OULU. You mix French cognac (not the best sort) with vodka : and you get cut cognac or brandy. In Finland it’s called Jaloviina (noble liquor) or simply Jallu. Being not only a drink, the fluid is also part of Finland’s culture history, with a bouqet of war times and hardrockers. After years of research and discussions with publishers, Jonna Pulkkinen from Oulu, a journalist and chairman of the Barents Press International, has finally released her rich volume ”Jallu – Jaloviinan ja paloviinan historia” [Jallu – the history of brandy and liquor].
Jaloviina was created in 1932. There were many proposals for the naming of Alko´s new mixture – “ Viikonvesi [Week´s Water], Teräskonjakki [Steel Cognac], Tähti Karhukonjakki [Star Bear Cognac], Puolikonjakki [Half Cognac] etc.
Jaloviina was written down in Finland’s history during three wars [Winter War, Continuation War and Lapland War]. One reason for its fame and popularity stems from the 4th of June 1942, Supreme Commander Mannerheim’s 75th birthday. On that day Jaloviina was given for free to all front soldiers – Â one bottle was divided between five men, each soldier got two good portions.
Today, the golden beverage is still among the most bought hard liquor in Alko´s catalogue. You will not find it online, though, since it’s forbidden to make advertisment for products with an alcohol content higher than 22 percent. Jaloviina has given the name to an annual metal music festival in Oulu – the Jalometalli Festival.
Cover: Soldiers drinking Jallu. From Pulkkinen’s book.
Info: Minerva publishing house [in Finnish]