As any drinker knows, a “long drink” is one made with a nonalcoholic mixer — gin and tonic, Scotch and soda. What then is the Finnish Long Drink? It sounds like it ought to be made with some kind of dried fish, but rest easy, the Finnish Long Drink will fit right in at any modern American home — provided you’re OK with drinking in your underwear.
Finnish Long Drink got its start in 1952 at the Helsinki Summer Games, when organizers wanted something cheap and easy to serve visitors. What they came up with: citrus soda with some gin it. The Long Drink Company, based in New York, is basically the same idea, a mix of grapefruit soda, “juniper berry flavors,” and gin.
And that’s exactly what it tastes like: a San Pellegrino Pompelmo with the lightest splash of gin in it. The juniper element is very, very mild — it almost disappears into the grapefruit — but there is a slight herbal character that evokes a London Dry gin martini as much as it evokes Scandinavia. It lingers particularly on the finish.
Refreshing and unexpected, yet simple, The Finnish Long Drink is a nice alternative to hard seltzers, cider, and other fruit-forward alcoholic beverages.