Have you ever wondered how Iceland’s signature drink came to fruition? The Reykjavik Grapevine recently interviewed historian Stefán Pálsson to discuss the origins of how Brennivín became a world-renowned Icelandic spirit. Read on to learn about the history of this one-of-a-kind beverage!
In 1915, Iceland banned alcohol from being manufactured, sold and consumed. However, this did not stop Icelanders from “moonshining,” or producing their own homemade liquor. Moonshining became a popular practice to fight against the government’s ban on alcohol. When the ban was lifted in 1975, the government needed to find a way to compete with the now popular homemade drinks and created an affordable aquavit: Brennivín.
Manufactured by the oldest alcohol production company in Iceland, Olgerdin, the new liquor was nicknamed “fire wine” for its signature licorice taste that comes from caraway seeds! Traditionally, Brennivín is taken as an ice-cold shot, but bartenders have been finding new ways to use the spirit, concocting various cocktails. Now it is considered the signature spirit of Iceland and enjoyed by Icelanders and visitors alike! Skál!
Have you ever tried Brennivín? Find out where you can get it in the US and Canada here! Let us know what you thought about it on Twitter!