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Produced in Scandinavian countries, Akvavit derives its name from aqua vitae (Latin: “water of life”), applied originally to drinks distilled from wine, as it was made from imported wine; the product therefore was highly expensive until Swedish soldiers learned to make Aquavit from grain. In the 18th century the potato became an important raw material. It is distilled from a fermented potato or grain mash, redistilled with flavourings, filtered with charcoal, and usually bottled without ageing. Various aromatic flavours are used in production, usually including caraway and cumin seed; lemon or orange peel, cardamom, aniseed and fennel also may be used.
When you’re looking for a celebratory drink, Aquavit might not be the first alcoholic beverage that comes to mind, but it’s certainly popular if you’re Norwegian. This all too undiscovered spirit is traditionally drunk chilled from a shot glass…
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