Aquavit is a centuries-old Scandinavian spirit, originally connected to holiday feasts and celebrations in Nordic countries. In more recent times, aquavit has become a part of everyday life in Sweden, Norway, and other northern European countries. Aquavit is made from neutral spirit and is flavored with caraway and/or dill (by law), plus a smattering of other herbs. Many of these find commonalities with gin, including citrus peel, anise, and cardamom, though juniper is not a typical ingredient in aquavit. Aquavit can be bottled unaged or can spend time in barrel — though note that caramel coloring is common with lesser bottlings. In recent years, aquavit has begun to show up in Western renditions, and “craft aquavit” is now a thing in the U.S.

Top Aquavit Posts:

Making Our Own Aquavit with Spiced Spirits
Lysholm Linie Aquavit
Spirits of French Lick – Bourbons, Gin, Absinthe, and Aquavit
Tasting the Spirits of Sweden’s Spirit of Hven

Review: 5 of Geijer Glogg’s California Liqueurs and More

By Christopher Null | June 29, 2020 |

Earlier this year we brought you coverage of California Fernet, a fun spin on the classic Italian style that mixes in both Californian and Swedish sensibilities. Now we’re back to the well with five more products from Martin Geijer’s Geijer Glogg, the San Francisco-based company behind the brand. This quintet spans a wide range of…

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Review: Fleurette Gins and Fylleangst Aquavit

By Christopher Null | February 5, 2020 |

New Alchemy Distilling is a craft producer based in the El Dorado Hills of California, where, with nary a barrel in sight, it focuses on (mostly) white spirits — vodka, gin, white whiskey, and even aquavit. The company produces a collection of six different spirits, three of which we look at here. Let’s dig in!…

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Review: Norden Aquavit

By Christopher Null | February 3, 2020 |

Norden Aquavit hails not from Denmark but from Detroit, where founder Robyn Cleveland crafts this Scandinavia-inspired spirit with 10 botanicals, heavy on the caraway. We received a sample and collected some thoughts. First off, the nose is an iconic example of Scandinavian aquavit, heavy with the caraway essence of rye bread as well as a…

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Review: Svol Aquavit – Danish and Swedish

By Christopher Null | September 25, 2019 |

Aquavit seems to be having a minor resurgence in American cocktail culture as an alternative to gin, and U.S. drinkers are now getting access to two new expressions of this Scandinavian essential: Svol, available in both “Danish” and “Swedish” styles (though both are made in Brooklyn, NY). Some details: Launching in the U.S. this month,…

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Review: Spirits of French Lick – Bourbons, Gin, Absinthe, and Aquavit (2019)

By Christopher Null | January 15, 2019 |

If I wanted to be perfect on style and grammar, I’d call this post “Spirits of Spirits of French Lick.” You see, the distillery is called Spirits of French Lick, not French Lick, which makes me realize that I’ve now typed French lick four times. Five. Spirits of French Lick can be found in West Baden…

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A Visit to House Spirits in Portland, Oregon

By Christopher Null | December 12, 2018 |

Very few people are doing American single malt whisky with solid success, but one of the outliers has long been House Spirits, an early mover in this space and the brand behind Westward Single Malt, which we reviewed in one of its earliest incarnations in 2013. Today, House Spirits is known as the brand that…

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Tasting Report: Late 2017 MashBox Club Spirits Samplers

By Christopher Null | September 2, 2017 |

What’s new from MashBox? The last couple of packages we’ve received include these samples. (We also received duplicates of the Black Button products below and Black Button’s Bourbon Cream.) Oak & Rye Wormwood – Spirit distilled from grain distilled and flavored with herbs. Somewhere in the vein of an aquavit, the nose is lightly licorice-inflected,…

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Review: Spirits of Long Road Distillers – Vodka, Gin, Aquavit, Wendy Peppercorn, Cherry, and Wheat Whisky

By Christopher Null | February 16, 2017 |

Long Road Distillers, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, has an exhaustive spirits catalog (now spanning 10 products), almost all of which is made from locally-sourced red winter wheat. Want to see how versatile a single grain can be? Here’s a look at five different spirits that Long Road makes from it (plus a cherry brandy made…

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Review: Vikre Vodka, Gin, and Aquavit Lineup

By Christopher Null | February 6, 2016 |

Duluth, Minnesota, on the shores of Lake Superior, is the home of Vikre Distillery, which takes a localvore approach to making a wide range of (mostly white) spirits, using local grains, herbs, and water from the lake next door to make its craft spirits. The six spirits below — 1 vodka, 3 gins, and 2 aquavits…

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Hven Organic Winter Schnapps HR

Review: The Spirits of Sweden’s Spirit of Hven

By Christopher Null | January 20, 2014 |

The Spirit of Hven Backafallsbyn Distillery, or simply “Hven,” can be found on a small island wedged between Sweden and Denmark (it’s part of Sweden). Hven, pronounced “venn,” was established in 2008 as part of the new guard of Scandinavian distilleries, where it produces a variety of white and brown spirits, including some seasonal schnapps (for…

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