Most regions in the world have their own spirit. The Scotch from Scotland, Sake from Japan, Tequila from Jalisco, Bourbon from Kentucky, wine from Italy, Champagne from France, Raki from Turkey. The Scandinavians have Aquavit. Aquavit is made from distilling grains or potatoes and then flavoring that distillate with things like fennel, caraway (rye), and dill. It can be bottled directly or aged. Some would say it is an acquired taste.
The first time I tried Aquavit was with a good friend of mine from Sweden. According to her, it tasted like high school regret. From my perspective, it was a savory liquor that is exactly what I like in a new liqueur/ spirit; higher proof, herbal forward, with all of the mixing potential to do sweet or savory cocktails. It is a spirit that is tasty enough to be the star of a spirit forward cocktail or flexible enough to add depth to a cocktail as an ingredient. It also makes a KILLER Bloody Mary…or XXX as the case may be.
The pairing in this Old Fashioned of Aquavit and our 3 Herb Gracious Grapefruit was a good fit. The citrus plays well with the spirit and the herbs from the Aquavit and 3 HGG are all a party in your mouth. Skål!
2 oz Barrel aged Aquavit
0.5 oz Make & Muddle 3 Herb Gracious Grapefruit
Dash Grapefruit bitters
Dash Copper & Kings Alembic Bitters
Grapefruit or lemon peel for garnish
In a mixing glass with ice, add the ingredients and stir until cold. Strain contents from mixing glass into an old fashioned glass with ice. Garnish with grapefruit or lemon peel, expressing oils over the drink and around the rim of the glass.