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slkinsey

Aquavit Cocktails

54 posts in this topic

I've been thinking a bit about aquavit lately. Gin is my favorite cocktail liquor. And what is gin? It's more or less juniper-plus-other-stuff-flavored neutral spirits. Well, what is aquavit? It's more or less caraway-plus-other-stuff-flavored neutral spirits.

So, I thought, why aren't we making lots of cool cocktails with aquavit? In fact, wouldn't a lot of gin formulae work fairly interestingly with aquavit? Say, for example, aquavit, maraschino and lemon juice. CocktailDB has a mere 18 cocktails with aquavit, which is a good place to start but we ought to be able to do better than that.

I have to do some experimenting, but would love to hear other thoughts on this.


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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This week's NY Times Food Section just so happened to have a bit on aquavit (the spirit) and Aquavit (the restaurant).

Aquavit the restaurant has introduced its own brand of aquavit the caraway-seasoned spirit. Called Aquavit New York, it is made in Sweden and comes in a squat bottle that holds a subtle whiff of caraway and the tart fruitiness of white cranberry.

Christian Post, the bar manager, uses it in an array of new cocktails. They include a white cosmopolitan and the refreshing yet suave ruby slipper, which has ruby port, citrus juice and a touch of simple syrup shaken with the aquavit and is finished with a ribbon of singed orange peel.

Hakan Swan, an owner of the restaurant Aquavit and the guy who commissioned the Aquavit New York brand, says they wanted an aquavit with softer caraway to make the spirit more compatible with mixing in cocktails. That makes sense. He also says they made it low proof (only 70) to make it "easier to drink." That, I'm not so sure about. For mixing, I'd rather see a higher proof.

What are some other aquavits out there and available? Here in NY, we have:

Aalborg aquavit

OP Anderson aquavit

Lysholm Linie aquavit (which is aged in oak sherry casks)

Aquavit New York

Anyone mixed with these?


Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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I've been thinking a bit about aquavit lately.  Gin is my favorite cocktail liquor.  And what is gin?  It's more or less juniper-plus-other-stuff-flavored neutral spirits.  Well, what is aquavit?  It's more or less caraway-plus-other-stuff-flavored neutral spirits. 

I think the reason for the lack of populariy of Aquavit is that quite a bit of it is pretty rough stuff. The stuff aged on ships (Linie) is supposed to be somewhat mellower; but, I generally classify Aquavit along with Grappa and Potcheen. Often just one step above moonshine.

I haven't had it for quite a few years; but, grew up in a Norwegian community, where it was a well known and somewhat infamous spirit.

I will have to pick up a bottle of Linie and let you know what I think. At least, even the good stuff is fairly cheap.

Caraway is also not a particularly "modern" flavor. In cooking, some flavors that caraway plays nice with are apples, raisins, vinegars, coriander, dill, fennel, and marjoram. Well, and carrots, cabbages, and sausages.

Erik


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Given that Aquavit is simply flavored vodka, the potential to whip up your own stuff at home and mix and match is almost unlimited. I made up a batch of garlic/dill stuff that made a spectacular bloody Mary - until I developed an odd craving to sip it by itself, fresh from the freezer. Making your own also allows you to control the quality of the vodka.


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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I like to make Negroni's using Aquavit instead of gin. I actually think Aquavit works better then gin with the Campari and vermouth.

I've also worked up a cocktail that I call the "Trident" that uses Aquavit, and all of the other ingredients are almost even harder to find behind the average bar :->

Trident

- 1 ounce dry sherry

- 1 ounce Cynar

- 1 ounce aquavit

- 2 dashes peach bitters

Stir with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Here in Seattle, the Zig Zag Cafe has it on their cocktail menu, and go through more Cynar then all of the other bars in Washington state combined :->

-Robert

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One of the first bars I ever tended in a 4-star environment, we made our house cosmo with OP aquavit, cointreau, lemon juice and cran. (Sorry to bring up the deplorable "c drink"!) The aquavit added a depth to the drink that somehow made it ok to serve:) That was the first introduction I had to OP.

Years later I used OP in a cocktail with my homemade ginger beer and Canton Ginger Liqueur.


"Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts. Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more." Proverbs 31: 6-7

Julia

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Given that Aquavit is simply flavored vodka, the potential to whip up your own stuff at home and mix and match is almost unlimited.

Found this recipe for Aquavit on Home Distiller.org, if you feel ambitious. Lots of other fascinating information on the site (including recipes for gin), should you decide to become a moonshiner.

Erik

----------------

Akvavit

* 4 L of 40 vol.% vodka (or well made Moonshine...)

* 30 g of caraway seeds

* 5 g of coriander seeds

* 5 g of dryed dill

* Some oak chips

* Splash of Irish whiskey

Combine all in a large jar and macerate for a week. Filter through a coffee filter and add a teaspoonful of glucose (dextrose), age for a month or so.

http://homedistiller.org/wash-grain2.htm#akvavit


Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I've been thinking a bit about aquavit lately.  Gin is my favorite cocktail liquor.  And what is gin?  It's more or less juniper-plus-other-stuff-flavored neutral spirits.  Well, what is aquavit?  It's more or less caraway-plus-other-stuff-flavored neutral spirits. 

I have to do some experimenting, but would love to hear other thoughts on this.

I dunno, it's really hard to get beyond that caraway flavor, at least for me. It is just not as appealing to me as juniper.

I thought I would make a kind of reverse Vesper, 2 ounce vodka, one ounce aquavit, 1/2 ounce lillet, orange zest. I was kind of hoping that the citrus in lillet and orange would play nice with the caraway and the 2 parts vodka would mellow it a little more. It was OK, but certainly not great. The caraway was lurking there, bothering my palate. I think it might be nicer in a savory bitter cocktail.

The Aquavit was a strange shaped bottle of Jubilaeum that my wife had received for Christmas quite a few years ago. She had threatened to pour it down the sink when we moved; but, being Norwegian, I had secreted it away and hidden it in the garage and forgotten we still had it. It was a bit dusty.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Funny this should come up. I've been experimenting with aquavit cocktails--slow season on the farm--and have come up with a couple that I like well enough to put them in the repertoire. I think DrinkBoy's approach in his Negroni and Trident, which pair Aquavit with other strongly assertive flavors rather than trying to cushion it or mitigate it, is the way to go. At least, that's what worked for me.

In general, I like the Linie brand best for these, but more experimentation is needed.

The first drink pretty simple, seeing as it's little more than a Moscow Mule made with aquavit instead of vodka:

Hüsker Mule

Squeeze half a lime into a tall glass and drop in the shell.

Add 2 oz Linie aquavit and 4-5 ice cubes

Top off with chilled ginger beer (I like the Barrett's Stone Bottle brand, but any spicy one will do).

Stir once or twice and tip a few drops of Angostura bitters on top.

The ginger and the caraway go well together here, IMO. The spice notes of the Angostura don't hurt, either.

The second one is pretty simple too, come to think of it (I'm really into simplicity these days). All it is is a slightly skewed rye Old-Fashioned:

Old Bay Ridge

Place a sugar cube in an Old-Fashioned glass, wet it with two dashes of Angostura bitters and a teaspoon of water, and muddle it into a syrup.

Add 1 oz Linie aquavit and 1 oz straight rye whiskey (preferably Rittenhouse bonded, if you can get it).

Stir a few times.

Add 2-3 ice cubes and stir some more, at least 20 times.

Twist a swatch of thin-cut lemon peel over the top and drop it in. Let sit for a minute or two and have at it.

Bay Ridge is a Brooklyn neighborhood that used to be heavily populated by Irish, who drank rye, and Scandinavians.

I'm definitely gonna try the Trident, as soon as I can figure out where I stashed that bottle of Cynar.

--DW

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aka David Wondrich

There are, according to recent statistics, 147 female bartenders in the United States. In the United Kingdom the barmaid is a feature of the wayside inn, and is a young woman of intelligence and rare sagacity. --The Syracuse Standard, 1895

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The spice notes of the Angostura don't hurt, either.

I think I have found a very tasty one based on some thinking I did today.

I agree Angostora is a very good match and savory flavors match well.

I think it is original; but, I'll have to go back and look at the Aquavit's drink menu to make sure I'm not subconsciously cribbing.

