Gotta be honest, I had never heard of these until they were pitched to me this week. The “Finnish Long Drink” is apparently the most popular alcoholic libation in Finland. That’s how it was pitched to me. I said (being in a grumpy mood on a Monday morning) “Uh…and I care…why?. Just please tell me it’s not some celebrity-endorsed nonsense.” My rep looked at me and was like….”So here’s the thing….”
Yeah, so it is celebrity-endorsed (Miles Teller, DJ Kygo, and Rickie Fowler), which is often sorta a deal-breaker for me, but I figured we might as well give it a shot anyway. I mean, Finland has some fun local libations (Sahti or Aquavit, for example), so why not? So what exactly is it?
From the producer:
“Long drink” is a top selling category of alcohol in Finland –
a legendary taste that is now available in America. The roots of long drinks go back to the 1952 Summer Games in Finland, when the country of only 4 million people was still recovering from World War II. Concerned with how to serve drinks quickly enough to all the visitors, the government commissioned the creation of a revolutionary new liquor drink, and so the first long drinks were born. Now this legendary taste has finally been brought to America by the next generation of Finns who want the world to experience the refreshing and unique Finnish Long Drink.”
So what are they like? To begin, these are not seltzers; they’re all gin-based, which is perfect for summer! Furthermore, whilst they’re inspired by the traditional Finnish cocktail, these are made right here in the USA.
Traditional Citrus-Gin with natural grapefruit and juniper berry flavors and carbonation. 5.5% abv. The nose explodes with grapefruit zest, with just a hint of juniper underneath. On the palate, it’s 95% grapefruit, with the slightest suggestion of earthy bitterness, either from the gin or from the juniper. Super-refreshing, no real bite, perfect for summer!
Zero Sugar-Similar to the Traditional Citrus, but with sucralose, zero sugar and zero carbs, and only 99 calories. 5.0% abv as opposed to 5.5%. This is similar to the Traditional, but with a more reserved nose and palate, with just a hint of the telltale sucralose character. That said, it’s a fantastic low/no-carb option!
Cranberry-Gin with natural cranberry and other natural flavors and carbonation 5.5% abv. The nose shows candied cranberries, light, tart, and berry-sweet. Sweet/tart red berry and very subtle gin in the background. Tastes like summer!!
Strong Citrus-Gin with natural grapefruit and juniper berry flavors and carbonation. 8.5% abv. This has the same bright grapefruit zest character as the original, both in terms of aroma and flavor, but with a higher alcohol level and a touch more juniper/gin character. This one could be very sneaky.
The verdict? These may not be groundbreaking, but they are super-refreshing and tasty…perfect for summer! Drink cold or over ice. There’s very little gin character here (i.e. juniper/spice/etc) but there’s a bit more complexity than a vodka seltzer. Another strength here is the fact that, unlike a lot of canned cocktails, there’s no ‘cheap spirit burn’ here. Looking for something new and fun to drink on the boat or poolside? Give these guys a try!!
$12.99 and $14.99 (For Strong Citrus)/6pk cans