Ahus Midvinter Akvavit
The Spirit of the Season
For centuries, Swedes have gathered around the holiday tables to celebrate the season. Inspired by this tradition, they macerated and distilled fruit & spices into a distinctive aquavit to capture the magic of the Swedish winter.
Tasting Notes: Winter apple, spicy caraway and mellow vanilla dominate the nose followed on the palate by fresh lemon peel, soft cinnamon and a small hint of fennel. Silky mouthfeel with a medium long finish that’s warm and subtly spicy.
Botanicals: Classic aquavit flavors caraway and fennel are laced with bright, cheerful winter apple, fresh lemon peel, warm vanilla and a touch of cinnamon.
Åhus Akvavit is the culmination of over a century of locally honed distillation methods and recipes from its provenance and namesake Åhus, a tiny seaside village in southern Sweden. At the center of the town lies the Spiritchurch, a distillery built in 1906 and still running to this day. For many years, all Swedish aquavits were produced there and there only. Today, they make only one; Åhus, the finest expression of their village’s heritage and craftsmanship.
While chilled shots of their traditional spirit taken alongside hearty celebratory meals has long been the preferred style of Scandinavian drinkers, a different generation is discovering fresh ways to experience aquavit. The spirit’s caraway and/or dill-forward flavor profile is unexpected to many and yet, somehow, also comforting and familiar. In a cocktail, it mixes beautifully for an expansive range of palates.
"Sweden, distilled. With over a century of local distillation heritage and Sweden's natural abundance at our front door, Åhus Akvavit begins a new chapter in aquavit. A modern spirit for conjuring seasons, evoking warm memories and creating new traditions."
Their methods aren’t much different than the original monks’ and their life-affirming alchemy. Starting with a distillate of locally farmed winter wheat and pristine aquifer water, five botanicals are each macerated, then sent through a copper pot still and meticulously blended. Characteristically earthy caraway (of course!), herbal rosemary and bright lemon peel are highlighted with lighter-handed touches of fennel and Seville orange, resulting in a clean-tasting, versatile spirit.
Botanicals for Åhus Akvavit are thoughtfully selected for flavor and quality. Some spices and herbs are farmed and foraged locally while other ingredients, like citrus, are pulled from locales around the world with climates suited to grow the best possible fruit. Once gathered, Åhus botanicals are dried and stored in their Spice Room, where they await maceration.
Herbs, citrus peels and spices are individually soaked in a solution of pristine aquifer water and fine spirit distilled from locally grown winter wheat to extract flavor from the botanicals. Time, alcohol concentration and temperature are tailored for the maceration of each unique ingredient.
Once ready, the macerated components are distilled in copper to purify and improve the flavor profile. The distillation process is unique to each botanical, as they meticulously pull just the right slice of each spirit’s body from between the head and the tail.
To create the specific flavor profile of Åhus Akvavit the proportions of the different distillates are very important. With five individual botanical spirits and a base of neutral fine spirit, the unique flavor profile of Åhus Akvavit can now be blended together, producing a finished aquavit that has been lovingly crafted from the moment of first forage.
Warm, peppery, hints of anise.
One of the world’s oldest cultivated spices, caraway has been traced back to 3000 BC and was used in food and medicine in ancient cultures. Julius Caesar’s army ate bread made with caraway root and Greek physicians prescribed its oil to ladies to restore their glowing skin.
Bright, vegetal, sweet.
Versatile and widely cultivated fennel is known for its licorice flavored leaves and bulb. It has long been a symbol of courage; Roman gladiators were known to eat the seeds before entering the arena. Today, fennel plays an integral role in the food culture of Europe.
Slightly minty, peppery taste with a bitter, woody aftertaste.
The Latin translation of Rosemary is “dew of the sea”, which lends a mystical elegance to the herb. Ancient Greek scholars are said to have worn rosemary garlands on their heads during examinations to jog their memories. The goddess of love, Aphrodite, is also frequently depicted with rosemary.
As a Cocktail
Åhus Akvavit’s earthy and citrus-forward notes provide an ideal base for a myriad of cocktails. Create entirely new concoctions inspired by its versatility, elevate tried and true classics with a fresh aromatic approach or keep it simple over ice in a highball topped with your favorite tonic.
Neat or Over Ice
Try a chilled shot of Åhus the Scandinavian way, as a boilermaker alongside a cold beer or simply on its own, aperitif style. Both neat and over ice, each of the five botanicals is lively on the palate and worthy of uninterrupted exploration.
Åhus Akvavit’s roots in traditional Swedish culture makes it an ideal complement to the infamous smorgasbord but, with our modern approach to blending aromatics, Åhus Akvavit travels well and can be paired with all types of global cuisine.