Latvia is full of surprises. As one of the Baltic countries, it has influences from different regions and different nationalities that have been made part of their country and that help its culture to be very special and unique. Part of that uniqueness is the history and knowledge that runs through the veins of its people, which can’t be translated into nothing else but pure talent. When all this talent, a bit of entrepreneurial spirit, and years and years of knowledge are brought together, what you get is something that can not only benefit a person or a family. No. The result is something even better. It is the creation of amazing industries that will have a very positive impact on the country’s economy, especially because it will have a notorious kind of brand on it that will say: “Made in Latvia”.
Handcrafted, naturally produced goods made in Latvia are more appreciated than you would ever imagine. They have gained a very special place in other country’s markets as well as their own, and the best part of it is that these products are very different than anything you have seen, tried or tasted.
Especially the beverages. Latvia has been producing some very interesting products in the beverage industry. Here is a list of 4 great examples of different beverages made in Latvia that will impress anyone who tries them, not only because of their taste, but because of their uniqueness. In each one of these beverages Latvians have put all their effort and talent to show the strengths and techniques they have learned from their land and their ancestors.
Birzi Sparkling Birch Sap
Birzi is a family owned company from Riga, Latvia that specializes in Birch Sap, a very traditional beverage in Northern Europe, Russia and part of China, made out of the water of Birch trees. Birch Sap is the water or the juice that starts circulating from the deepest layers of the earth, through the Birch trees. The process starts early in spring and the water can only be processes in very short periods of time, every year. The Birch Sap is collected within only three weeks and after adding natural additives, it is bottled for fermentation. After it is fermented the result is a delicious sparkling Birch Sap that is not only delicious but also refreshing. This beverage is considered to be very healthy since it contains proteins, minerals, amino acids, and other natural nutrients that are good for your health. Latvian tradition says that it is good for reducing high cholesterol levels, improving your skin appearance and to generate anti-inflammatory effects.
Abavas is a family owned winery located on the southern part of the Abavas valley. This valley is considered part of the UNESCO World Heritage List. The winery has a grape garden, and additionally they grow apples, raspberries, currants and rhubarb among others. The winery specializes in apple and black currant wine and apple brandy. This winery has also tours available for visitors and tasting their wines is something you will never regret.
Gardumuti – Smiltene Cider
Smiltene is a town located in Northern Latvia. In this town there is a cider brewery called Gardumuti, a former spirits brewery where Latvian countryside cider and wine are produced with various types of apples and summer berries. The special thing about this brewery is that everything is handmade. The brewery has tours available for visitors to learn about the process of brewing cider and wine and there is also a degustation of both products.
Sauerkraut juice is one of those things you never even think about tasting because it´s something you didn’t even thought possible to exist. Sauerkraut itself is already something not everybody likes, because it’s like one of those foods you kind of learn to like, so the idea of having a juice made of it is kind of different from any other beverage you are used to drink. It turns out in Latvia this juice is pretty popular and it is also very healthy. It is made from naturally fermented cabbage that will have released juice that contains lactic acid after dried salt is added to shredded cabbage. Sauerkraut juice is rich in potassium, Vitamin C and Iron. Latvians love it and they normally drink it at breakfast.