BIRCH WATER – Nature’s Youth Elixir
Birch water is the lowest sugar plant-based beverage that has its roots in Scandinavian and Baltic countries. There it has been used as a natural source of detox for centuries.
Every spring, when the snow melts, the nature awakens from the long winter. The birch trees begin to draw water underneath the frozen soil and for that reason birch water can be collected. Birch water is a clear liquid that is tapped straight from the birch tree. The time to collect the sap is short – it can be done only for a few weeks until the leaf buds burst open. You can drink the sap right after collection or it can be put aside for fermentation. The fresh birch water tastes slightly sweet and has a mild taste of spring.
Don’t worry, the tree will not dry out! The collection of birch water does not damage the tree as the cavity in the tree and the amount of birch sap collected are so small, hence the tree will recover within a year.
YOUTH ELIXIR? Maybe.
NUTRITIOUS & DELICIOUS REFRESHMENT? Certainly!
Folk medicine in Estonia has been using birch sap for centuries to help against fatigue, stress and headaches. It is also a great electrolyte replacing beverage containing minerals such as potassium, zinc, manganese and amino acids. As such, it offers an alternative to coconut water with much less calories from sugars.
FRESH or FERMENTED?
Because fresh birch sap only lasts for some days, folk people have been using different techniques to ferment the birch sap, thus keeping its minerals, vitamins and adding probiotic qualities. While fresh birch sap contains natural sugar alcohol Xylitol, a carbohydrate found naturally in birch tree, ÖselBirch fermented birch water has 0,3g to 0g sugars left. This is due to the fermentation process in which the sugars are being converted. Birch water can be fermented naturally, without any additives or you can speed up the process by adding e.g. raisins or black bread (whole-grain, fermented bread that is very common in Estonian cuisine). When choosing the second alternative, one needs to observe the process on a daily basis as it can quickly overdo itself and become an alcoholic drink.
ÖselBirch classical fermented birch water “SOUR” Börch is naturally fermented birch sap, without added sugars or any other additives. The fermentation process in it has become to a full closure and thus, it needs no heat treatment nor preservatives
WHO ARE WE?
ÖselBirch is a family company from Ösel (Saaremaa), Estonia. Birch water tapping has been a tradition in our family for generations and now we would like to bring this nature goodness to you in its purity & as a version of refreshing and low sugar soft drink.
ÖselBirch – Birch water from Ösel
ÖselBirch is a family owned company from Saaremaa. Ösel is the old name for Saaremaa, back in the times when Tallinn was still named Reval. Furthermore, if you write birch in a way that is understandable for the native islander then you get quite a nice word “BÖRCH”!
ÖselBirch birch water drinks are reduced in sugar, preservative-free and 100% organic. ÖselBirch ‘SOUR’ is precisely the same fermented birch sap drink that we took with us to the hayfields as kids! It is a pure nature in a bottle! Not pasteurized nor 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 birch water 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. Even more, this bitter aftertaste is also what makes the fermented sap perfect for cocktails and mocktails. However, our granny thinks that these are more for the fancy city girls. A true country girl will drink the sap in its pure form because that is how the fermented birch sap tastes the best!
Birch water flavoured drinks
In addition to the traditional, old-fashioned birch water 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.
SERVING THE SAP
Drinks quench the thirst the best when served at 10-16°C. However, they stay refreshing up to a sensible room temperature of 20°C. Birch water drinks can be preserved at a moderate room temperature, when the cap has not been opened.
For serving use an old-fashioned whisky glass. Should it not fit in the table décor or the type of glass is simply not available, you can also use a big wine glass, 36…50cl. At home, you can also sip it out of a mug.
Don’t forget about the sediment! It’s a sign of quality! Turn the bottle upside down and make circular movements. But be careful, don’t shake it too hard or else it’s going to pop out of a bottle.
Birch water drinks can be poured out quickly. Similarly to beer, it is good to get out the extra “bubble” for smoother enjoyment.
If you do prefer a bubbly drink, you can serve it in a high-ball glass, there it takes more time for the bubble to escape the drink. The drink is also quite sparkly when you enjoy it right from the bottle.