Swedish brewery Spendrups has launched an Orange/Sea-Buckthorn flavour water in half-litre and 1.5-litre bottles this week, seeking to exploit the nutritious buckthorn berries usually used in complementary medicines and cosmetics.

The drink will be marketed under Spendrups' Loka brand of bottled waters well known in Sweden. "Sea-Buckthorn is a natural extension of Loka's development of Swedish flavours. It's one of the oldest parts of Sweden's flora and even used to be called Scandinavia's passion fruit," Helena Augustson, marketing chief of water and soft drinks at Spendrups, said in a statement.

Sea-buckthorn, the berries of which were very difficult to harvest until recently because of their prickly branches, contains six times more Vitamin C than oranges. The juice has a freezing point of -22 degrees Celsius, allowing it to remain a liquid even in sub-zero temperatures. Alone, sea-buckthorn is bitter and harsh tasting but is better when mixed with other flavours.