Cooling Cocktails: The Finnish Long Drink

As you may or may not know, I am no longer a drinkin’ gal. Even after eating all day long during the NOWFE judging, the 1.5 glasses of wine I enjoyed not only resulted in a headache later in the evening, but a hangover the next day. Even though I’m hefty, I’ve become the proverbial light weight when it comes to alcohol, not to mention the fact that booze and low-carb dieting don’t tend to mix. This doesn’t mean I don’t like the flavor or refuse to enjoy a glass of something good from time to time. A well-made cocktail can be just as fulfilling and flavorful as an exquisite appetizer, and relatively less filling.

In honor of Tales of the Cocktail, an annual New Orleans festival kicking off this coming Monday dedicated to getting into the spirit(s), I would like to share my recent experience with a popular canned cocktail The Finnish Long Drink.

Not too long ago, I was approached by the company’s PR firm touting the beverage which has been, since the early 1950s, an immensely popular cocktail in Finland. Like many other celebrities, actor Miles Teller (Top Gun: Maverick and Whiplash) is now backing his own booze when he partnered with the Finnish company to bring the beverage stateside.

A long drink, in bar parlance, is a cocktail typically served in a tall glass with a large quantity of mixer, like soda, resulting in lower alcohol percentage by volume. A good example is a Tom Collins or a Long Island Iced Tea. The Finnish version is typically grapefruit soda and gin, but other flavors like cranberry and lime are sometimes added.

When the PR firm emailed me, I was most intrigued about their Long Drink Zero, which had no sugar and no carbs. I had imagined it would taste like, well, something like a boozy La Croix. It was, in fact, much, much better. Though I had only asked for the Zero, they sent me one of each; the original flavor, cranberry, the Zero, and the Strong with 55% more alcohol, bringing it up from 5.5% to 8.5% ABV.

They were all delicious — light, crisp, tart, refreshing — and even the Strong didn’t taste boozy at all, which likely makes it all the more dangerous for light weights like myself. I was especially impressed with the Zero, a icy canned cocktail I enjoyed all to myself (I sipped the others to taste, but gave the rest to John).

If you’re looking for a summertime splash of citrus for a buzz-on at the beach or in your back yard, you’ll love the Finnish Long Drink.

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