Finnish Long Drink: The Perfect Cocktail for Summer

The Finnish Long Drink dates back to the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. This iconic cocktail was created to serve large crowds efficiently while offering a refreshing beverage. Over the years, it has become a staple in Finland, cherished for its unique flavor profile and easy-drinking nature. Its origin reflects Finland’s innovative approach to hospitality.

Ingredients and Variations

The traditional Finnish Long Drink features gin and grapefruit soda. The crispness of gin pairs seamlessly with the tangy notes of grapefruit, creating a well-balanced cocktail. For added flavor, variations include adding lime or using different citrus sodas. Some versions feature herbal infusions for a unique twist.

The Rise in Popularity of Finnish Long Drink in the US

Factors Driving Its Popularity

Several factors contribute to the Finnish Long Drink’s growing popularity in the US. First, its unique flavor profile stands out. The combination of gin and grapefruit soda offers a refreshing, crisp taste that appeals to many palates. Second, the increasing demand for ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails has boosted its popularity. According to a report by Nielsen, the RTD category saw a 43% increase in sales in 2020. Third, its historical roots and Finnish heritage add an exotic appeal. People often seek drinks with a story, and the Finnish Long Drink’s origin at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics provides a compelling narrative.

Impact on Cocktail Culture

The introduction of Finnish Long Drink to the US market has significantly impacted cocktail culture. It has introduced a new category of cocktails that combine convenience with high-quality ingredients. Mixologists now incorporate it into their menus, either as a standalone option or as a base for custom cocktails. Additionally, its success has inspired other brands to innovate, bringing more international flavors to the American cocktail scene. This diversification is enriching the cocktail culture, offering consumers more choices and elevating their drinking experience.

Where to Find Finnish Long Drink

Best Bars and Locations in the US

You can enjoy Finnish Long Drink at numerous bars and locations across the US. In New York City, bars like The Dead Rabbit and Pegu Club offer this refreshing cocktail. Los Angeles hotspots such as The Spare Room and The Normandie Club have added it to their menus as well. In Chicago, you can find it at Aviary and Lost Lake. These establishments appreciate the drink’s exotic appeal and convenient ready-to-drink format.

Tips for Enjoying It at Home

Finding Finnish Long Drink in retail stores or online is easy. Look for brands like The Long Drink Company at major retailers or specialty liquor stores. When you have it at home, serve it chilled over ice to enhance its crisp, tangy flavor. Garnishing with fresh grapefruit slices or a sprig of rosemary can elevate your experience. For a unique twist, try adding a splash of tonic water or a few drops of bitters.

Comparing Finnish Long Drink to Other Classic Cocktails

Similarities and Differences

The Finnish Long Drink combines gin and grapefruit soda, offering a refreshing taste akin to classic gin cocktails. Unlike a Gin and Tonic, which uses tonic water, the Long Drink uses grapefruit soda, adding a fruitier flavor. Both drinks feature gin’s botanical notes, but the Long Drink’s sweetness sets it apart. In a way, the Long Drink shares common ground with Tom Collins, which combines gin, lemon juice, sugar, and soda water. Both have a citrus component and are served chilled, but the Long Drink’s use of grapefruit introduces a unique twist. This cocktail’s ready-to-drink format distinguishes it from many classic cocktails, offering convenience without compromising on taste.

Taste Test Experiences

Enthusiasts often highlight the Finnish Long Drink’s crisp, tangy profile during taste tests. Compared to a traditional Gin and Tonic, testers have noted its sweeter, fruit-forward taste. While a Tom Collins provides a similar refreshing quality, the Long Drink’s grapefruit flavor stands out, offering a less tart and more balanced experience. Many tasters appreciate the cocktail’s ease of preparation since it comes pre-mixed, contrasting with the more involved process of making a Negroni or Margarita. Overall, flavor notes frequently mentioned include citrus sweetness, herbal gin undertones, and a clean finish, making it a favorable alternative to other gin cocktails.


The Finnish Long Drink is more than just a cocktail; it’s a refreshing blend of tradition and innovation. Its unique combination of gin and grapefruit soda offers a distinct alternative to classic gin cocktails. As it gains popularity in the US, it continues to influence cocktail culture, adding a touch of Finnish heritage to your drinking experience. Whether you’re hosting a summer gathering or exploring new flavors at your favorite bar, the Finnish Long Drink is a must-try for its crisp, tangy profile and convenient ready-to-drink format.

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