7 Random Facts About Aquavit

Posted by Martina Wade | Fun stuff
aquavit

7 things you never knew about Aquavit

  1. The name Aquavit comes from the Latin Aqua vitae – the water of life. This is the same origin as the French Eau de vie and Gaelic “Uisqhe beatha” (the latter of which has been anglified to Whiskey).
  2. Aquavit can in principle be made from any neutral spirit which is then flavoured with herbs or spices – most commonly caraway and dill, but coriander, fennel, anisseed and citrus peel is also common.
  3. In Norway potato is the most common base – whereas in Denmark and Sweden they often use grains.
  4. The minimum strength allowed is 37.5%.
  5. Whilst aquavit today is a largely Scandinavian thing, the origins point towards the Netherlands, where they have been making Jenever since the 1500s. Also from a grain base spirit, but flavoured with juniper berries (so it is also often referred to as Dutch gin).
  6. The term ‘Taffel’ aquavit is used to denote a clear aquavit – these are not matured. A yellowish, golden or light rown colour indicates usually that it has been aged in oak casks (Norway), or that it is a more mature aqauvit – though small amounts of caramel colour is allowed and often used to give a consistent colour across batches.
  7. The oldest reference to Aquavit is found in a letter from 1531, from the, Eske Bille, the Danish lord of Bergenshus castle, to Olav Engelbrektsson, the last Roman Catholic archbishop of Norway – accopmanying a parcel “some water which is called Aqua vitae and (…) helps for all his illness that a man can have internally”.

Aaaah, now who fancies some?

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