Water of Life

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. VYk5g.gif

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:

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Image via Pinterest

You’re welcome.

52 thoughts on “Water of Life

  1. “I’ll eat when I’m hungry and I’ll drink when I’m dry, and if Moonshine don’t kill me, I’ll live till I die.” I’ve been singing that for years. “It’s kiss is as sweet as the dew on the vine.” Hope the revenue men don’t come a’knocking on your door.

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      1. Interesting theory: I usually pass it off as h20. My computer table is shaking with laughter. Some of the best moonshine I had in Spain was legalized and they are making a fortune with the new legal brand.

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  2. Ha! I actually know Akvavit. My mother-in-law introduced me to it years ago. It’s a bit rough going down, and a beer chaser is a must. But it’s the most mellow, giggle inducing buzz. A couple of shots and you’re gonna have a fun time. 😃

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  3. Chuckled when you wondered if going blind would be a by-product of the product. Reminded me of a college experience when we bought grain alcohol to mix with Country Time Lemonade for a Super Bowl party. 190 proof. We made it up in an industrial size trash can, stirred it with a tennis racket…but made darn sure we erred on the side of more lemonade and less alcohol. Truly could have gone blind. By the way…I have begun my own mini-drinking year-of-adventurously experiment after years of being relatively alcohol-free. I am a wine newbie. Don’t know a thing. Have read up on a few things, made some purchases ($15-40 range, red wines only) and am now experimenting accordingly!

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    1. Oh nice! (the wine, not the nearly going blind! Lol!) I have been trying to educate myself on wine, too. Especially after visiting Napa a few years back. One thing I’ve learned? Good wines don’t have to be ridiculously expensive. Try some of the ‘chairman’s select’ suggestions at the liquor store. I’ve found a couple nice ones that way! Cheers!

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      1. Your recommendation was taken and implemented. When I couldn’t find any of the wines (the years, not necessarily the makers) I read a couple of the “chairman select” cards and made a couple of buys that way. From my research I agree good wine can be had without breaking the bank. Store I was in had a bottle for $1,400. Um, no. Cheers!

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