Finland: We Taste Beverages
On of the first thoughts on beverages in Finland“ is vodka by all means. However, trust me there is a lot more to drink in Finland
Alcohol – beloved and forbidden
The popularity of alcoholic beverages is indeed high, and therefore its consumption is regulated by the state. Alcoholic beverages are of course available in local restaurants, pubs and bars for people over 18 years old, but if you want to buy alcohol in shops, it's not so simple.
Spirits are available only in the state owned shops Alko, and only to people of 20 years of age or older. Alkos are usually open Mondays to Saturdays and they offer broad variety of spirits from all around the world.
Beer and wine can be purchased in normal shops. But beware! The sale is only possible within 21 hours, then the shelves with alcohol are locked. Too bad for the thirsty. Another significant restrictions are, of course, high taxes, so be aware of that when buying alcohol you have to dig a little deeper into your pockets.
Now we will speak about the drinks. As for alcoholic beverages, most of the Finnish population prefers wine to beer. Finns obviously drink foreign wine. Because of local weather conditions, it is impossible to grow vines. You can buy Finnish beer in stores, but the taste will probably not be good. It is very light, has fewer bubbles and lacks the proper bite and thick white foam. Among the most famous Finnish beer brands are Lapin Kulta, Karhu, Karjala, Koff or Sanders. Czech patriots will be pleasantly surprised that almost in any store where they sell alcohol you can buy Czech beer ( Kozel, Pilsner Urquell or Litovel). The price wont be of nice surprise because it costs around 3 euros for a pint can. Also, ciders are popular in Finland as well. There are many flavors available in shops, from classic apple, raspberry to grapefruit and, of course, their “light” variations.
A typical Finnish spirits are actually represented mainly by vodka despite the fact it has roots in neighboring Russia. The most popular and well-known brands are Finlandia or Koskenkorva . The choice is much more variable, but most people prefer aforementioned brands. Classic pure vodka adopted a variety of flavors. You can purchase such as blueberry, cranberry, peach or vanilla. Popular for Finland are typical flavors like mint ( menthol) or Salmiakki (a flavor of salty liquorice). p>
For Finland are also specific liqueurs from a variety of Nordic berries. The most often seen are liqueurs with blueberries, cranberries, raspberries or with mulberries.
Soft drinks are very popular in Finland, especially cranberry juice . This sweet pink drink with a slightly wry "tail" is a traditional item on Finnish dinner tables. During the winter season and especially during Advent and Christmas it appears on the shelves of the Glögi shop as a variation to mulled wine. In Finland, however, it occurs more frequently in an alcohol-free form. Soft Glögi contains fruit juice instead of wine that is spiced with cinnamon, cloves, ginger and often enriched with raisins and almonds.
Coffee also enjoys wide popularity in Finland. It is traditionally prepared by using filters. Finns are big coffee drinkers and universities have even unwritten rule of coffee breaks. Typical Finnish coffee is very weak and has a bland flavor.
Very popular and in Finnish households indispensable beverage is milk, classic and sour as well. You can read more on the popularity of milk and milk products in general in some of our previous articles.
Text/photo: PhDr. Josef Levý
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