In the land of fire and ice, Iceland’s beverages mirror its contrasts — from steaming geysers to icy glaciers. While its alcoholic beverages, such as Brennivín, often steal the limelight, Iceland also has a beautiful spectrum of non-alcoholic drinks that narrate tales of its unique geography, traditions, and resourcefulness. Discover the top five non-alcoholic cocktails that encapsulate the Icelandic spirit.
Mysa (Whey Drink): Mysa is the liquid leftover from skyr production, a thick and creamy yogurt-like dairy product essential to Icelandic cuisine. This tart and slightly fizzy whey drink has been consumed in Iceland for centuries, both for its refreshing taste and its health benefits. Today, it is often enjoyed cold, sometimes sweetened or flavored with local berries.
Birkisaf (Birch Sap): Harvested during the brief Icelandic spring, birch sap is a mildly sweet, clear liquid collected directly from birch trees. Loaded with minerals and nutrients, Birkisaf is cherished for its health-enhancing properties. It can be enjoyed fresh, but it’s also available in carbonated versions.
Eplasafi (Apple Syrup): A nod to Iceland’s limited agricultural output and the need for preservation, Eplasafi is a thick, sweet syrup made from apples. Mix it with cold water or soda to create a delectable drink. Its sweet-tart profile makes it a favorite among Icelanders, especially during the limited sunny days.
Bláberjasafa (Blueberry Juice): Using wild blueberries from Icelandic meadows, Bláberjasafa captures the untouched essence of the island’s wilderness. This deep-purple drink is both sweet and tart, making it perfect to rejuvenate after a trek across the volcanic terrains or glacier hikes.
Ástarpungar Kaffi (Angel’s Puff Coffee): A whimsical name for a delightful drink! Though not made from the traditional Ástarpungar doughnut, this coffee is a frothy blend of coffee, milk, vanilla, and a hint of cinnamon. Often topped with whipped cream, it’s a warm, non-alcoholic indulgence during the chilly Icelandic days.
Iceland, with its surreal landscapes of lava fields, hot springs, and northern lights, offers an equally magical beverage experience. Each non-alcoholic cocktail, from the ancient Mysa to the comforting Ástarpungar Kaffi, is a testament to Iceland’s innovation and adaptability. So, when you sip on these Icelandic concoctions, let them transport you to a land where nature reigns supreme, and remember to whisper “Skál!” (Cheers!) in reverence.