While exploring my Scandinavian background (my maternal grandparents and paternal great grandparents immigrated to the United States from Norway) I came across a very unique spirit – Linie brand Aquavit. Not only does it have a very unique flavor of caraway and anise, but the way it is made is worth “Chatting” about, not to mention how it is drunk. The other unique thing is that on the back of each bottle it has the date your Aquavit left in a barrel from Norway, when it returned from Norway and the ship it was on. Below is the history of the making of this very unique beverage from Linie’s website and the attachment on my bottle. For more information see Linie’s website – Linie .
“Norwegian Linie Aquavit is famous for its unique voyage, a tradition which has played a significant role in the maturation of Linie for more than 200 years.
In 1780 Catharina Lysholm built the vessel “Trondhiems Prøve” in collaboration with her brother, an important tradesman. In 1805 the ship left for the East Indies, with a cargo of potato spirit and other types of merchandise. Five casks of the spirit remained unsold and were sent back to Norway in 1807. On the return their return, it was discovered that he flavor of this well-traveled Aquavit had become more smooth and the taste enhanced by the journey. Linie Aquavit was born.
To this day, every bottle of Linie Aquavit carries details of its four month sea voyage in sherry casks. On the back of the label you will find the date of departure, the date it returned after crossing the equator twice, and the name of the ship.
Linie is a highly rectified, distilled potato spirit flavored with caraway and herbs. The flavor is mellowed by the aquavit’s ocean voyage in old sherry barrels. The length of the journey, the constant rolling of the ship, varying temperatures and changes in humidity give Linie its unparalleled smoothness. The combination of caraway and aniseed is prominent in the aroma. Old sherry notes produce a rich, round flavor and the oak adds complexity.
Linie Aquavit has a dry style, and its subdued, neutral taste makes it ideal with seafood, such as smoked salmon, marinated fish and shellfish, or other dishes with mild flavors. Linie works well as a digestive with rich food. Norwegians usually drink aquavit with beer. The best way to enjoy Linie is to serve it at room temperature in a tulip shaped glass, in the same way as a connoisseur would enjoy a Cognac.
Traditionally, Linie Aquavit is drunk as a chaser with beer. While some people knock it all back in one go, others prefer to enjoy it in small sips. Anyhow, the aquavit should be drunk after the beer and not vice-versa, so that its delicate taste can linger in the mouth for a bit. Most Norwegians find that the subtle flavor of Linie Aquavit is best appreciated when the product is served at room temperature or slightly chilled.”
The barrel my Aquavit was created from left Norway on the ship Tarago on December 19, 2008 and returned on April 22, 2009. Pick up a bottle of this unique beverage and go to their website Linie and find out the journey your beverage took around the world before it was bottled. As for what beer to drink it with – well that is up to you. Some like a stout beer while others prefer a mild beer. For me I prefer a long neck Bud Light. Glede!
Picture courtesy of Cindy Hatlevik.
1 bottle of Linie Aquavit
Beer of your choice (optional)
Glasses as shown, other small glasses or Cognac glasses
Store Aquavit in the freezer, bring to room temperature or slightly chilled to serve. Pour in glasses as shown or in Cognac glasses, sip without beer or take a sip of beer and then a sip of aquavit. Skål!