Easter Aquavit Guide
“When spiced spirits or aquavits are offered, too often the spontaneous reaction is to skip the drink as many consider it too alcoholic. The problem is not the drink itself, but the widespread habit of pouring large ice-cold schnaps straight down the throat.
Instead, I'd like to advise everyone, even those who do not typically drink spiced spirits, to sip and really taste the schnaps with the food over Easter. Rather than having one big schnaps, enjoy several small ones with different seasonings. Explore the taste experiences that arise and enjoy how the flavors in food and drink can take each other to new heights.
My tip is to get a box of Svenska Nubbar. It contains 10 schnaps with different seasonings so it will be easy to try many different flavor combinations.” – Jonas Odland
Gravlax / Cured salmon
Cured salmon goes well with a milder schnapps. Östgöta Sädesbrännvin (Svenska Nubbar) has a clean taste and a slight sweetness with hints of honey and raisins that can lift the salmon to new heights. O.P. Anderson Klar also goes well with salmon thanks to its citrus and dill seasoning.
Smoked salmon (and other smoked fish)
For smoked fish, a smoky schnaps such as Herrgård's Aquavit (Svenska Nubbar), aged in sherry casks and flavored with whisky, pairs well. Östgöta Sädesbrännvin (Svenska Nubbar) and Linie Aquavit also have clear barrel aging characteristics and are therefore also excellent choices for smoked fish.
Eggs with mayonnaise
Eggs with mayonnaise and schnaps are real flavor friends. The dill seasoning in these aquavits is the perfect match.
Cheese is often accompanied by wine but try pairing aged cheese with aquavits - you might be surprised! Cumin spice is an excellent match in itself and if the spiced spirit also has notes of barrel aging and dried fruit even better. We'd recommend the tasty and sherry-infused schnaps Gammal Norrlands Akvavit. O.P. Anderson Björk with its barrel character from the birch buds is also an excellent choice for all kinds of aged cheese.
Traditional pickled herring is based on a vinegar mixture with 2/3 sugar making the herring incredibly sweet and sour. Cumin is one of the few spices that can handle this flavor profile. O.P. Anderson has a classic aquavit seasoning consisting of cumin, anise, and fennel and would be our top choice in addition to Gammal Norrlands Akvavit or Läckö Slottsaquavit. Läckö as a milder schnaps goes especially well with slightly rounder and creamier herring such as mustard herring.
The green dishes
Nowadays there are many fantastic recipes for vegetarian and vegan Easter food. To match schnaps to these dishes you should think about two things: 1) how flavorful are the dishes? and 2) what spices and flavors are in the dish? If it's a mild dish, a mild schnaps is suitable and vice versa. A good rule of thumb is that if the spice used in the aquavit is either already in the dish or could fit in it, it’s likely a good match.
Examples of mild schnaps:
Examples of flavorful schnaps:
A spiced spirit with slight barrel-like notes is a really good match for roast lamb with herbs and other lamb dishes.
Sausages and meatballs
Östgöta Sädesbrännvin is flavored with honey and whiskey and aged in whiskey barrels making it the perfect flavor enhancer for grilled, cold cut, and dark meats. The character that cask aging brings and notes of sherry in Herrgårds Aquavit and Linie Aquavit also marry excellently with dishes that have been slightly roasted and caramelized.
Chocolate and chocolate desserts
The orange tones in Rånäs Brännvin is a sweet combination with chocolate. Östgöta Sädesbrännvin is also suitable for all kinds of chocolate desserts, and especially good if there are dried fruits and nuts in the picture.