Some things go together like pease and carrots, such as peas and carrots for example. Brennivin and hakarl are just like that.

If you’ve never heard of hakarl it is basically rotten shark, or to be more polite shark that has been fermented in the ground and left to dry for 4-5 months. Oh and it smells like ammonia, AKA piss.

To read more about Hakarl click here.

What is Brennivin?

It is the national liquor of Iceland and is a clear snaps type drink, not uncommon to the many drinks found throughout Scandinavia. It has quite a kick to it and tastes better than Sambuca at least.

Brennivin of Iceland

When do you drink Brennivin?

If you are Icelandic seemingly all the time. This is a drink for toasts, for weddings, for holidays and for getting yourself smashed. Hurrah!

Could you drink Brennivin during the prohibition in Iceland?

Yes, you see Iceland had one of the weirdest prohibitions ever, beer above 2% was banned, but brennivin, a hard liquor was still allowed. Why was this? Tradition, or just silliness, either way thats how things played out.

How about Brennivin and Hakarl?

Perhaps this was another reason why it was not banned. Hakarl is essentially a poisonous shark, so the liquor drink (allegedly) kills any existing bacteria from eating hakarl – which was probably a great excuse of the time not to have to drink 2% beer, but I digress…

What does Brennivin mean?

We are glad that you asked for that little morsel of information! 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 tastes rather similar.

You have to give a lot of respect to anything that is called burning wine!

And that is the story of brennivin…..

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