Week 49 in the Year of Drinking Adventurously. Aquavit (Akvavit) A fail but an interesting one…
This week’s adventure was to take us to Scandinavia for Akvavit — a caraway and dill seed flavored spirit with a distillate of plants or spices and a minimum of 37.5% alcohol by volume. Well, as you can imagine, the Fascist Liquor Store had none of it. However, this week gives me the chance to tell you about another clear spirit I finally worked up the courage to sample. Irish moonshine. Or as the guys in Galway called it putchie or poiton (potcheen), so named for the small ‘pot’ it’s distilled in.
This clear spirit is made from a grain mash, like a whiskey but not aged in a barrel. And it’s totally not legal to home distill so I had to smuggle this back in a vodka bottle buried amidst my clothes in my checked bag. I may have just blown it with the TSA, not sure… Anyway, I’m always getting the serious pat down so I might as well make it worth my while.
Despite my booze bravery, I was pretty reluctant to try this. Thoughts of going blind, losing control of my motor functions, etc. all ran through my head. So it was, on Saturday night, after a round of cards, and a round of the Yellow Spot, that I got to telling this story to my guests… and of course with the pump already primed we broke out the putchie. Lo and behold, it was good! Nice job illegal distiller friend! It went down smooth and while not having that oak, vanilla, smoke that you get with a barrel aged whiskey, the lighter still whiskey flavor was quite pleasant.
This part of the book has been kinda tough. I hope Lula found akvavit. But just so there’s something Scandinavian in this post, here’s the beautiful Lasse Matberg, Norwegian naval officer: