urho kekkonen national park

 

After 45 minutes of snow mobiling through the wilderness to chase the Northern Lights, we arrived at a clearing where a man was having a bonfire by his teepee.

“Would you like something warm to drink?” he asked as we sat by the bonfire. He was pointing at the kettle warming up by the fire.

“YES PLEASE!” I shouted immediately before he even finished telling us what it was. I couldn’t think straight. All my brain wanted was to get warm. Driving for 45 minutes with the coldest wind ever that felt like it was wrapping your face with ice was not something I would do everyday.

“Here,” he said, extending his hand with a paper cup filled with warm goodness.

I sipped immediately and obviously scalded my tongue a bit in the process. But I didn’t care. I sipped again. It was warm. And more importantly, it was delicious.

 

sekamehu

 

“What is this?!?” I asked, more curious than perplexed.

“Sekamehu,” he said. I stared back and I probably looked like I was saying “EH? What the hell is that?” because he abruptly continued to explain what it was.

“It’s a Finnish juice drink. It’s good for you. Drink some more.”

I sipped some more. The drink was perfectly warm by then, the freezing cold air dropped its boiling hot temperature to manageable hot within a minute.

“What’s a SEKAMEWHAT? Can you say that again? What’s in here?” I prodded like I always do, asking questions like a little boy perpetually curious about new things around him.

“Se-ka-meh-who. Sekamehu. It’s a Finnish mixed juice drink made of grapes, apples and red currant. I think this one has some cherry in it,” he explained.

I drank some more and had 5 glasses of it within 15 minutes. It tasted like having a picnic with friends by the lake on a warm, sunny day. Or summers when we went to the forest to pick mushrooms, finding a jackpot spot and feeling the urge to just roll all over it out of sheer happiness. Or having long Sunday brunches with people you care about. It tasted like seeing the Northern Lights snaking its way in the dark sky for the the first time in your life. Probably bad bad bad metaphors but you get what I mean right?

Has a juice drink ever affected you this much?

 

sekamehu finland

 

It might have been the fact that it was really cold and I was very thirsty so anything I drank could have tasted this good.

We went snow shoeing through Urho Kekkonen National Park the next day (see: first photo) and guess what we drank during our break? Warm glasses of sekamehu of course. After we went husky dogsledding, guess what they serve us? Liters and liters of sekamehu goodness. We went skiing and played like kids with our toboggans and I craved for a glass of sekamehu all the time.

I obviously asked the Finnish folks up here in the Arctic a lot of things about it. Sekamehu literally means mixed juice. Seka means mixed and mehu means juice. I learned that you can buy it in the grocery store or you can make it yourself. It’s like a juice concentrate so you have to add warm or cold water to it. 50/50. Depending on how sweet you wanted it to be. OBVI they normally drink it warm in the winter and cold in the summer.

I normally don’t like buying processed juice and I’m not really sure how much artificial stuff they mix with it but as soon as we arrived in Helsinki, it was in the top of my list of local things to hoard.

And hoard I did.

So besides shopping for clothes as if I haven’t shopped enough clothes the other week (blame Christmas sale that extends to forever!) and some design-y Finnish stuff for the apartment, I went to the supermarket and searched for some sekamehu. I ended up hoarding 3 liters of it to bring home so I can have some to last me until I go back to Finland in the summer.

I am currently drinking it cold mixed with bubbly water as I type this post.

YUM.

Do you hoard local stuff like I do? What kind?

*

 

This post is part of the Instagram Travel Thursday. Join us by tagging your Instagram pics with #IGTravelThursday or blogging about travel on Thursdays! Follow me on Instagram. I post loads of fun, travel-y pics there.  Check out the other posts below!

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DJ Yabis is the poster boy of Dream Euro Trip and a modern day renaissance man. He loves throwing dinner parties and stalking rock stars in music festivals. Subscribe or follow his adventures LIVE on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or . Learn how to plan your own eurotrip.

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20 Responses to “Coffee, Tea or Sekamehu?!?” Subscribe

  1. Hl May 17, 2014 at 9:22 PM #

    Haha I’m from Finland and I just love this post! I have it saved on my computer’s bookmarks because sometimes when I’m feeling like “Finland is such a boring place, I wish I could go somewhere else” I like to come and read this and it makes me so happy to see that someone can enjoy something that feels so ordinary to me so much! In a way, it makes me appreciate the small things. And yes, sekamehu is amazing!

