortytsia – hailing from the Cossack capital of Zaporizhzhia – is the world’s third-largest vodka producer by sales. And when you have a taste for yourself, you’ll see why. The company sold over 8 million cases in 2017, behind only Absolut and Smirnoff. Other popular local brands include Nemiroff, Morosha, and Kozatska Rada. If you’re looking for an elite purchase, try Staritsky Levitsky.
You’ll be able to find vodkas in all shapes, sizes, and flavours. Ukraine is well-known for its honey pepper vodka, complete with a pepper at the bottom of the bottle. Like the worm at the bottom of the tequila bottle, only the brave eat the pepper.
You can also find several “semi” vodkas, or aperitifs. Medovukha (honey vodka) and Pertsivka (hot pepper) are the most popular, but we challenge you to try Khrinovukha (horseradish) or Chasynkivka (garlic). Vyshnivka (cherry) is easy on the palate and a popular souvenir. We recommend Pyana Vyshnya (Borysa Hrinchenka 2/1) which comes in fancy collector’s packaging.