The town of Tallinn in Estonia claims to be the first town to ever put up a public Christmas tree, in the year 1441. Riga, Latvia, disputes that and claims to have been the first. But in Estonia, public Christmas trees are made into soda, specially produced to mix with gin. Estonian couple Maarit Pöör and Tarmo Virki established Lahhentagge Distillery in Saaremaa, and in 2019 began producing Estonic Soda, which comes in spruce, fir, and juniper flavors that come from the branches and needles of town square Christmas trees after the holiday is over. Unlike Christmas trees in a home, these massive municipal trees stay fairly moist and fresh over the holiday by standing outside in freezing weather. The 56-foot tree in Kuressaare will produce enough infusion for 40,000 bottles of soda, and trees from other towns will be used as well. Read about turning Christmas trees into Estonic Soda at Atlas Obscura.
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