Salmiakki Koskenkorva

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Salmiakki Koskenkorva
Base spirit
ServedNeat: undiluted and without ice
PreparationPremixed cocktail
A glass of German Lakritzlikör liquorice-flavoured liqueur

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 into it. Sometimes 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 colour, or dark grayish brown when of a thinner consistency. Upon closer inspection, very fine particles of carbon black are visibly suspended in the liquid.

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, and for this reason some people 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 liquorice probably existed long before the 1990s, since both Koskenkorva Viina vodka and Turkish Pepper liquorice were around 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 liquorice and cough medicine (this is because the original mixture, Apteekin Salmiakki, used in Salmiakki Koskenkorva, is also used in cough medicines), and has the additional effect of increasing salivation.

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