July 12, 2022 / Cocktails
What’s the difference between gin and aquavit?
What’s the difference between gin and aquavit?
As the national liquor of most Nordic countries, we examine Scandinavia’s love affair with aquavit and place it against the more refined spirit of gin.
What is aquavit exactly?

When it comes to social lubricant in Scandinavia, there really is no alternative to aquavit. An esoteric spirit to those from the other side of the planet, aquavit tends to find its way into most gatherings across the Nordic regions. It’s as natural as a goon sack hanging on a Hill’s Hoist in Australia.
Like gin, aquavit is a distilled spirit (usually from grain or potatoes, whereas gin in Australia is usually distilled from grain, grape or sugar) flavoured with at least one botanical. In gin, we expect a flavour punch of juniper, among a variety of other botanicals preferred by the distiller. In aquavit, the main flavour component is caraway. As a relative of fennel, you’re likely to get a gentle waft of anise in most aquavits, as well as other complementary botanicals like dill, cumin, coriander and citrus.

The original cure-all

While the origins of gin can be traced back as far as the 11th century, generally it’s accepted that gin only really began its rise from the mid-17th century.
Aquavit is similarly ancient. In fact, the first mention of aquavit was made in a letter from a Danish lord to a Norwegian bishop in 1531. The spiced liquor was said to be able to cure any illness known to man. While those fanciful claims have long since been put to rest, aquavit has nevertheless remained a staple of Nordic drinking culture.

The quaffer versus the sipper

Despite the similarities in their distillation process and how they are created from a base spirit, aquavit is more often regarded as the ‘quaffable’ drink whereas gin is a delicate, refined and adaptable spirit to be used in a huge selection of cocktails. Even neat, most people would find it more enjoyable to sip on a gin than an aquavit.
If you do feel like trying an aquavit, we recommend having a tipple of København Klassisk Gin right after to compare!

How to imbibe aquavit the Nordic way

Whether you find yourself in Denmark, Sweden, Iceland or anywhere that stocks aquavit in large supply, there really is only one way to drink it: chilled and unmixed.
1. Pop it into the freezer until it’s nice and chilled.
2. Pour a dram into a tulip glass.
3. Take a sniff and see if you can pick out the caraway, dill or anise scents on the nose.
4. Gulp it down, preferably with a selection of delicious Nordic appetisers and sandwiches.

 LINIE Aquavit Original
LINIE Aquavit Original
Try LINIE Aquavit Original

The original botanical recipe of LINIE Aquavit has remained unchanged since its creation, more than 200 years ago. LINIE is a potato-based spirit,
distilled in pot stills with a special blend of Nordic herbs and spices to give it its distinct flavour. The young spirit is placed in Spanish Oloroso sherry casks to develop further. Ultimately the casks are sent on a sea journey across the world to mature. The result is an extraordinarily smooth and well balanced aquavit with leading notes of caraway and star anise – and finer hints of vanilla and sherry. Visit https://linie.com/where-to-buy/australia/

By Gin Society

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