1.5 ounce Aquavit

1/2 ounce Dry Vermouth

1 slice lemon

2 sprigs dill

Couple shakes Angostora Bitters

In a cocktail shaker muddle dill, lemon, vermouth, Aquavit, and bitters. Add ice, shake to chill and strain into your favorite cocktail receptacle.

edited to fix spelling


Edited by eje (log)
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---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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The Copenhagen Citroen

from the bar at Palena

Aquavit

Lillet

Lemon Juice

Simple Syrup

Like a lemon drop with herbal undertones. I'd like to use Elderberry Flower Juice in a cocktail with Aquavit, but there's no place in D.C. I know to get the juice (apart from Ikea, maybe).

Derek


“Let us candidly admit that there are shameful blemishes on the American past, of which the worst by far is rum. Nevertheless, we have improved man's lot and enriched his civilization with rye, bourbon and the Martini cocktail. In all history has any other nation done so much?”

Bernard De Voto (1897-1955) American writer and critic.

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I'd like to use Elderberry Flower Juice in a cocktail with Aquavit, but there's no place in D.C. I know to get the juice (apart from Ikea, maybe).

Do you mean Elderberry Flower Syrup?

D'Arbo, an Austrian company, makes an Elderberry Flower (Holunderbluhten) syrup. I found a place on-line where you can order it here. (scroll down to bottom of page).

Their syrups are sold in specialty stores, although out here I've only seen the elderberry flower version at one or two places.


"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

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I think it is original; but, I'll have to go back and look at the Aquavit's drink menu to make sure I'm not subconsciously cribbing.

No trace of any similar recipe at Aquavit, and nothing in the cocktaildb. I'm really interested in the idea of savory cocktails, so how about "Savory Bastard" for a name? In French, one of the names for the dill plant is, "Fenouil bâtard" or Bastard Fennel.

-----

Savory Bastard

1.5 ounce Aquavit

1/2 ounce Dry Vermouth

1 slice lemon

2 sprigs dill

Couple shakes Angostora Bitters

In a cocktail shaker muddle dill, lemon, vermouth, Aquavit, and bitters. Add ice, shake to chill and strain into your favorite cocktail receptacle.


Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Well, I tried.

After exposing 3 folks to the "Savory Bastard", I got 2, "that's a tasty cocktail," and one, "tastes like salad in a glass".

I still like it a lot.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I guess I am the only one still thinking about this. Call it ethnic burden.

I still believe there is a tasty cocktail involving pastis type liqueur and aquavit.

So far I've tried herbsaint, muddled lemon, angostora bitters, and aquavit and been sorta unhappy.

Herbsaint, muddled orange, orange bitters, aquavit, and been happier.

I really think there is a good Monkey Gland type drink in there. I haven't found it yet.

Erik


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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The Copenhagen Citroen

from the bar at Palena

Aquavit

Lillet

Lemon Juice

Simple Syrup

Like a lemon drop with herbal undertones. I'd like to use Elderberry Flower Juice in a cocktail with Aquavit, but there's no place in D.C. I know to get the juice (apart from Ikea, maybe).

Derek

Proportions? I somehow ended up with a large bottle of Aquavit after flying through Copenhagen last month. Haven't even started to think about what to do with it, but this sounds like my first choice based on a) liking lemon drops, and b) having the ingredients on hand. I'm also thinking a Negroni would work as stated earlier in this thread, but haven't got the right choice liquids in the cabinet.

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I like to make Negroni's using Aquavit instead of gin. I actually think Aquavit works better then gin with the Campari and vermouth.

In honour of Noggin the Nog, the Viking hero of British children's television, this ought to be called a Noggroni. :hmmm:

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Norsk Mulata

50ml Norwegian Akevitt

25ml creme de cacao (dark)

25ml fresh lemon juice

Shake hard with broken ice, then strain through a sieve into a chilled cocktail glass. garnish with a lemon twist.

Cheers!

George

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I love this thread, not only because I adore aquavit, (be it the aged Linie or the bracing-but-succulent Aalborg) but because you all have come up with a set of recipes that, to a one sound delicious. I want to try them all. 2 or 3 years ago I came up with this one:

Le Corbusier

3 oz aquavit

1/4 oz (2 tsp) crème de cassis

1/4 oz orange juice

Combine ingredients in iced cocktail shaker,

Shake & strain into cocktail glass

Add a thin float of soda water

Garnish with orange peel

--Doc.

