October 9th is Leif Erikson day, and despite the fact that neither of us are of Scandinavian heritage, we nonetheless feel obliged to acknowledge it. You have to admire someone who would take a handful of men in what would now be considered a small boat and cross an ocean, not even knowing if there was any land awaiting them there.
To honor his achievements, we pulled out a few bottles of aquavit and architected a couple of drinks. Most likely, Leif and company didn’t drink aquavit or anything like it, but it is the quintessential Scandinavian spirit these days, and we didn’t have time to brew mead 😉 We like to think he would approve.
First up, we mixed aged aquavit with a vermouth and a touch of amaro for a dark, rich, spirit-forward drink.
- 2 oz barrel aged aquavit (We used the Krogstad Gamle from House)
- 3/4 oz Punt e Mes
- 1 bar spoon Averna
Stir with ice. Strain into a glass. Garnish with a cornichon.
- Nose: Toasty caraway, fennel, honey, little bit of brine, little bit of root beer.
- Palate: Honey and caraway (like honey on rye toast) to start. Root beer and brine on the mid-palate followed by fennel, anise, and dill. Finish is burnt caraway and anise that move into bitter, brine-y notes.
Next, we put together a lighter, brighter drink with un-aged aquavit, citrus, and a touch of heat.
- 2 oz aquavit
- 1/2 oz curacao
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- 2 bar spoons simple syrup
- few drops Firewater bitters from Scrappy’s
- 1 dash lemon bitters
Shake all ingredients with ice. Strain into a glass. Enjoy!
- Nose: Caraway, dill, lemon, vegetal green chile pepper.
- Palate: Orange, lemon and caraway to start, then hot, vegetal chili notes on the mid-palate. Subtle herbal notes of dill, fennel and mint follow. Sweet lemon-y finish with some residual heat.
Here in Seattle we’re having an unseasonably warm October 5th. Most appropriate for the Vikings landing in what they thought was a very temperate locale. Well, temperate for them :). Regardless of the weather in your area, we hope you having a lovely October and are looking forward to all the wonderful cocktail possibilities that fall brings. Try something new, and remember that fortune favors the bold.