The delayed (and long anticipated) 2020 Olympiad begins next month in Japan, so we wanted to feature a cocktail this month that comes straight from the Games’ storied history: The Finnish Long Drink.

In the wake of World War II and the subsequent rise of the Soviet Union, Finland was selected to host their first summer games in Helsinki in 1952. A large concern grew with regard to drinks distribution among the spectators, similar to how taverns, bars, and other night-time hotspots in the 1800s worried about making a whole menu of mixed drinks to hundreds of customers with limited staff. 

Results of both issues, as it happened, were similar in both style and execution. While early mixologists in the nineteenth century turned to creating a collective “punch” to serve to patrons, the Finnish designed a blend of grapefruit juice, gin and soda to quench collective thirst. Popularity of the new “long drink” surged to such heights that the Finns demanded its continued production well past the end of the games.

It retained the #1 spot for sales in Finland, although it took over thirty years for distribution to reach the United States.

With a punchy — if you’ll forgive the pun — citrus flavor and cleansing carbonation that leaves your taste buds tingling, with juniper berry to settle them back down to earth again, the Long Drink offers a great post-hike refresher or a campfire favorite that’s easy to toss to a friend from your cooler.

Available now in its original form as well as a 99-calorie, no carbs version, you can purchase the Long Drink in single cans or 6-packs. Look for them in the Superior Liquor Pre-Mixed Cocktails section in aisle 15D. 

 


Sources and Further Reading: 

Helsinki 1952 Olympic Games. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/event/Helsinki-1952-Olympic-Games

The Finnish Long Drink: The History. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://thelongdrink.com/thestory/ 

Knoll, A., Phillips, H., Sami, Whitlock, J., F, R., & Anonymous. (2020, May 16). The story of the Finnish Long Drink. Retrieved from https://theginisin.com/articles/the-story-of-the-finnish-long-drink