Brennivín


Brennivín

Brennivín (see also Brännvin) is an Icelandic schnapps, considered the country's signature alcoholic beverage. It is made from fermented potato pulp, and flavoured with caraway seeds. It is sometimes called "svarti dauði" ("black death").

At times it is drunk as a "chaser" after sampling "hákarl", which consists of putrified shark meat, to mask the meat's taste. The word brennivín literally translates into English as 'burning wine', and comes from the same root as brandy, namely "brandewijn" which has its roots in the Dutch language.

Despite its unofficial status as national beverage and a traditional drink for the mid-winter feast of Þorrablót, many Icelanders do not regularly drink it. The drink has a strong taste and high alcohol content (37.5% ABV), and carries an equivocal reputation: despite the fact that Iceland levies huge taxes on most alcoholic beverages, brennivín is actually one of the moderately priced liquors available in the national alcohol store, Vínbúð, and is thus often associated with alcoholics. It's very difficult to find in the United States.

Brennivín is similar to Scandinavian Akvavit, especially the Danish variety, called "brændevin". In Swedish it is called "brännvin", and in Norwegian "brennevin". The steeping of herbs in alcohol to create "Schnapps" is a long-held folk tradition in all Scandinavian countries. Brennivín is featured in the Halldor Laxness novel "Iceland's Bell".

The label is black and was originally designed to discourage people from drinking the beverageFact|date=July 2007}{Fact|date=July 2007. It used to have the letters ÁTVR inside the circle but now it has been replaced by a coastal outline of Iceland.

Cultural References

*After Heba Þórisdóttir introduced Brennivín to director Quentin Tarantino he decided that this should be a drink that the character Budd, from the "Kill Bill" movies, would be drinking. So in "Kill Bill Vol. 2" you see Budd drinking Brennivín. There was a scene where he explains to the character Elle more about the drink but it was cut before the release of the film.
*Brennivín is mentioned in the Foo Fighters song "Skin and Bones", the line being "brennivín and cigarettes".
*Icelandic films such as Kristnihald undir Jökli, Land og synir, Stuttur Frakki, Djöflaeyjan, Ingaló, Cold Fever, and others have featured the drink.
*In Iceland, it is consumed on Þorláksmessa ("St. Thorlac's Day"), which falls on December 23, the feast day of St. Thorlac. In western Iceland, it was customary to eat cured skate on this day; this custom spread to the whole of Iceland. The skate is usually served with boiled or mashed potatoes, accompanied by a shot of Brennivín.
*Brennivin is mentioned in the Fiery Furnaces song "Tropical-Iceland" the line "black stone beach and a black death bottle".
*Brennivin is the name of a song by The Album Leaf on his Seal Beach album.
*Brennivin is consumed frequently in the novels of the Nobel Prize-winning Icelandic writer Halldor Laxness.
*The song 'Brennivin' appears on the Faroese band Týr's album, Land.

ee also

* Moonshine - Iceland- Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters also wears a Brennivin T-Shirt in the promotional posters for their 2006 live album, Skin and Bones

References

External links

* [http://www.brennivin.com/ www.brennivin.com]


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