In Distillery News, Nerdery

Aquavit (or Akvavit, or Akavit, or Akevitt) is a spirit that dates all the way back to at least the 15th century in Scandinavian countries. Yet in the U.S., this spirit has only become more known in the past decade or so. So how did a U.S. distillery begin producing it almost 20 years ago?

Come back in time with us! When we started North Shore Distillery back in 2004, Aquavit was not only niche in the U.S. — it was nearly nonexistent. We discovered this particular spirit thanks to a Swedish friend, and immediately fell in love with its rich, spiced flavor profile. We realized this spirit fit perfectly into our mission to create bold, unique and high-quality spirits, and in 2006 we introduced our Aquavit – Private Reserve, the third spirit in our lineup. Along with the modern cocktail revolution, Aquavit has enjoyed a rise in popularity, and it’s been so exciting to watch others fall in love with this spirit the way we did!

Along the way to perfecting our recipe, we tasted many, many versions from across Scandinavia. We settled on our own unique expression that marries the rich tradition and heritage of Aquavit with our own passion and artistry. As the first aquavit made in the US, our spirit leads with caraway, accented with cumin, cardamom, coriander and other spices to create a rich, round, delicious profile. While aging is not required for aquavit, we decided to age ours for a bit too, which melds those layers of rich flavors together further. After all this time, we still enjoy introducing new people to this incredible spirit, and to sharing some of the delightful Swedish, Norwegian and Danish traditions and toasts that accompany it.

And what does it taste like? We get this question all the time! Savory, spicy and rich, with caraway and many other spices, it is unlike any other spirit, with its own unique character. Give it a taste & see!

In the traditional way, sip Aquavit – Private Reserve either neat, or straight from the freezer. Both are traditional, depending on the Scandinavian country or region, as well as the occasion and time of year, so we go with our mood. And, when we’re feeling more adventurous, we’ll make one of our favorite Aquavit cocktail recipes. Skål!