Tag Archives: aquavit

7 Random Facts About Aquavit

April 5, 2018 | Leave a comment

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?

Aquavit Tasting in ScandiKitchen

April 4, 2018 | Leave a comment

Join us for an aquavit tasting evening

Aquavit is a spirit synonymous with Scandinavia – a bit like ABBA, the ziplock and IKEA. Just with more character, taste and intrigue.

Aquavit, like whiskey, takes its name from the latin aqua vitae – water of life. In principle, aquavit can be made from any neutral spirit, but most common is a base from potato (Norway) or grains (Sweden and Denmark) – which then is flavoured with herbs and spices. Caraway and dill are the most popular ones, but coriander, fennel, anisseed and citrus peel are also common. In short, aquavits are as varied as Scandinavians. To the untrained palate (ie. most Scandi children begging their parents for a taste) they may all seem similar, but once you get to know them you’ll realise the term aquavit means a whole range of tastes and occasions. Served at room temperature rather than the often suggested ice cold allows the aromas and flavours to come through – so to really appreciate it this is what the people in the know recommend. We, for one, won’t argue with people who know things about aquavit – like the fantastic Jon Anders Fjeldsrud who is our aquavit master for this event.

Our aquavit evening will take you through a varied selection to show you how to truly taste and enjoy yours – with a break in the middle to sample some classic Scandi smørrebrød – or open top sandwiches, if you like.

We look forwards to an evening of serious aquavit knowledge and a chance to sample some of Scandinavia’s finest.

We will taste our way through 6 to 7 different Aquavit with a break in-between serving some classic Scandi smørrebrød.

Aquavit tastings at the cafe 29th November 2014

November 28, 2014 | 4 Comments

It is no secret that we Nordics absolutely love aquavit. Okay, yes, it’s strong stuff, but we only do drink it when we’re having smörgåsbord and we’re usually pretty careful with the stuff.

The Nordics have been drinking aquavit for centuries – since the 15th century, in fact. The tipple is usually around 40% alcohol and flavoured with strong herbs such as dill, caraway and anis – making them a perfect partner for pickled fish, such as herring.

Tomorrow Saturday 29th November we’re honoured to be joined by the all-knowing Aquavit expert Jon, who will be on site from midday onwards, offering helpful teachings and tastings to all our customers about a range of different aquavits. In fact, we did similar taste training at the cafe this week and we learnt a lot about not only the Aquavits that we serve at the cafe but also different types available on the market. Jon is bringing several aquavit – and will be making some aquavit based cocktails, too.

Aquavit is usually drunk ice cold but when you do the tasting without food, you sip it instead of down it all in one – and this is why Rebekka, Trine and Joanna look a bit shocked in the picture as it is a lot stronger in flavour this way! Just remember, when you serve it at home, pop the bottle in the freezer for a good few hours before hand and serve the shots – with food – and you don’t need to sip.

If you are popping by on Saturday, join our competition, too: Everybody who buys any aquavit tomorrow at the cafe will be entered into a competition to win 2 extra bottles (A 700ml bottle of Hammer Aquavit AND a 700ml bottle of Jubilæums Aquavit) – winner will be drawn at end of the day and be notified by phone to come pick up their extra stash. Usual rules apply, no alternative prize.

HammerUlagretAquavit copy

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