Drink Like a Finn: Finnish Drinks You Should Try At Least Once

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Want to drink like a Finn? Here’s how:

During my four trips to Finland, I try to be as Finnish as possible.  I’ve dog sledding in Iso-SyöteI’ve driven my own snowmobile, have driven with a Finnish rally car driver. Heck, I’ve ice fishing and ate reindeer meat in Oulu, Finland! And one of my biggest challenges, I’ve cycled 1250 km across Finland.

salmiakki tastes like salty black licorice
Salmiakki tastes like salty black licorice

So naturally, my research wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t also drink like a Finn and sample a few Finnish drinks. I’m a complete lightweight who rarely indulges in more than a glass or two of wine but I was up to the challenge:

First up was Lonkero, a nice orientation into Finnish drinks.

“Lonkero” is a type of premixed ready to drink an alcoholic beverage.  In this case, it tasted like lemonade.  I really liked it.  It was sweet.

I could imagine drinking it on a hot sunny day – yes Finland does have hot sunny days which are perfect for canoeing or bird watching.

My orientation to Finnish drinks complete, next up was Salmiakki, a dark drink that you drink 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. 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.

finnish drinks terva snapsi
Terva Snapsi is a popular Finnish drink, but it was my least favorite – maybe it was the pine tar that didn’t do it for me.

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 now time for the 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 recommendations for other Finnish drinks.

drink like a finn pin