Akvavit - The Scandinavian pride

2 minutes to read

The Balkans possesses the Rakija. Read ''How to drink Rakija''. Scotland holds the Scotch, and everybody produces the beer. If you are anti-alcohol, then check out ''The drink of Azerbaijan''. After those drinks comes Norwegians and the Scandinavians with their pure Viking blood drink called Akvavit. Like a true Norwegian, I exaggerated a bit. It's not a Viking drink as it was produced since the 1500, and the Viking age finished at the end of 1000. For a Viking article, ''Trondheim and Viking king Olav'' is for you.

It is worth it to travel to Norway only for the Akvavit. If you don't think so it's because you haven't tried. Included in the trip you get the cleanest place on earth and the northern lights. See ''Magic of the northern lights'' and ''A meditative state called Lofoten''. You get the cleanest air, water, and mountains.

Who drinks it?

This drink is more attractive amongst old people. That means it's a chance for you to make a hipster trend of it. It's like bringing back the carpenter pants into the fashion universe.

Norway is different

The diversity in consumption between Norway and the rest of the northerners is that Denmark, Sweden, and even North of Germany make it warm and cozy. They also drink it from small shot glasses. While the Norwegian tradition is to take it straight from the snow-filled outdoors and fill up the drinking glasses.

Norwegian Akvavit has a wholly different formation process too. If you want to get the label ''Norwegian Akvavit'' in an honest way, you ought to distill it from Norwegian potatoes for a minimum of 6 months in oak casks.

Akvavit from outside of Scandinavia?

One time I spotted a bottle in our house which said ''imported''. I think it was peculiar considering that I am already in Norway and we don't buy stuff from Sweden or Denmark. On the back side of the bottle, I discovered that it was created in Norway, imported to Sydney, and then imported back to Norway. That's also why it was printed in English I suppose.

Know the age of the liquor

The general rule is, the darker the color, the older the Akvavit. This doesn't apply to those new fancy kinds of Akvavit where they strive to put sparkly fruits or something to mutate the drink. They mainly sell these ''teenage mutants Akvavits'' in the south and they are not like the Norwegian version. They are made from grains nevertheless.

Akvavit found outside of Scandinavia

You can find Akvavit in other places too. In the US there are tiny humble distilleries in the north around Montana, North Dakota, and where there's a lot of people with Nordic heritage. In Canada too. Check out Newfoundland, they have some petite distilleries there. I know this because my grandfather's brother lived around here, so I get special info concerning this. They have tons of Akvavit in Iceland. Iceland is a nordic country and not a Scandinavian one. Very good place still.


The author

Kai Bonsaksen

Kai Bonsaksen

I'm Kai from Norway. I always follow that little voice in my head that tells me to go and explore new places … and on itinari, I talk about the ones I know the best!

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