What is Brennivin?
Brennivin Aquavit is an aquavit (hard liquor) from Iceland and is kind of like the national drink of the country.
If you visit Iceland, there are two things you are very much likely to try, hakarl, and Brennivín, often together.
How is brennivin made?
It is essentially a clear schnapps made from fermented grain and potato mash while being flavoured with caraway (Persian cumin). This technically makes it brennivin aquavit. An aquavit/akavit is a Scandinavian liquor which is made from distilled grain, or mash and flavoured with herbs. Pretty much flavoured vodka. You can read about the top Polish vodkas here .
When do you drink it?
You shoot it! And you shoot it like a bad boy on special occasions, such as birthdays, weddings, or Þorrablót (porrablot?). A mid-winter festival when Icelandic people like to get drunk more than usual, and they like to drink on a regular day to be fair.
Could you drink brennivin during the prohibition in Iceland?
Yes, Iceland had the weirdest prohibition ever; basically, beer was banned, but hard liquor was OK. Oh, those crazy Icelanders
What does brennivin mean?
The word “brennivín” means “burning wine” and comes from the same root as brandy, mostly of the liquor in Scandinavia has the same root word, and sounds similar.
Brennivin and Hakarl….
Hakarl, which you can read about here is a rotten shark meat that stinks of piss, you traditionally eat a piece, and then shoot a shot to kill any leftover poison that might be there. Yes, this is very much a real thing!
Currently, travel is a bit screwed up by the whole coronavirus thing (have you seen this, have you heard about this), but we are hoping to be able to return to Iceland, and Greenland in 2021 to look at the Northern Lights, and hopefully knock back a shot, or two of the good stuff…..