During my trip to Finland, I tried to be as Finnish as possible. I went snowshoeing on the Baltic Sea and dog sledding in Iso-Syöte. I traveled like a local, heck I even went ice fishing and ate reindeer meat in Oulu, Finland! So naturally my research wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t also drink like a Finn and sample a few Finnish drinks – even if I am a complete lightweight who rarely indulges in more than a glass or two of wine.
First up was Lonkero, a nice orientation into Finnish drinks. “Lonkero” is a type of premixed ready to drink alcoholic beverage. In this case it tasted like lemonade. I really liked it. It was sweet and I could imagine drinking it on a hot sunny day – yes Finland does have hot sunny days which are perfect for canoeing or kayaking, just ask GoArctic!.
My orientation to Finnish drinks complete, my host at Hotel Iso-Syöte next suggested Salmiakki, a dark drink that’s drank as a shot. I was excited to hear that it tasted like black licorice, since I’m a fan of sambuca. Salmiakki is an acquired taste though and while it does taste like black licorice, it was way stronger and saltier than any sambuca I’ve ever had. I struggled to do the entire shot as it was so strong, but I liked the essence of it.
Next up was Terva Snapsi, a liquor made with pine tar – (yes pine tar!) that has a smokey flavor. This was my least favorite, but judging by the number of different occasions it was offered to us, I’m guessing it’s a popular Finnish drink.
Research complete it was time our next dose of Finnish culture – a karaoke bar! All those Finnish drinks give many Finns the liquid courage to become performers, and karaoke bars are thriving in Finland. I decided my research was done for the night – no amount of liquid courage was going to persuade me to get up and sing.
Have you ever drank like a Finn? I would love to hear your impressions about Finnish drinks.
After a long hiatus, Food Friday is back. Check back next Friday to post a link to your own food or drink post.