Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Vodka Cocktails

Count of Żubrówka

Count of Zubrowka cocktail in a Collins glass over ice, garnished with an apple slice fan / Tim Nusog

The Count of Żubrówka is an original cocktail from Sean Kenyon, the all-star bartender behind fine Denver establishments like Williams & Graham and Occidental. It features bison grass vodka, fresh lemon juice, Amaro Montenegro and hard apple cider for a refreshing combination that’s perfect for summer sipping.

Bison grass vodka, or Żubrówka, is a spirit that has been distilled in Poland since the 16th century. The name comes from the bison herds known as Zubr that graze the grass in Poland’s Bialowieza forest, and over the years it became a favorite drink of Polish royalty. The flavorful vodka contains flavors of almond, vanilla, coconut and fresh-cut grass (Kenyon uses the brand ZU, which features a blade of bison grass in every bottle), and is often consumed neat or mixed with club soda or apple juice.

Rather than apple juice, Kenyon opts for hard apple cider, which lends extra octane to the cocktail. Fresh lemon juice provides balance, while bittersweet Amaro Montenegro brings herbal notes and a citrusy orange character. Put it all together, and you get a tall, thirst-quenching drink fit for royalty.


  • 1 1/2 ounces ZU bison grass vodka

  • 3/4 ounce Amaro Montenegro

  • 1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • 4 ounces Ace hard apple cider

  • Garnish: apple slice fan


  1. Add the vodka, Amaro Montenegro and lemon juice to a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice.

  3. Top with the hard apple cider, and garnish with an apple fan.

Apple Fan

Stand an apple upright, and cut a chunk from the side, being careful to avoid the core and seeds. Lie the apple chunk face down, then halve it so that the apple flesh is exposed. Cut four thin slices from the exposed side. Place the apple pieces together, pierce them with a cocktail pick about one third of the way from the bottom. Then fan them out and place in your drink, resting the cocktail pick on the rim of the glass.