Food & Drink
Beverages from Småland
The crystal glass from Småland is known all over the world. A little less known, perhaps, is what local drinks we pour into the glass. For hundreds of years, apples have been grown here, and in many places a delicious golden apple juice is produced. Our deep forests are packed with the nutritious red lingonberry that is easily transformed into a slightly sweet every day drink. The micro brewery-trend has of course also taken root in Småland, and we now have several local beer producers. Skål!
In Äppledalen – ‘Apple Valley’ – between Gränna and Huskvarna, Småland suddenly opens up into great sweeping fields and oak tree pastures. At the southern end, thousands of fruit trees run up and down the sides of the valley in perfectly straight rows. Here you can find scrumptious delicacies of every shape and kind. You can pick strawberries yourself or embark on an Apple Safari organised by fruit specialists Rudenstams, during which you can taste varieties such as Aroma, Rubinola, Santana and Ingrid Marie. Rudenstams’ locally produced fruit and berry drinks can be bought all over Småland – but a visit to the farm itself is a special treat.
Wild meadow orchards by lake Åsnen
If you don’t have a sunny, stony slope to grow your own trees on, you are more than welcome to take delight in the wild meadow orchards that have overlooked lake Åsnen in the area around Urshult for the past four hundred years. The trees grow along stone walls and roads and also spread into fields. Come on a visit on a sunny day in early summer and see the pink and white shimmering flowers fill the air. A visit in autumn is rewarded with the lovely scent of apples and you can fill your basket with apple juice, plum jam and of course the fruit itself from local shops. The orchards around Urshult are the only contiguous ones still standing in Sweden, and in 2013 they were granted the status of a cultural site of national importance. You can buy the apple juice at a number of different places, but two worth visiting are The Farm Shop in Ugglekull and Malva Gård.
The produce here is a far cry from the cheap cider drinks on supermarket shelves. With some 300 newly planted English cider apple trees in 12 varieties, the owner, Claes Mark, is going for quality on a major scale. Markcider from Gässhults Säteri is sold in the farm shop, but of course can also be imbibed in the farm pub, with the right atmosphere and the right snacks.
Brews from the region
There are plenty of local breweries around Småland. From small-scale hobby producers to established large-scale breweries like Åbro in Vimmerby. The small-scale local beers are sold at some of the state-run liquor stores, Systembolag, and at restaurants offering a special selection of drinks. Ask the waiting staff when you are out eating a meal in Småland! Below are some of the beer breweries found in the region.
Skäggalösa Ångbryggeri - Grimslöv
Not far from lake Åsnen southwest of Växjö, beer is being brewed like never before at the Skäggalösa estate. And from hops from their own hopfield, no less. Skäggalösa's Facebook.
Kallebryggeriet - Ingelstad
Bottled delight – beer brewers who have been inspired by smoky whisky with a peat flavour. Can be ordered from Systembolaget. Kallebryggeriet.
Kvarnagårdens Bryggeri - Braås
The brewery's own Redig APA has been awarded Summer Beer of the Year by the magazine Café. At Kvarnagården's, the brewing really has taken off - from minimum to small scale brewing. Stable production, strength and flavour have made their beer popular. Kvarnagårdensbryggeri.se
Trädskogens Bryggeri - Åryd
Beer with the joy of discovery – the master brewers here dare to break new ground and play freely with your taste buds. Often in small cask series. Trädskogens.se
Hotell Fängelset - Västervik
Västervik’s villains used to inhabit these prison premises. Now that it’s a hotel and brewery, the clientele is more likely to include discriminating beer drinkers. Hotellfangelset.se
Egnells Bryggeri - Eksjö
Eksjö has its own brewery again after a 60-year dry period. Craft beer brewed from carefully chosen ingredients. Egnells facebook.
Ängöl Kvartersbryggeri - Kalmar
A century after a coopering firm was launched here, beer is being produced on the same premises, influenced by Czech, Belgian and Anglo-Saxon brews. Ängöl.se
All the types of beer have been carefully tested and named after someone or something that has meant a lot to the people at BredarydsWärdshus.se.
Åbro Bryggeri - Vimmerby
The big family brewery – Sweden’s oldest – in the centre of Vimmerby. The pub next door offers tours of the brewery with beer tasting and dinner. visitvimmerby.com
Sjöborgen Brew House
Peter and Malin at Sjöborgen truly lives the country life to the fullest, living off what they produce at the farm. The idea is to take those hyper-local flavours and transform them into a great meal in their outdoor cooking restaurant, or into tasty non alcoholic beverages in their Brew House. For example, ever tried drinking fennel or raspberry leaves? Their "Pork and Potato-Tuesdays" are a big hit with the locals.
Rudenstam is one of the biggest apple producers in Småland. But they are also famous for their range of non alcoholic fruit and berry drinks, the most famous probably the bubbly white currant soda which has been served at several of the Nobel Prize Gala Dinners. Rudenstams’ locally produced fruit and berry drinks can be bought all over Småland – but a visit to the farm itself is a special treat.
Fredrikssons both make and sell local fruit and berry products from Småland and Öland. Their delicassy store Smakglädje in the island of Öland, by the Solliden Castle, offers jams, honeys, oils and marmalades - made from the fruits of the castle gardens. Their most famous products is probably the Glögg, or Mulled Wine, traditionally enjoyed during Christmas, but also delicious chilled with ice and some lemon on a hot summer day.
Make your own lingonberry drink
This recipe gives you approx. 1 liter finished drink
2 liter lingonberries
1 liter water
3 deciliter granulated sugar per liter of liquid
- Boil lingon and water for about 5 minutes, remove foam a couple of times.
- Lightly mash the berries with a ladle. Pour the berry-water mix into a filter/strainer and let it run on its own for about 20 minutes.
- Measure sugar depending on the amount of liquid and pour into the pan. Pour the liquid back into the pan. Boil for 5 minutes and carefully remove foam.
- Pour into well-cleaned, preferably boiled, bottles. Store in a cool place.