Aquavit - O.P. Anderson
Vin & Spirit AB Reimerholms, Sweden
O. P. Anderson Aquavit
Importer: Crillon Importer, Paramus, New Jersey
Ingredient: Grain, spices
Price: $24.00 750ml
Notes: Despite the fact it has a long history, Aquavit is almost unknown outside of Scandinavia. There are a few commercial varieties such as Aalborg, Linie, etc., and a number of artisianal distillers are taking up the challenge. O.P. Anderson is currently the only Swedish Aquavit being imported in the U.S.
Appearance: Light pale yellow in color, brilliantly, clear with no hazing, separation, floating bits ,etc. Long legs and crenellated edges develop on swirling.
First Impression: Slightly sweetish, caramelized molasses, spice and flowers, nutty.
Taste: Spicy, sweet, fennel, dill, anise and coriander make for a savory mix that is very refreshing. Smooth and spicy.
Drinks: Frankly there are not a lot of cocktails that call for aquavit. You usually just throw it down after singing a drinking song. Try it as a spicy substitute for a vodka or a savory substitute for gin (especially if you don't like juniper). Could also be used as a substitute for Absinthe or pastis. Excellent with smoked meats, fish, game or strong cheese. It's a required ingredient in any Swedish Smorgasbord.
Cigars: Belmoro Kanal or Novoya Planeta cigarettes.
Final Thoughts: A good solid aquavit. Cheaper than most vodkas or gins of similar quality. A overlooked category for new cocktail possibilities.
Bottle/Packaging: Clear glass bottle with bulbous neck and rounded shoulders square pale yellow label with old style Victorian period script with black and red lettering. Red screwcap/neck foil.
Quick loading, and somewhat informative.