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Like any distilled spirit there are different qualities of aquavit. A few years ago, while I was introducing a Swedish film crew to good rums in the Caribbean, they tried to get me to enjoy their aquavit. The pairings with such things as strong cheese and pickled herring gave me the impression that these weren't the kind of spirits to be enjoyed neat. Then my friends admitted that the only way they can drink their best aquavit is mixed and with some strong food. Since this is basically flavored vodka, and we've all tasted some really bad vodkas, it didn't take long for my aquavit-drinking friends to put away their vials of caraway spirits and start drinking something that can be enjoyed for the flavor of the spirit not just because it warms you up on a cold day. I'm sure somewhere their is some really good aquavit, but I suspect that it is aged. Then again, most of the countries where aquavit is produced have very high taxes on alcohol so aging spirits costs too much, besides spirits don't age well in cold climates.


Edward Hamilton

Ministry of Rum.com

The Complete Guide to Rum

When I dream up a better job, I'll take it.

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I've come up with a pretty good one. It's based on the Improved Holland Gin Cock-Tail as given in Dave Wondrich's new book, only substituting linie aquavit for genever gin.

Improved Aquavit Cock-Tail

2 oz : linie aquavit

1 tsp : 2:1 demerara simple syrup

1 tsp : maraschino liqueur

2 dashes : Peychaud's bitters

Mix in a glass with ice. Garnish with lemon twist.

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Samuel Lloyd Kinsey

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I'd like to use Elderberry Flower Juice in a cocktail with Aquavit, but there's no place in D.C. I know to get the juice (apart from Ikea, maybe).

Do you mean Elderberry Flower Syrup?

D'Arbo, an Austrian company, makes an Elderberry Flower (Holunderbluhten) syrup. I found a place on-line where you can order it here. (scroll down to bottom of page).

Their syrups are sold in specialty stores, although out here I've only seen the elderberry flower version at one or two places.

IKEA does carry the elderberry flower syrup and ligonberry syrup made by the same company. Since all my elderberry flowers get used in jam, and I was too late to buy ligonberry plants this spring, I bought a bottle of each with the intent to make cocktails (I was thinking about a gooseberry/elderberry flower smash/cobbler at the time). I haven't opened them yet though.

regards,

trillium

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Danish Coffee

Place a clean dime in a small cup (demitasse) and add strong, hot coffee until the dime is no longer visible. Add akvavit (Aalborg) until the dime reappears. Add sugar to taste. Few Sunday mornings in the past 40+ years have gone by without ejoying at least one of these with hubby. Maybe not a cocktail but a great way to enjoy the liquor.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Never call a stomach a tummy without good reason.” William Strunk Jr., The Elements of Style

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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Danish Coffee

Place a clean dime in a small cup (demitasse) and add strong, hot coffee until the dime is no longer visible.  Add akvavit (Aalborg) until the dime reappears.  Add sugar to taste.  Few Sunday mornings in the past 40+ years have gone by without ejoying at least one of these with hubby.  Maybe not a cocktail but a great way to enjoy the liquor.

Classic! :raz: in my country; Sweden, we call that a "kaffegök" which means a "coffee-cuckoo". But we never had sugar in it.

I think most Scandinavians wouldn't consider making coctails with Aqvavit, it's too spiced and people like vodka instead. Allthough it sounds very interesting the ones that has been spotted here. Aqvavit is traditionally one of those spirits that should be enjoyed with strongly tasting food, mostly seafood and herring I think.

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I found this in a book at a friend's place one New Years':

Aurora Borealis

aquavit

blueberry schnapps

grapefruit juice

Shake & strain, garnish with skewered blueberries.

I've forgotten the proportions (I'll bug my friend someday) but considering the Regan Florida Highball Formula, I'd start with 1.5/.5/3 and adjust from there. I know, it sounds weird but it's one of those bizarrely powerful harmonies. Provided, of course, that you like a caraway-flavored drink in the first place.

--

Ben

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