It is no secret that Sweden boasts of rich culture, music, and art scene; additionally, they also have an affinity for their drinks. Whether it is a drink like Swedish beer or any other Swedish alcohol that is served at particular festivals or just having dinner with their loved ones, you will never see Sweden without a cup in their hand.
They have a way of incorporating drinks in Sweden in almost all their daily routine, whether it is their morning brew of aromatic coffee or Filmjölk, an innovative blend of fermented cow’s milk, which gives it such a smooth and flavorful taste. Let us look at some of Sweden’s famous drinks that are sure to get you instantly hooked.
Table of Contents
Top 8 UNIQUE Drinks in Sweden
Saft – A Fruit-Rich Soft Drink
If you are not a fan of alcoholic drinks and cannot stomach another cup of the same old and boring coffee, there is an amazing alternative to that. Saft- is a famous Swedish drink, which is basically a rich decoction of fruits and sugar mixed with some water to give it a smooth and syrupy consistency.
The good thing about Saft is that it can be made with almost any fruit you can lay your hands on. However, if you want to have its traditional and authentic taste, you can try the lingonberries, redcurrants, and elderflowers Saft as these are what a traditional Swedish Saft is made of.
This decoction can then be mixed with water before consuming, and you have got yourself a glass of this refreshing drink to help you cool down.
Sweden is a country that believes in healthy living, and as a result, they make a conscious choice in what really goes into their mouth. Not being too big of a fan of sodas and other unhealthy drinks, Swedes love Saft as a healthy alternative to these.
While adding sugar when making this decoction might sound a bit unhealthy, this can even be omitted depending on how ripe the fruit is as the riper a fruit is, the more its natural sugar content. Not only does it taste good, but it also packs an impressive amount of antioxidants and vitamins.
Punsch – A Potent Swedish Punch
If you are someone that likes a bit of alcohol content in your drink while keeping it light and mellow at the same time, Punsch is your best bet. Dating back to 1733, the Swedish Punsch is a very lively and quirky drink. It packs in a lot of different flavors like sweet, sour, and spicy.
On its own or added to cocktails, it really turns a plain tasting cocktail to a whole new level. It is made with a mix of Batavia Arrack, which adds 20-30% alcohol content to the drink per volume. It also has a strong-flavored blend of spices like cloves, cardamom, and even tea leaves.
This Swedish drink has recently been introduced stateside and is already gaining a lot of popularity. If you are in Sweden, trying this drink once should definitely be on your list. When this drink is served traditionally, the Swedish punch makes for a delightful accompaniment to a warming bowl of pea soup. The Swedish Punsch can be served both warm and cold.
Snaps – Spice-Infused Vodka
Snaps is essentially a festival drink for the Swedes. But it also makes its appearance during the herring and crayfish season. Just a couple of these and in comes the loud and gibberish songs and awkward dances.
This is, in essence, how the Swedes like to party. Snaps are a concoction of spices and vodka. When it first came into being, the spices were added just to tone down the strong taste of vodka.
Apparently, the Swedes were not that good at making vodka back then as compared to now. But even when the Swedes now make the best tasting vodka, they are still not over spice-infused vodka as it seems.
The traditional way of serving Swedish Snaps is with food like salted herring and crayfish. Much like how the Americans like their glass of red wine with their meals, Snaps is what can be termed as its American equivalent for the Swedes.
Fika – Coffee break
In this fast-paced world, it gets challenging to take a break every now and what’s with the endless deadlines, work-life stress as well as personal stress. It gets all the harder to just relax and empty yourself out of all that stress and to just slow down for a bit.
While the term ”Fika” might be something that most people might have never heard of but for the Swedes, it is a way of life. Fika, in simple terms, is to just slow down.
To relax and to take a breather, with a warming cup of coffee or tea. They are usually accompanied by a fresh-baked goodie Fika can be done anywhere, not necessarily in a cafe. It can also be done in a park or even at your office desk.
The whole point is to engage oneself in it no matter where and with whom. It is a ritual for the Swedes and is deeply ingrained in their culture. It is a way of life and a state of mind that endorses detachment from all the hustle and bustle and to just take some time off for oneself.
For a country that loves its coffee, Swedes do also have a sweet spot for beer. That is why the country is dotted with many local breweries that create unique and excellent quality Swedish beer.
Let’s look at what craft beer is and how it is different from a regular beer? Simply put, craft beer is a beer that is made with the highest quality of ingredients to give it a full-bodied and robust taste. It is scrupulously created by the master-brewers giving their utmost attention to every little detail.
The main ingredients that go into beer making are water, hops, yeast, and barley malt. For a craft beer brewer, even the quality of water used matters a lot as it can make or break its taste. A regular beer, on the other hand, is the beer that is mass-produced and so does not match up to the quality of a craft beer.
The city of Gothenburg is the craft beer capital of Sweden as it has some of the best breweries that not only make craft beer for its own population, but they are also very big on exporting them abroad.
Cider is Swedish alcohol that is traditionally made with fermented apple juice. Cider is one of its star drinks in Sweden adorning the shelves of bars. Unlike how it is made in the States and elsewhere where just apples are used, the Swedes even make ciders from pears, strawberry, elderflower, and more.
Sweden is famous for its craft beer, no doubt about that, but slowly and surely, Swedish ciders are also making their way in the States and beyond. Most people like Swedish ciders as it has minimal alcohol content and has a fruity and mellow taste.
Filmjölk – A Cultured Yogurt Drink
Filmjölk is one of the favorite drinks in Sweden that can be seen at every Swedish breakfast table. It is a fermented drink that is made by mixing two specific types of bacteria, namely- Lactococcus lactis and Leuconostoc mesenteroides, to cow’s milk. The use of these two bacteria gives it a unique taste. It is more on the mellow side with a slightly acidic aftertaste to it.
The Swedes like to have this for breakfast as well as lunch. Because it might be a bit sour, it is usually topped with fruit bits or fruit conserves. Some pour it over their breakfast cereal while some like to have it just as it is, with a spoon straight from the bowl. Being fermented, it contains healthy gut bacteria that keep your bowels in very good shape.
Glögg – Swedish Mulled Wine
The Swedish Glögg is a perfect equivalent to a mulled wine and popular Swedish alcohol. The concept might be the same, but taste wide the Swedish Glögg is quite different from a mulled wine.
Traditionally at the time of its inception, spices were used to make Glögg mainly mellow down the rather bad wine taste at that time. However, the taste of Swedish wine has improved a great deal and is even fit to be had as it is, but since it has become an indelible part of their culture to spice their wine, the Swedes apparently find it hard to part with it.
The Swedish Glögg is seen mainly at the time of Christmas, where Swedes hop from one Christmas Glögg party to another. And because of that, if you do get to attend such a feast, you will find that the Glögg is always served in small glasses.
There are so many versions of this famous drink; however, the traditional one involves heating the wine on low heat and then slowly adding sugar and spices like clove, cinnamon, ginger, and lemon rind.