Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Karsk: Have you ever tried it?

I love the web because there are always new and interesting things to learn about. Today was a great example of that. While surfing around the web and looking for something to write about, I found a wikipedia entry on something called Karsk. Apparently Karsk is a Norwegian word for coffee with liquor added to it. Well, actually, according to some enthusiasts, its coffee with "moonshine" in it.

I'm honestly not sure what's more intriguing to me--the fact that Norwegians have moonshine, the fact that they apparently mix said moonshine into their coffee or the fact that there are so-called "enthusiasts" who drink said moonshine/coffee mixture.

I spoke with the Fraternal Director who is from Norway and he told me that it is very common, especially in rural communities and northern Norway.

Am I the only person who didn't know about this already?

As you may have figured out already, I'm very intrigued by Norwegian cultural oddities (as evidenced by the strange Norwegian food posts of past). That being the case, I would love to hear from anyone who has tried Karsk. Do you have a story about it? How about a recipe? Do you know the difference between U.S. made moonshine and its Norwegian cousin? If so, leave a comment below because I want to hear all about it!


MJ said...

I haven't had karsk, but I have had "hjemmebrent" and it was vile. Maybe the guy who made it wasn't very good at it. I certainly wouldn't want to ruin a perfectly good cup of coffee with this stuff.

Erik Evans said...

Gesundheit! I've never heard of hjemmebrent. I've been told that Karsk, however, is very popular with the northern and rural Norwegians.

MJ said...

Hjemmebrent is literally home burned (I'm pretty sure, but ask E). It's what they call their moonshine. At lease in our family...

Anonymous said...

Hey there!

I just came over this site by accident, but I am so fascinated by your interest in Norwegian culture and oddities that I decided to subscibe. And when I saw this post on karsk I decided it was a good place to post my first comment.

Karsk is, as you correctly have stated, coffee mixed with home-made sprit (booze, moonshine, 96% or whatever you want to call it), but it is not some weird custom only for enthusiasts. Actually it is a quite normal phenomenon in Norwegian culture (especially in the youth culture), mostly in mid-Norway, Trøndelag and the north. Normally, people drink it at the nachspiel (after party) to stay awake and to stay drunk :), but people often also drink it at the vorspiel (pre party) to get a booster.

There are several "versions" of the drink, but the original is coffee and moonshine. Some people, mostly girls, rather use vodka or rum as a substitute, while I also like using whiskey in it. But anyway, what I wanted to say was that it is very normal and very delicious as well (the no.1 night time drink). Mmmmm... karsk :)

Guido, Norway.