The “Spirited” Drinking Culture of Iceland
- May 5, 2019
As we have seen in recent years, European countries tend to have an affinity for alcohol, particularly those in the Western portion of the continent. After all, the concept of the beer garden was popularized in Germany, while vodka was taken directly from Russia. Likewise, our concepts of “wine-and-dine” were brought to our country by Italian and Greek immigrants. However, as it turns out, one country in particular has a rather spirited (if you’ll excuse the pun) love for straight-up whiskey: Iceland. Let’s take a closer look and see why this Nordic country loves vodka and other forms of liquor.
Pass the Brennivín, if You Please
If vodka is the national drink for Russians, you don’t need to look any further than Brennivín among the Icelandic people. Brewed from mashed potatoes and caraway, this potent schnapps beverage is also referred to as “black death” for a good reason. Icelanders take shots of this stiff liquor for parties and other special occasions, and the drink, thankfully, is only produced on this Nordic island.
Needless to say, the Icelandic schnapps are also passed around during Þorrablót, a mid-winter feast where people feast on the pungent dish called hákarl, or fermented shark.
The Problem with Spirits
Strangely, this alcohol-friendly environment wouldn’t have been permitted decades ago. Until 1989, beer was completely outlawed in Iceland, leading to the love of the only alternative: spirits. Developing a creative approach to drunkenness, the islanders brewed special drinks to replace beer.
Nowadays, Icelanders can purchase booze in government-operated Vínbúðin liquor stores, 12 of which are located in the capital of Reykjavik. As a result, many people prefer to save money for the weekend and spend more time with friends and family in sober settings.
Seeking Treatment for Alcohol Abuse or Alcoholism
Alcohol withdrawal can easily be one of the most frightening aspects of healing. During the course of the recovery process, you will suffer from minor to severe symptoms that may include night sweats, hallucinations, fevers, anxiety, and sadness, but always remember that you can find the strength to overcome these problems. However, you must always seek medical attention when you have decided to cut ties with alcohol, as the withdrawal process can be notoriously dangerous. Never attempt to do this without the supervision of a trained specialist.
If you are suffering from a severe case of alcoholism or alcohol abuse, or have a friend or loved one who is coping with this illness, get in touch with Asana Recovery today. Our professional team of counselors and healthcare experts will help you endure the painful process of alcohol withdrawal and detox and guide you along the rocky road of rehabilitation. Soon enough, you will experience a faster and much more efficient recovery.
If you want to find out more about our residential treatment or supervised detoxification/withdrawal programs or enroll in one of these programs today, we are ready and waiting to speak with you at your leisure and your disclosure. Call Asana now at (949) 438-4504 to learn how you can overcome your mental illness and take an extra step toward becoming a healthier person.