Drink Nordic reveals: these are the flavours Nordic bartenders love
Drink Nordic is a project that focuses on creating a more responsible, healthy relationship with drinks and celebrate the exquisite modern heritage in Nordic cocktails. The team analysed 85 local drink recipes to find out, which flavours and ingredients are the most used and loved in the Nordic countries.
Akvavit is the number one choice as the base spirits for Nordic bartenders. Akvavit is one of the few spirits that originate from the Nordics, so it makes sense that local bartender cherish it.
Akvavit has been traditionally seen as a schnaps but it is a very versatile cocktail ingredient. It works beautifully as a substitute in gin or whiskey based classics but can also be paired with other Nordic ingredients like nettle, buttermilk or pickled cucumber.
Other spirits often used in the Nordic recipes are gin and vodka. Even though these spirits are produced world wide, bartenders prefer local brands like Hernö Gin, Kyrö Distillery Company and Helsinki Distilling Company.
One of the most underestimated classic drinks from Finland is combining all of these spirits: akvavit, vodka and gin. Originally enjoyed as a schnapps, Marskin Ryyppy was invented by the adjutant of marshal Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim. Marshal Mannerheim was unhappy with the flavour of the poor quality booze that was served during dinner and he asked his adjutant to mix up something to mask the bad taste.
This drink works also as a Nordic style martini, stirred and served in a cocktail glass. We call it Marski.
20 ml akvavit
20 ml vodka
5 ml gin
5 ml bianco vermouth
Stir all the ingredients in a mixing glass until cold and balanced. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass and squeeze the aromatic oils from lemon peel on top.
Arctic berries are used in many of the Nordic drink recipes, but is was above the others: lingonberry. The Nordic bartenders combine the sour and complex flavour of lingonberry to akvavit, gin or champagne in sours, fizzes and highballs.
Birch in all forms is very much present in the drink recipes. Whether it is the leaves, sap or bark of the birch tree, Nordic bartenders seem to love it. Birch tree is an essential part of Nordic summer experience from sauna to midsummer festivities so it is no wonder why it is part of the Nordic drink culture also.
Nordic people are the biggest coffee consumers in the world, so it is not a surprise to see it in many of the drink recipes too. Coffee is used both hot and cold and paired with flavours like rye, dairy, pine, lingonberry and cardamom.
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