Koskenkorva Viina is a liquor with 38% alcohol by volume (76 proof), produced by a Finnish company Primalco. Also known as "Kossu", it is propably the best known spirit in Finland. It consists of distilled ethnanol, pure spring water and a slight amount of sugar. The addition of sugar makes the taste less harsh when compared to unseasoned vodkas like Finlandia or Smirnoff.

When introduced in 1953 Koskenkorva was produced from potato and grain but later the process was changed to use pure Finnish barley mash. Koskenkorva was originally sold in 0,5 liter bottles but nowadays 4 cl, 20 cl, 70 cl and 1 liter bottles are available as well. Rumour has it that while visiting Finland, the former president of the US Ronald Reagan had a taste of this drink and said:"Koskenkorva is very good".

Update: The label of the Koskenkorva bottle has been altered many times in the liquor's existence, the latest modification being that the name was changed from "Koskenkorvan Viina" to "Koskenkorva Viina" (Finnish genitive form -n removed from the name) in November 2000 .

"Koskenkorva" means "dead-water in the rapids". ("The ear of the rapids", metaphorically) The place is a very small town, but has a successful pesäpallo team. "Viina" doesn't mean vodka, but generally any strong alcoholic drink, or "booze". For Finns, "vodka" means Russian or other vodka that's not Finnish.

The Primalco plant, where Koskenkorva Viina is made, is really situated in Koskenkorva. The raw material of the plant is grain from the local area. In fact, that's the reason why grain production is profitable at all in the area. The water in the vodka comes from a well near the bottling plant in Rajamäki. Koskenkorva Viina is the only vodka that is actually made in Finland from Finnish raw materials. In contrast, Pohjan Poika, Suomi Viina etc. are made from Estonian raw materials. Koskenkorva Viina is distilled 250 times in the process, so it doesn't taste like mash.

It tastes like nothing - no other tastes than alcohol itself. The 0.7 l bottle costs 20.50 euro, which is more expensive than cheap booze, but less expensive than drinks that have a taste. Finns are so fond of Koskenkorva Viina, because it is traditional and contains only alcohol. This has two consequences. First, it adds no additional tastes to mixed drinks. Second, it is easier to drink than tasteful drinks, when you're really drunk. There will be no taste in the mouth in the morning, unlike when you've drank a flavoured drink.

It is a bit troublesome to name this stuff. The current name is Koskenkorva Viina, the old name is Koskenkorvan Viina (note the "n" in the end, indicating genetive case). Often it is also called only "Koskenkorva", or Kossu.

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