Water of Life - a blog about aquavit
Facts about aquavit (water of life)
Akvavit (Aqua vitae (cf. Latin)), means ‘water of life’. Aquavit gained ground in the Middle Ages, and was initially a medicine with added healing herbs - hence the 'water of life'. Brandy was introduced as a beverage in 1469, and since aquavit is of the same genre, it began to be used as an intoxicating stimulant here - i.a. by Christian IV, who was a big fan of brandy.
What is an aquavit? Snaps is a common term for both the aquavit and itself. An aquavit is a spirit which is thus very similar to schnapps, but which has a protected title. Akvavitten:
- Is flavored using herbal and / or spice distillate, and is characterized by dill or cumin seeds.
- Must contain contain 37.5% alcohol.
- Is basically distilled on cereals or potatoes.
Snaps is an unprotected title, which is just a general term for spicy brandy, which (also) is distilled from fermented grains and potatoes. Since a schnapps can be seasoned with much more than just cumin and dill, it is therefore far from all schnapps that can call themselves aquavit.
Akvavit is best enjoyed at room temperature and for fatty foods, such as open sandwiches and herring. It is best to sip the aquavit when drinking it - because in the balance between mouthwash and spirits, the finer aromas are secreted.
In 2020 and 2021 won ELG Spirits Akvavit Grand Gold at Frankfurt International, which named it the best aquavit in the competition - that is, the best aquavit in the world. Master Distiller Henrik Elsner has created this aquavit so that it has a taste of orange, fennel and star anise. It is perfect for the Danish breakfast table.