Aquavit – Scandinavian Spirit Review

Being the drink geek that I am I love to thumb through hard-core recipe books while sitting at my sweet basement bar. Daves Bar

Recently, I came across a few recipes that called for aquavit (pronounced aha-kwa-vit, I think). I was intrigued (ok…shocked) that there was a liquor out there that I was not familiar with, so thought that I would give it a try.

After a bit of a search, I found it a local retailer. Turns out, aquavit is a potato or grain spirit, most often from Scandinavian countries distilled several times and flavored with caraway, anise, coriander, or citrus rind. Sounds weird, and pretty gross. But I pushed forward with my mission.

The store clerk suggested that I try Linie (pronounced “LINN-yuh). It’s an aquavit from Norway and is aged in cask shipboard traveling from Oslo, Norway down under the equator, and back again – giving it a softer mouth feel and light amber color uncharacteristic for aquavits.

Aquavits are typically kept in the freezer, and drank straight up, ice cold in a cordial glass. I know that drinking out of a cordial glass doesn’t sound all that cool, but believe me it’s worth it. It keeps this, not so sweet tasting liquor ice cold.

AquavitI also heard that people sip it with a pilsner chaser to bring out the caraway flavor. So I gave that a go. Hmmm…not the best tasting drink I have ever had, but interesting, potent and 40 proof – which always makes things taste better.

Even with my veteran palette – it was a bit pungent for me. I would suggest you try it with some mixers or twists.

Here are a few recipes to give it a go. Good luck!

Viking Blood
2 oz aquavit
2 oz Tia Maria® coffee liqueur
Sprite® soda

Pour aquavit and Tia Maria® over ice cubes in a highball glass. Fill with Sprite® or 7-Up®, stir, and serve in a highball glass.

Danish Martini
3 oz aquavit
½ oz dry vermouth

Shake ingredients with cracked ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an olive, and serve.

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