Spirit Highlight: Akvavit

Spirit knowledge is a key component when experimenting with new cocktails. Often times the addition of uncommon ingredients can be the difference in taking a cocktail from, good to great. For this reason I decided to write a quick highlight on the culture and flavor profile of this spirit.

History and Culture

Akvavit pronounced Aqua-veet, is a Scandinavian spirit that can be traced back to the mid 1500’s. Akvavit translates roughly to “water of life” in Latin and is an important part of Scandinavian history and culture. Usually drank during celebratory or festive events, akvavit can range in color from clear to light brown depending on country of origin. From my understanding, traditionally akvavit is served at room temperature in a shotglass or sipped straight accompanied by a dark beer.

Flavor Profile

Akvavit is made from distilled grain or potatoes along with botanical distillates and spices. Denmark and Sweden prefer a clear version of akvavit with strong caraway or dill flavors. Norway differs however, by favoring a darker caramel colored version of akvavit that is aged in sherry oak cask to provide a richer more full-bodied flavor with notes of vanilla.


I will be highlighting some interesting cocktails with akvavit soon so stay posted. As always feel free to comment or contact I’d love to hear from you!



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