BIRCH SAP – Nature’s Health Elixir
Every spring, when the snow melts, the nature awakens from the long winter. The birch trees begin to collect litres of water from the frozen ground, and thus birch sap is formed – a clear liquid that flows from the birch tree. The time to collect the sap is short, and it can be done for just a few weeks, until the leaf buds begin to form on the trees. You can drink the sap right after collection, or it can be fermented.The fresh sap tastes slightly sweet and has a mellow spring taste. Don’t worry, the tree will not dry out! The collection of sap does not damage the tree, because the cavity in the tree and the amount of juice collected are so small, that the tree will recover within a year. The birch sap has been collected in Estonia and elsewhere for centuries, and it has become a Nordic tradition! Our Saaremaa granny has also been collecting sap for decades now. And because of that, we grew up drinking this magical sap. In the spring, we drank the fresh stuff, and during the summertime, our granny always had the fermented sap ready. We kept it cool in the shade of the junipers, and had a nice sip of freshness during a break from work!
ÖselBirch is a family owned company from Saaremaa. Ösel is the old name for Saaremaa, from the times when Tallinn was still named Reval. If you write birch in a way that is understandable for the native islander then you get quite a nice word “BÖRCH”!
Börch drinks are low in sugar, preservative-free, and an honest and organic product. Börch’s ‘SOUR’ is precisely the same fermented drink that we took with us to the hayfields as kids! It is pure nature in a bottle! Not pasteurized or heat processed! Scientists from Tallinn Food and Fermentation Lab assured us that the natural sugars in the sap have been altered and the fermentation process has therefore stopped. The fermented sap is sour and has a slightly bitter aftertaste. I guess you might say it is like a vegan kefir. It will certainly make your tummy happy. But this bitter aftertaste is also what makes the fermented sap perfect for cocktails and mocktails. Our granny, however, thinks that these are more for the fancy city girls, because a true country girl will drink the sap in its pure form, because that is how the fermented birch sap tastes the best!
In addition to the traditional, old-fashioned birch sap made by grandma, we still have a couple of more particularly delicious flavours: a refreshing mint-flavoured Nordic Mojito ‘MINTY’, made from fermented birch sap. Since Grandma’s rhubarb cake is always a hit, then rhubarb drink ‘RHUBARBIE’ just had to be in the bunch. But we also have exciting flavours from fresh birch sap: ‘GINGERLY’ warms up all the ginger lovers, and ‘THORNY’ is such a sultry temptress that it had to showcase itself at the Estonian Presidential reception for the country’s 100th Birthday celebrations.