The Mysterious Brennivín

Brennivín is a traditional Icelandic liquor that has been around for centuries. It is a type of aquavit, which is a potent grain spirit that is flavored with caraway seeds. Brennivín is known for its distinctive taste and high content, which makes it a favorite among drinkers in Iceland and beyond.

One of the most unique things about Brennivín is its name, which means “burning ” in Icelandic. This name is fitting, as the liquor has a strong, fiery flavor that can be qite intense for those who are not used to it. However, for many Icelanders, Brennivín is a beloved part of their culture and heritage.

Brennivín is typically served cold as a shot, often accompanied by a or as a base for . It is a popular ingredient in many classic cocktails, such as the Bloody Mary and the Martini, and it can also be used in tropical drinks as a substitute for lighter rums.

Despite its popularity, the consumption of Brennivín should be done in moderation. The liquor has an alcohol percentage of 37.5%, which is quite high, so it is important to drink responsibly and avoid overindulging.

One of the most interesting aspects of Brennivín is its association with hákarl, a type of fermented shark meat that is unique to Iceland. In Icelandic culture, it is traditional to drink Brennivín alongside hákarl, as the liquor's strong flavor helps to mask the pungent taste of the shark meat.

Brennivín is a unique and beloved liquor that has been a part of Icelandic culture for centuries. Its fiery taste and high alcohol content make it a favorite among drinkers, and its association with hákarl adds to its cultural significance. However, as with any alcohol, it is important to consume Brennivín in moderation and to drink responsibly.

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Is Brennivín Comparable to Vodka?

Brennivín and are not entirely similar as they have some fundamental differences. Vodka is an unflavoured distilled spirit, which is typically made from fermented grains, potatoes, or sometimes fruit and/or sugar. On the other hand, Brennivín is a flavoured spirit that has a distinct flavour and aroma. It is made from fermented potatoes and flavoured with caraway seeds, which gives it a unique taste that sets it apart from vodka.

Moreover, Brennivín is a traditional Icelandic schnapps that is often referred to as “Black Death” due to its distinct aroma and strong taste. It is a popular drink in Iceland and is often consumed during festivals and celebrations. Vodka, on the other hand, is a popular spirit worldwide and is used in a variety of cocktails and mixed drinks.

While both Brennivín and vodka are distilled , they differ in terms of teir flavour profile and ingredients used in their production.

What Is the Alcohol Content of Brennevin?

Brennevin is a colorless, caraway-flavored aquavit, which is a type of potent grain spirit. The alcohol content of Brennevin is 37.5 percent by volume, which is quite high compared to other alcoholic drinks. The name Brennevin means “burning wine”, which is a reference to its high alcohol content and strong, fiery taste. Brennevin contains 37.5% alcohol by volume.

Is Brennivín an Alcoholic Beverage?

Brennivin is an alcoholic . It is a traditional Icelandic schnapps or aquavit made from fermented potatoes and flavored with caraway seeds. The alcohol percentage of Brennivin is 37.5%, which is relatively high. As with any alcoholic beverage, it is essential to consume Brennivin in moderation to avoid the negative effects of alcohol consumption, such as impaired judgment, motor skills, and other health risks associated with excessive drinking.


Brennivín is a unique and beloved spirit of Iceland, known for its caraway flavor and high alcohol content. It is often served as a shot, with a beer or as a base for cocktails, and is a traditional accompaniment to hákarl. While its nickname, “Black Death,” may suggest otherwise, it should be consumed in moderation like any other alcoholic beverage. Brennivín remains a significant part of Iceland's cultural heritage and is a must-try for anyone visiting the country.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.