Being a fjord, the Hood Canal is perfectly situated for the production of aquavit.
It is similar to Scandinavia, the birthplace of aquavit, in climate and topography, and we expect an excellent aquavit to come from our waters.
Aquavit is a holiday treat in Scandinavia.It is one of the older liquors, and there are records of aquavit dating back to the 16th century. Like many of the older spirits, it was named “Aqua Vite” for “water of life” and was considered to have medicinal properties.
Aquavit is also spelled “akavavit” or “akevitt.” It is associated with many traditions in Scandinavia. It is popularly believed to help digest rich foods, and it’s enjoyed at holiday time and celebrations throughout the year. It is often drunk while singing a traditional drinking song.
Like gin, the recipes and flavors of aquavit vary among brands and are kept secret. Also like gin, there is a dominant flavor. In aquavit the dominant flavor is caraway. Other botanicals found in aquavit recipes may include cardamom, cumin, anise, fennel, and lemon or orange peel.
Aquavit is usually aged in barrels, but it does not have to be. Norway has a unique tradition of sending barrels of aquavit in ships from Norway to Australia and back again. The steady movement of the waves, the humidity and the mercurial temperatures cause the aquavit to extract more flavor from the barrels. Upon returning to Norway, the ocean-aged aquavit can be labeled as “linje” aquavit. Because this process has not been successfully reproduced in simulated circumstances on land, boats loaded with barrels of aquavit continue to set sail from Norway to Australia and back again.