Old Latvian tradition - drinking birch saps


Drinking birch saps is an old Latvian tradition. Birch sap is like an “energy drink” that helps to invigorate one’s body after long and dark winter period. It is commonly known for its detoxifying, diuretic, cleansing and purifying properties. In spring, usually in April, when the sun warms up the atmosphere, birch saps start to circulate in trees.

Birch saps are collected by drilling a hole in the trunk some 30-40cm from the ground and using a tube to lead the sap into some container. Fresh birch sap is transparent and somewhat silky. Depending on the soil where the tree grows, the taste is pleasant, more or less on the sweet side. Saps can be collected during 3-4 weeks, until the leaves start to appear. Then the tube is removed from the trunk and the hole is closed, usually with a wooden plug, so that the tree is not harmed. 

Birch saps can be fermented using a wealth of traditional recipes. Sparkling beverages made of birch saps are produced by rural farms and are available directly from producers or from some of the largest supermarkets. Rural farm excursions are available familiarising guests with this wonderful tradition and offering tasting of fresh and fermented birch sap.


Photo: Birzi.lv

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