To fit into Icelandic culture, one must brave the ways of Brennivín. Brennivín is an akvavit, a flavoured spirit, with an alcohol content ranging between 37.5% and 40%. Brennivín is a historic liquor in Iceland. The beauty of Brennivín is its receptive nature to taking on new flavours.
Söl, also known as Palmaria Palmata, is hand-crafted in only small batches. It’s distilled to a strength of 38% alcoholic volume. The keynote flavour is dill grown and harvested in Iceland, giving it a signature Icelandic earthy taste. Another underlying flavour is seaweed that is picked straight from the coast of Southern Iceland. The seaweed holds a special significance in Icelandic culture, as the birth of its use as a food product in the western world is attributed to the 10th century Icelander, Egil Skallagrimsson. Skallagrimson was a widely known farmer, warrior, and a poet.
However, seaweed isn’t used only because of its historical significance and the element of Icelandic pride, put simply – the distilled flavour of seaweed is delicious. In fact, it’s so delicious that the Japanese word for seaweed, Umami, is rooted in the word for “delicious”. The flavour is unique, but don’t let it deter you. It’s an adventure for the taste buds, the savoury taste an exotic one that rotates between salty and bitter. It is said that it takes a few sips for the complexity and full experience of the unique combination of flavours to come out.
Contrary to its sister liquor, Hvönn, the other popular and historical flavour of Brennivín, Söl is not sweet. It’s actually distinctly unsweet! The seaweed and dill give way to a salty, full-bodied experience that many Icelanders look forward to. After each sip, you’re greeted with a warm aftertaste with remaining notes of seaweed and dill. Though both of the two schools of Brennivín enjoyment, Hvönn and Söl, are well-worth trying, Söl is a completely unique experience that only Iceland can offer.
Vermouth, seeweed, dill and orange
3cl dry vermuth ( dry martini)
2cl triple sec shaken and poured in cocktail glass