Destinations Magazine

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

By Monkeys And Mountains Adventure @Laurel_Robbins

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.

finnish drinks lonkero salmiakki

Lonkero, my favorite Finnish drink on the left and Salmiakki which tastes like salty black licorice on the right.

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.

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 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.

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog