Salmiakki Koskenkorva

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Salmiakki Koskenkorva
Type Cocktail
Primary alcohol by volume
Served Neat; undiluted and without ice
Preparation Premixed cocktail

Salmiakki Koskenkorva, (also Salmiakkikossu for short or generically as Salmari) is a pre-mixed liqueur popular in Finland. Canonically salmiakkikossu consists of Koskenkorva Viina vodka with salmiakki extract being dissolved in to it, sometimes also ground up Turkish Pepper brand salty liquorice is used instead of the extract. Very similar drinks are popular in Denmark, but are referred to with names like "Ga-Jol", "små blå" (little blues) or "sorte svin" (black swine) instead. In Northern Germany, there is also another very similar drink with the name "Schwarze Sau" (black sow) which is based on Doppelkorn instead of vodka. It is most popular in the German state of Schleswig-Holstein and often associated with that state.

Thin layer of Salmari, showing characteristic color

Salmiakki Koskenkorva is a somewhat viscous liquid of characteristic black color, dark grayish brown in thinner layer. At closer view, very fine particulate of carbon black suspended in the liquid is visible.

Before the 1990s, Finland had a very thin and stratified cocktail culture. Some Finnish drinking establishments started serving a drink made out of ground ammonium chloride based candy (Salmiakki in Finnish). It became a trendy drink especially amongst the youth of the day, for which some consider and call it a "teenager's vodka".

The origin and recipe of the beverage are based on anecdotal reference. The concept of mixing vodka and licorice probably existed long before the 1990s, since both Koskenkorva Viina vodka and Turkish Pepper licorice existed before the alleged invention of the cocktail. On the other hand, Salmiakki Koskenkorva was one of the first pre-mixed cocktails sold in Finland. Another well-known anecdote says that singer Jari Sillanpää invented the drink when he was working as a bartender in the late 1980s.

The taste of Salmiakki Koskenkorva resembles strongly that of black licorice and cough medicine (this is because the original mixture, see Apteekin Salmiakki, used in Salmiakki Koskenkorva is also used in cough medicines), and has the additional effect of increasing salivation.

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