What is Aquavit?

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Aquavit is an alcoholic beverage that is produced in various parts of the Scandinavian region.  Also called as “Akvavit” or “Akevitt”, this distilled drink is a popular drink in Norway and other parts of Scandinavian Europe especially during special occasions like the Christmas and Easter holidays.  Depending on its origin, Aquavit contains around 40% of alcohol by volume with 37.5% considered the minimum.  The distinct taste of Aquavit comes from either dill or caraway which are considered to be the main spices.  This distilled drink is best served along with appetizers during a holiday or special meal.

The term “aquavit” literally translates to water of life and records have shown that this distilled spirit was first produced back in the 15th century in Norway. The original and traditional version of Aquavit contains a mixture of potato or grain mash along with other herbs and spices particularly caraway seeds which are said to provide the drink’s unique and distinct flavor.  As the years pass with more people enjoying the drink, many other variants were created with many of this containing dill as the main spice for flavor.  Other Aquavit brands may also contain anise or coriander as the main spice.

Aquavit is also sold either raw or aged.  Most Aquavit that is made in Norway for example are aged with some variants considered vintage versions because they were aged for as long as 12 years. Raw versions of this drink are clear in terms of color while aged varieties typically have darker brown hues. The drink is typically enjoyed along with appetizers especially fish.  Most people enjoy Aquavit as a cold drink.  There are also some people who mix Aquavit with other drinks or use fruits to produce a different flavor.  This drink is very popular across Scandinavia during holiday feasts and celebrations.  From Scandinavia, this drink is also getting noticed in other parts of the world including the US.  For Americans, Aquavit is consumed as a cocktail drink because of its herbal aroma and taste.

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