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Aug 24, 2011 04:19 PM

Akvavit! Skol!

I enjoy ice-cold Akvavit, with pickled herring, or sardines, etc. (I'm of Danish heritage). Any other Akvavit fans out there? I used to buy Aalborg, but I found they change their recipe for the U. S., with added sugar, so I make my own by infusing vodka with Caraway seeds.

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  1. I'm Norwegian born and as King Olav said.... we drink it because we're Norwegian. I've had summer,fall,Christmas,regional,artisanal,small batch,export... and they all taste like over bleached socks.. Skol!!!

    1. Although I am largely of Irish descent, I have a bottle of Linie Aquavit in my bar ... I think it is Norwegian. I had Aalborg when I used to date a Northern German woman and we were near the Danish border. Out of the two, I'm more partial to the Linie ...

      10 Replies
      1. re: hawkeyeui93

        I haven't had Linie yet, though I've heard it's good. There are others in the Aalborg range I'd like to try, but I guess I'll have to get to Denmark again...

        1. re: tommymeboy

          It has an awesome backstory [in that it is put in barrels and placed in a ship and crosses the equator and returns to Norway before being bottled]. linie-aquavit.com/

        2. re: hawkeyeui93

          Linie is indeed made in Norway.

          We drink bottles of it every year for our Xmas smörgåsbord/party. Served cold and neat. Any other way would not fly in our house.

          My dad's side is all Norwegian and we have lots of relatives back in the home country.

          To "Duppie", Thor needs to bludgeon you with his hammer! JK!

          1. re: vinosnob

            My family is from the Vestafold region and we have 3 producers of Aquavit that makes several blends for each season as well as for holidays such as Christmas,Easter,Solstice ect.
            They all taste like bilge water mixed with old solvent so I finally asked a friend who fancies himself somewhat of a connoisseur, why do people drink this stuff? and his exact words were "we have to... we're Norwegian".
            Reminds me of the story of how Jagermeister went from a tonic for bilious old men to hot shots in college bars all with some smart marketing.

            1. re: Duppie

              Sounds like you need to drink some new aquavit! ;) Seriously, there's a lot of tradition steeped in this spirit so I hear what you're saying.

              Do you like caraway?

              1. re: vinosnob

                I just spent almost a year in Norway and Sweden recently and tried pretty much everything old and new. Even as a child I remember the obligatory bottle of Aquavit that my dad and his friends would have a couple of shots at Christmas and Independence day but it would last several years because they never really liked it.
                I'm a Gin man so I'm not opposed to some herbal qualities but tradition or not, Aquavit IMHO will always be a novelty at the very least and a arcane throwback at the most....Akin to Gjetost.

                1. re: Duppie

                  I don't find many similarities between aquavit and gin at all but ymmv.

                  Like grappa or ouzo, aquavit is an acquired taste; I dislike the two former ones.

                  BTW, I like gjetost too! And (real) nøkkelost if I can find it.

                  1. re: vinosnob

                    So be it... you're quite welcome to my dram,If ever in NYC, check out Murry's in the west village for Nokkelost and if memory serves me there is an excellent shop in Seattle that imports provisions from Scandinavia for mail order. Every thing from Sil to Summer salad.I'll see if I can find the name.

          2. re: hawkeyeui93

            I lived in Norway and very much prefer Linje to Aalborg. I get a kick out of looking at the back of the label and seeing the date and location the aquavit crossed the equator. Linje means equator in this case. They say the constant rocking of the aquavit in the ship's balast makes for a smoother drink.

          3. I picked up a bottle of Aalborg on vacation and haven't figured out what to do with it, what are some ideas?

            7 Replies
            1. re: ncyankee101

              As Vinosnob put it, "cold and neat" is how you drink it. I keep mine in the freezer, along with the glasses. It's always drunk with food, though, often at lunch! When I learned to drink it as a youth, I was in Denmark at a relative's, she would fill me full of lunch and Snaps, and send me out on her bicycle to sightsee. Hard to sightsee when your eyes are crossed!

              1. re: tommymeboy

                I don't really find it flavorful enough to drink on the rocks, it kind of reminds me of watered down Ouzo - in fact I drank Ouzo last night right after I drank the Akvavit and enjoyed it so much more. I would rather find some cocktails that might benefit from the subtle spice.

                1. re: ncyankee101

                  Yankee: I'm not a fan of the black licorice taste, but here's one called a "compliment": Mix 2:1 shots gin/aquavit with a half of shot of maraschino liqueur and an orange peel ...

                  1. re: hawkeyeui93

                    Hawkeye - a recent discussion on aquavit led me back to this thread, and I tried this drink (which I must have missed when you originally posted.)

                    I have to say I find the combination of flavors interesting and unusual, thanks for the suggestion. I might cut back the maraschino a little as it really seems to dominate the drink, a little goes a long way.

                    1. re: ncyankee101

                      I thought it was a little aggressive too [with the maraschino], but I did like it in the totality of the drink though.

                    2. re: hawkeyeui93

                      Hawkeye: I must try this as I am a black licorice enthusiast!

                2. re: ncyankee101

                  It makes a terrific Bloody Mary.

                3. Bought some North Shore Aquavit for my son in law (and myself). See K&L Wines, Hollywood, or their website. I know I know. Not Danish aquavit (Aalborg), but excellent! Mixed with Peter Heering, a very nice cocktail. Don't forget to add a Luxardo cherry. Very nice touch. Being as how I don't have quite the stamina of my Danich ancestors, I add a splash of sparking water or club soda. Skaol!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: valverity

                    I agree that the North Shore Aquavit is excellent. It's one of my favorites.

                  2. Please share your recipe with us. Aalborg doesn't ship to the U. S. anymore, so we need to make our own. I do prefer the caraway-flavored over the licorice, dill, etc. Aalborg Tafel (the original, once in the green bottle, more recently the clear bottle) is pitched as 'with caraway flavor and the slightest hint of orange.' I guess it must be as easy as infusing vodka (your preferred brand is? Potato or grain?) with some caraway seeds, but what proportions, and do you toast and crush the seeds first? Any orange peel for you? Thanks.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: mcmannis

                      Sure, mcmannis, I use grain vodka (usually Gordon's) and I infuse with a generous Tablespoon of Caraway seeds which I toast in a pan just until I see some oil on them, and I add a 1/4 tsp. of dried Orange peel. Infuse it for a week (out of the light) then strain it with a coffee filter into your decanter. It's golden-colored and reminds me of the Taffel, but better, If I may say so!