Aquavit - Krogstad Aquavit
House Spirits LLC., Portland, Oregon
House Spirits, Portland, Oregon
Ingredient: Grain, spices (caraway and star anise)
Price: $29.00 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. Our friends at House Spirits, producers of Aviation Gin, recently started producing this to fill the woeful shortage of good aquavit in this country.
Appearance: Bright quicksilver, brilliantly clear. Thick coating of spirit with crenellated edges and long legs slowly developing on swirling.
First Impression: Very aromatic almost a pastis rush of star anise on pouring, then settles down to a almost chewy caraway and anise with alcohol in background rather than foreground (a sign of quality distillation).
Taste: Spicy, chewy, star anise and caraway blend are dead on in balance and taste. Incredibly smooth and seductive - especially for an aquavit.
Drinks: Frankly there are not a lot of cocktails that call for aquavit. You usually just throw it down after singing a drinking song. Use it as a substitute for absinthe or pastis (makes for a interesting variation on a Sazerac) or think of it as a vodka with some flavor. Excellent with smoked meats, fish, game or strong cheese. It's a required ingredient in any Swedish Smorgasbord.
Cigars: Something mild, like a natural wrapper Rocky Patel.
Final Thoughts: A very smooth and approachable aquavit. While maybe not as complex spice-wise as some, less is more with this one. The smoothness of the base alcohol and wonderful blending of the anise and caraway make this aquavit an outstanding example. A overlooked category for new cocktail possibilities. Another winner form House Spirits!
Bottle/Packaging: Clear cylindrical glass bottle and rounded shoulders triangular paper label white with silver graphics and red bottom band with black label wings. Silver screwcap/neck foil.
Quick loading, and somewhat informative.