Icelandic Birch schnapps increasingly popular

Birch juice at Foss distillery.

Birch juice at Foss distillery. Styrmir Kári

Icelandic nature attracts thousands of tourists to Iceland every year. The Icelandic Foss distillery now bottles Icelandic nature in the form of Björk birch liqueur and birch schnapps. 

"In our first year we sold around two thousand bottles. Now, four years later we're selling up to 20 thousand bottles and 80-100 thousand 50 ml bottles," explains managing director Jakob S.Bjarnason.

The idea behind the products came, according to Bjarnason, from renowned Dill chef Gunnar Karl Gíslason and bartender Ólafur Örn Ólafsson, who had both been using a lot of Icelandic ingredients.  They contacted Bjarnason, in the hope of making Icelandic alcohol flavoured with Icelandic plants, such as the birch tree, and the first products hit the market four years ago. 

The first bottles were sold at cocktail bars and fine restaurants in Reykjavik and were targeted at tourists visiting the city. "We wanted people to feel as if they were standing underneath an Icelandic birch after a shower of rain when you can inhale its aroma." The birch juice is obtained from birch in Iceland's largest forest, Hallormsstaðaskógur in East Iceland. The distillery has now moved from Borgarnes, west Iceland to the municipality of Mosfellsbær just outside of Reykjavik. According to Bjarnason the company is growing steadily but that they are being careful and still mapping out the market. 

The products from Foss Distillery are available in ÁTVR state alcohol shops around Iceland as well as in various shops in Denmark and the US. They can also be purchased on board flights with Icelandair and WOW air. For more information you can visit their Facebook page HERE. 

Managing director Jakob S.Bjarnason at Foss distillery.

Managing director Jakob S.Bjarnason at Foss distillery. Styrmir Kári Styrmir Kári




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