Belvedere Vodka is well known for its decorated reputation. Since it was first distilled in Poland in 1993, the vodka has been representative of the country’s vodka standards, keeping its recipe additive-free and made only from ingredients of the land. But this premium vodka has humble origins: Its bare-bones recipe consists of purified water sourced from a local Polish well, and an ancient grain simmered for its distillation.
These simple ingredients are the key to Belvedere’s clean flavor, and make it a top choice for vodka Martinis, but the brand has continued to push the boundaries of what vodka can be, with several variations that focus on the terroir of Poland’s rural land. This creative approach to flavor has earned Belvedere its place among VinePair’s top-ranked vodkas several times over, even landing as one of VinePair’s 50 Best Spirits of 2021.
Here are 11 more things to know about Belvedere Vodka.
Belvedere Vodka is labeled as and considered a Polska wódka.
For a vodka to be labeled as Polska wódka (Polish vodka), it must be produced specifically with Polish grains, be made with Polish water, and must not contain artificial additives. With a simple recipe of Polish rye and purified water, Belvedere Vodka is considered to be a super-premium Polish vodka.
The Polish rye used is a special heritage grain.
Belvedere Vodka is crafted from Dankowski rye, a heritage grain with genetics that pre-date intensive agricultural production and scientific plant breeding. It’s grown in the winter months and is known for its strength and steadfast ability to withstand cold temperatures and difficult soil conditions. But despite the circumstances, this golden grain has a hint of natural sweetness to the taste and offers a softer texture than other grains, which aids Belvedere’s refined taste.
The name Belvedere has reverence and meaning.
The Belvedere Vodka name comes from two places, each with its own special meaning to the brand. It’s first named after Belweder, the Polish presidential palace in Warsaw and the illustration that appears on each bottle, its importance being the homeland of the product. But for the brand to communicate more phonetic finesse, the name decided was Belvedere, which is derived from the Italian words bel, meaning beautiful, and vedere, which means view.
Belvedere Vodka is produced in one of the world’s longest-operating Polish distilleries.
Although Belvedere Vodka was not introduced to the U.S. until 1996, its production began in Poland three years earlier in 1993 — at one of the oldest Polish distilleries. Located in the small town of Żyrardów, Polmos Żyrardów Distillery was constructed in 1910 and has exclusively produced Belvedere Vodka since the brand’s launch.
Belvedere’s Single Estate Rye Series showcases terroir in vodka.
Vodka isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about terroir. But that is exactly what Belvedere is trying to change with its Single Estate Rye Series. The series contains two expressions of vodka: Lake Bartężek and Smogóry Forest, each representing its own tastes distinct to the topography where the rye used to make the spirit is grown. Lake Bartężek is crafted from rye that is grown off the shore of a glacial lake in northern Poland and has tasting notes of spearmint, toasted nuts, and black pepper. For the Smogóry Forest expression, the rye comes from the forest lands of western Poland and has notes of salted caramel, white pepper, and honey-kissed hints.
Belvedere pushes the boundaries of vodka.
As noted on the bottle’s label, Belvedere Heritage 176 is known as a spirit drink, not a vodka. This is because it is made from a blend of 98 percent Belvedere Vodka and 2 percent of malted rye. The blending style of adding malted rye before distillation is a technique Polish distillers used in the past to add a rich and robust flavor to the vodka. In Belvedere’s Heritage 176 spirit, the malt rye brings a toasted and fruity taste that is full enough to enjoy neat.
Belvedere Vodka is award winning.
In the years since its debut, Belvedere has won numerous awards including three gold medals for vodka producer of the year from the International Spirits Challenge beginning in 2014, and a gold medal for sustainability in 2017 at the International Corporate Social Responsibility Excellence (CSR) Excellence Awards. Belvedere bottles have also been featured in our rankings, such as The 7 Best Vodkas for Martinis, The 7 Best Flavored Vodkas, The 20 Best Vodka Brands of 2021, and The 50 Best Spirits of 2021.
The Organic Infusions collection is not your typical flavored vodka.
In May 2021, Belvedere released a new collection of vodkas with natural flavor blends meant to complement, not overpower one another. The Organic Infusions collection includes three flavors: Blackberry and Lemongrass with a hint of sage, the blackberry providing acidity and sweetness that is softened by lemongrass and a hint of savoriness from sage; Lemon and Basil with a touch of elderflower, a classic culinary combination that has a bold citrus taste that is slightly sweetened by the elderflower; and Pear and Ginger with a hint of Lindon honey, in which juicy pear is subtly tamed by the ginger and rounded out with honey. The collection comes on the heels of the growing popularity of botanically infused vodkas.
It’s a socially conscious brand.
In 2011 Belvedere Vodka entered a partnership with Product Red, launching the limited-edition (Belvedere)RED bottle whose profits go toward the Global Fund that fights disease such as AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. This partnership also included campaigns with musicians like John Legend, Usher, and artists like Esther Mahlangu who designed limited-edition bottles.
Belvedere Vodka is the official vodka brand of the 24th James Bond film.
At the height of its popularity, Belvedere Vodka became the vodka of choice for everyone’s secret agent: James Bond. The brand partnered with the Bond franchise for the 2015 film “Spectre” in hope of bringing a global awareness to the vodka’s supreme quality and awarded credentials. The partnership cemented Belvedere in pop culture history, but was also a long-awaited moment for Bond fans, as many of the previous films featured Bond sipping on something other than his famous “shaken, not stirred” vodka Martini.
Belvedere Vodka is part of the LVMH group.
Known for exclusivity and luxury, LVMH is the French holding corporation with houses that encompass almost every aspect of the modern elegant lifestyle — from Christian Dior to Tiffany & Co. So it’s no surprise that, in 2005, Belvedere Vodka joined its growing list of premium spirit brands such as Glenmorangie, Hennessy, and Ardbeg.