Iceland Mag

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Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

Icelandic dairy and distillery team up to making liqueurs out of milk

By Staff

  • Taste of Iceland The popular liqueurs Björk and Birkir are made with Icelandic birch and of course Icelandic water (click on photo to see it full frame). Soon the alcohol could also be made from all Icelandic ingredients: whey. Photo/Foss distillery.

Soon you might be able to sip Icelandic liqueurs made with alcohol distilled from all Icelandic ingredients: and milk. The Icelandic dairy company MS aims at using whey, which is a by-product when producing processed milk products, to manufacture ethanol. The ethanol would then be used to create alcohol which the distillery Foss would aims at use to manufacture spirits.

Milk into motor fuel or liqueur?
Björn Gunnarsson, head of research and development at MS tells the local news site visir.is that there are three main ways to utilize ethanol which would be created from whey. It could be used to manufacture fuel, industrial alcohol or alcohol for human consumption. The first option, he argues, is least profitable, while the third option is by far most exciting.

Icelandic water, birch and whey
Foss distillery currently manufactures the popular liqueurs Björk and Birkir, which are made with Icelandic birch. The Björk and Birkir liqueurs are currently sold in the US and Denmark, as well as in Iceland.

While the flavour, water and manufacturing of the liqueurs are domestic, the alcoholic spirit used in the production is imported. By manufacturing alcohol out of ethanol made from whey Björn argues thee popular liqueurs would become a 100% Icelandic product.

Björn believes the use of alcohol distilled using milk as the raw material would make Björk an Birkir more exciting: “There is a certain story you can tell, saying the alcohol is manufactured from whey, and that this is a by-product which was only been partially used up to this point, but is now being used more fully.”

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