    • DJ Yabis May 17, 2014 at 11:36 PM #

      Awww. This comment just made my day. Thank you for reminding me why I love blogging.

      I just finished mine 3 weeks ago. I hope to get more stocks soon when I get back! I miss it! I bet it’s great with BBQ in the summer.

  2. Matthew Hirtes March 3, 2014 at 12:38 AM #

    Sounds delicious. I’m currently drinking grog at night over on Gran Canaria. Made with boiled water and the local rum, Arehucas.

    • DJ Yabis March 10, 2014 at 7:27 PM #

      i should try that when im in Gran canaria

  3. Mary @Green Global Travel March 2, 2014 at 10:40 AM #

    We’ve had some of our best travel experiences over hot beverages. There is something so wonderfully communal about it. We’d love to go to Finland and try Sekamehu. It looks delicious!

  4. Anh February 23, 2014 at 3:28 AM #

    Hi DJ,

    Great pictures that you got. I read all the posts that you have about Lapland because I’m traveling there next month. Also to Saariselka and the area around that.

    Could you pleases tell me the type of camera you used to take the pictures? Is there any difficulty because of the lack of light?

    Thank you :)
    Anh

    • DJ Yabis February 24, 2014 at 9:12 PM #

      Hi Anh,

      Great! You will LOVE IT! It’s a beatiful place.

      I use a Sony digicam, nothing fancy, and also my iPhone 5. It’s pretty bright there during the day around 10am-3pm. It gets darker but maybe the day is longer by March. I was there last January.

      Enjoy your time and let me know if you have more questions :D

      DJ

  5. Alison Chino February 17, 2014 at 7:40 PM #

    I loved watching everyone’s photos from Finland this year! So beautiful.

    There is nothing so wonderful as a hot drink when you’re really cold. I think it’s almost worth getting really cold just to enjoy the hot that much more! I find sometimes that when I search out a drink at home after going somewhere that I don’t love it as much now that I’m not in that perfect setting. :)

    • DJ Yabis March 2, 2014 at 7:36 AM #

      Finland is a beatiful place! I think you said it perfectly: ‘I think it’s almost worth getting really cold just to enjoy the hot that much more!’

  6. Bethaney - Flashpacker Family February 17, 2014 at 5:29 AM #

    Looks and sounds delicious!

    • DJ Yabis March 2, 2014 at 7:37 AM #

      it is and im running out of stock!

  7. Tom @ Waegook Tom February 16, 2014 at 10:51 PM #

    Sekamehu sounds totes amaze, and for some reason makes me think of kompot, a cherry-based juice drink that I guzzled down while in Odessa.

    • DJ Yabis March 2, 2014 at 7:38 AM #

      Gurrrl have some next time. My friend who just moved to Finland hoarded some after reading this post and loved it lol

  8. Satu VW / Destination Unknown February 16, 2014 at 7:15 PM #

    Ha ha, sekamehu is the best! And as Reeta said, we all did grow up with it… You should also make a little detour to Norway this summer! :)

    • DJ Yabis March 2, 2014 at 7:38 AM #

      I wanna go back to Norway! I love that country too

  9. Leigh Powell Hines February 14, 2014 at 10:16 PM #

    DJ,

    I love this post. And I love your storytelling ability, too. I’m so glad you are joining us a host for #IGTRAVELThursday.

    This was very interesting, and of course, I had never heard of it.

    I do hoard local stuff. The organic hot chocolate at Trader Joes in the states is really good so I bought several boxes at one time.

    • DJ Yabis February 14, 2014 at 11:09 PM #

      Thank you! It’s nice to hear that. Organic hot chocolate sounds equally yummy!

  10. reeta @houseofanais February 14, 2014 at 5:03 AM #

    LOL, we all grew up on sekamehu. After skiing competition a warm cup, in the summer a cold cup of it. You seem to have had a really fab time in Finland, Makes me want to go there too!

    • DJ Yabis February 14, 2014 at 11:13 PM #

      Yes I really enjoyed Finland. Planning to go back in the summer!

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