Norwegian drink Aquavit vodka: what it is, types, how to drink + recipe at home

Norwegian drink Aquavit vodka: what it is, types, how to drink + recipe at home

Aquavit - is a popular alcoholic beverage in the Scandinavian countries, produced by distilling alcohol from potatoes and less often from grain, and then infused with spices and herbs. Its strength has a true northern character and varies from 40 to 50 degrees.

The legend of the drink

In Latin, "aqua vitae" means "living water" or "water of life". This is not surprising, as this drink used to be used exclusively for medicinal purposes. It was used to improve appetite and immunity, in case of colds and, oddly enough, as a remedy for alcoholism.

According to some sources, aquavit began to be brewed in the XIII century in modern Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

But still, the first mention of the name itself was recorded in written sources in 1531 and was accompanied by the inscription: "Helps against all diseases"... inside and out".

Production technology of Aquavit beverage

The drink is traditionally made in four consecutive stages, but the exact proportions of each manufacturer, of course, are kept in the strictest confidence.

  1. The first stage is the production of brew.

  2. The second stage is distillation. The resulting brew is distilled twice in a distiller. And the result is an alcohol with a strength of 60-80 degrees.

  3. The third stage is maceration. Potato alcohol is diluted with water in the required proportion and medicinal herbs and spices are added to it.

  4. The fourth stage is aging. Aquavit is aged in oak or cherry barrels. The color intensity of the drink depends on the time of exposure.

The most expensive varieties of aqua vita necessarily go through the fifth stage, which consists of a sea voyage. The drink is poured into barrels and then loaded onto a ship. And the main condition for such a cruise is to cross the equator twice.

Varieties of aquavit

  1. Norwegian aquavit

    This is essentially potato moonshine, usually amber in color, which is tinted with cumin.

  2. Danish aquavit

    Clear drink, has the taste and aroma of cumin seeds. In Denmark, it is increasingly common to find pure aquavit, which is practically odorless and can be infused with any spices according to personal preference.

  3. Swedish aquavit

    Very similar to the Danish drink. The only difference is in some roots, herbs and spices used in the process of its production.

Recipe for aquavit at home


  1. Diluted food alcohol (40%) or vodka - 750 ml

  2. Caraway seeds - 2 tsp.

  3. Fennel seeds - 2 tsp.

  4. Crushed cardamom - 2 boxes

  5. Cloves - 2 buds

  6. Anise - 2 h. л.

  7. Cinnamon stick - 1 pc.

  8. Dried zest of one lemon

  9. Dried zest of one orange

  10. Granulated sugar - 1.5 tbsp.

The method of preparation

  1. First of all, we need to fry all the spices, including citrus peel, in a dry frying pan for 3 minutes.

  2. Pour the contents of the frying pan into a 1 liter glass container, add granulated sugar and pour in the alcoholic component. After shaking thoroughly, let the drink stand for about two weeks in a dark place. Be sure to shake the contents of the container at least twice a day.

  3. After 14 days, we take a sample, if the drink has become rich and aromatic, then it can be filtered and then filtered through a purchased or homemade filter.

  4. Then pour the aquavit into glass bottles.

  5. The finished drink must be cooled before tasting.

  6. If you have an oak barrel, it is best to store the finished Norwegian vodka in it.

How to drink aquavit

Aquavit, like other drinks, has its own specific ritual of consumption. Unlike long Japanese or Chinese ceremonies, this drink is much simpler:

  1. Serve Scandinavian vodka frozen to -18 degrees or well chilled.

  2. Drink it from ordinary glasses, in a gulp. Special connoisseurs of this drink prefer to wash it down with beer.

  3. You can serve as an appetizer: seafood, pickles, cheese or fatty meat dishes.

The Scandinavians do not abuse their traditional drink and pour it to each other only on holidays - Christmas and Independence Day.

Update: 11.02.2018

Category: Vodka an Moonshine