Drink like a viking
Editor's note: Ever heard of akvavit? Me neither, until I read this piece, by Owl Meat Gravy:
Akvavit and I go way back. Maybe the berserker in me loves it.
Unlike other spirits, such as whiskey and tequila, there are no personal akvavit stories ending with, "And that's why I can't blink anymore." Someone once said that it's like having a shot of rye bread. That's not a bad thing.
Akvavit or aquavit is 80 proof vodka infused with herbs such as caraway seeds, anise, dill, fennel and coriander.
You can make it yourself using vodka and your choice of aromatic herbs, but getting the right combination is tricky ...
Akvavit means "water of life" and shares that etymology with whiskey and eau de vie. Now that's marketing. Some say it promotes digestion and cures everything from the vapors to dropsy. I say it's an icy shot of mischief from Norse trickster god Loki ...
The best way to drink akvavit is ice cold from the bottle, not diluted with city water ice. There are a number of drink recipes that involve akvavit, but I'm wary of sullying my Viking elixir with foofy sweet ingredients.
Will akvavit ever get its rightful place in the pantheon of great liquors? Probably not. Still, the next time I hoist a shot of this icy water of life, I will toast to my berserker brothers and think:
How soft your fields so green, can whisper tales of gore,
Of how we calmed the tides of war. We are your overlords.
(Photo by Getty Images)