Danish Snaps & Akvavit

*A Part of the Danish Cultural Heritage*
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"Snaps" - "Akvavit"
More than thousands years of enjoyable drinking culture!
Genuine Danish "Firewater"
"The Water of Life" - Also called "Brændevin" - (Burning Wine)
Drink and Enjoy "Snaps" with the Danes...
...I say that little ole snaps drinker me!
Snaps is the “Water of Life”
"Snaps" is the Danes favourite strong 45% alcohol beverage - and is called “Water of Life” in Latin.
Various types of “Snaps” labels
The are about 75-100 various types of “Snaps” labels in Denmark - with different taste - depending on the part of region the "Snaps" originates from.
Say "Skål" with "Snaps"
“Snaps” is drunk with a formal ritual - as tradition dictates that one has to empty the entire strong and ice-cold liquid in one go - quickly and repeatedly - after saying “Skål” to each other.
Marinated Herring and "Snaps"
Danish "Snaps" is always associated with all types of marinated Herring - and similar fish products - which is mostly used on an open faced sandwich with rye bread. The two items compliments each other - and provides a perfect combination.
"Red Aaalborg"
"Red Aalborg" - "Rød Aalborg" is the most common label in Denmark - and the Red "Snaps" brand - has been produced since 1881 - in the city of Aalborg in north Jutland.
"Det Store kolde bord"
Dishes from the "Store kolde bord" - "The grand cold table" - a Danish buffet style table - where you can eat as much as you can and then really get stuffed.
Cocktail - "Copenhagen Fantasy"
Many Cocktails are created and shaken with "Snaps" - as a main part of the ingredients. Here is the Cocktail called - "Copenhagen Fantasy".
"Akvavit" - "Snaps" - “Water of Life”

We recommend that you don’t miss the opportunity - while you are visiting Copenhagen and Denmark - to taste the Danes favourite strong 45% alcohol beverage called “Snaps” or “Akvavit”. That also can be spelled “Aquavite” - which derives from aqua vitae - and means “Water of Life” in Latin. So - join the Danes and be a part of their thousand year old drinking culture by tasting the genuine Danish “Snaps” - which is a strong and flavoured liquid - and distilled liquor - with a very pale golden colour or crystal clear white fluid. It is faintly dry in flavour - and ranging in alcohol content from about 45% by volume. Various aromatic flavourings are added and implemented - to hit the exact “Akvavit” taste - by usually including caraway - cumin seed - lemon or orange peel - cardamom - aniseed - and also fennel.

"Snaps" - The Danish way
During Christmas - Easter and Whitsun time - there will in each Holiday Season - be consumed almost 1.6 millions bottles of “Snaps” (Akvavit) throughout each holiday period of the year. The Danish national drink “Snaps” (Akvavit - Aquavit) is served at all the popular Christmas - Easter and Whitsun luncheons and dinners that are arranged to celebrate the Danes holy holiday seasons - plus the many traditional parties that are very trendy for groups holding their own annual “Juleftokost” - “Påskefrokost” and “Pinsefrokost” (Christmas Luncheon - Easter Luncheon and Whitsun Luncheon) - or at all the traditional and popular family gatherings. The Christmas - Easter and Whitsun food extravaganza involves plenty of brunch and buffet food with various selections of cold cuts - beer and "Snaps" - and often also with music and dancing. These great “Julefrokoster” - “Påskefrokoster” and “Pinsefrokoster” usually continues into the wee hours of the morning. Food-wise - these great holy luncheons - normally buffet style table - (Det store kolde bord) - is a veritable feast - and the main purpose is - to eat - drink and be merry during Christmas - Easter and Whitsun time. The Danish “Snaps” plays a vital role in the Christmas Luncheon - Easter Luncheon and Whitsun Luncheon ceremony - but is also consumed - when celebrating birthdays - personal jubilees - weddings - or for other ceremonial and traditional occasions. The Danes will find any opportunity to propose a toast "Skål" with each other by drinking a “shot” of their beloved “firewater” called “Snaps” - which they believe is the true "Water of Life".

Church Services
Even though the Danes celebrate their Christmas - Easter and Whitsun Holidays with plenty of eating and drinking - then they are very faithful church goers during these holy holiday seasons - and attend truthfully in the Holy Church Services - which also has been a commonly family tradition trough numerous generations.

A Frosty Cold - "Skål"
Danish “Snaps” or “Akvavit” - is one of the most popular and strong alcoholic beverages in Denmark - and often associated with a potent kind of firewater - which the Danes called “Brændevin” (Burning Wine) - and always served frosty cold in conical “Shot” glasses with long stems - especially during a joyful meal at Christmastime - and at the well assorted Easter table. Even more “Snaps” is enjoyed at the Whitsun buffet table - and during a relaxed holiday. "Snaps" is also on the table at Birthday celebrations for grownups - and most of all at festive family gatherings. The “Snaps” is drunk with a formal ritual - as tradition dictates that one has to empty the entire strong and ice-cold liquid in one go - quickly and repeatedly - after saying “Skål” to each other.

Vikings and "Snaps"
Danish “Snaps” was already produced and drunk during the Viking era around year 1000 B.C. The Viking created the “Snaps” by use of many selected types of herbs and wild berries - and extracted these wild fruits to a strong thick liquid - and later drank oceans of it. Up to the 1700s the “Snaps” was produced by different type of grain - and slowly potatoes became the main part of the “Akvavit” and “Snaps” production - due to the fact that potatoes gave more than double as much alcohol then corn products. Today the Danish “Snaps” is produced by selected and cultivated types of grain - as potatoes became too expensive to use in the production of “Akvavit”.

The "Rød Aalborg"
Around 1880 - the production of “Akvavit” was industrialised - and the different kinds of “Snaps” was produced and delivered to the home market in Denmark by more than 2,500 legal distilleries. As up to our time the “Akvavit” production is conducted by few distilleries in Denmark. The most common “Snaps” is called “Rød Aalborg” (Red Aalborg) - as the productions facilities is placed in the city of Aalborg in northern Jutland - and where the production company “De Danske Spritfabrikker” has been producing “Snaps” since 1881. There are about 75-100 different types of “Snaps” labels in Denmark. Danish "Snaps" taste like "Akvavit" - and "Akvavit" taste like "Snaps" - no matter what label or brand one selects - but there will be a slight variation in the taste - depending on the different herbs and spices added to the liquid - plus the alcohol percent or colour.

"Det Store kolde bord"
The buffet style lunch called "Store kolde bord" - "The grand Cold Table" - offers a large selection of toppings for "smørrebrød" ranging from herrings - fish - seafood - meet - salami - liver paste - salads - cheeses etc. - so guests can make their own type of decorative "open faced sandwiches" at the table. Many luncheon restaurants often located below street level in cosy surrounding offers Old Danish homemade specialities. It is a custom in Denmark - and has been a tradition for many decades and generations that "Det Store Kolde Bord" is served for family gatherings to celebrate Christmas - Easter and Whitsun holidays - with an appropriate amount of well tasty Danish beer and “Snaps”.

"Snaps" for the health
“Snaps” or “Akvavit” is also good for your health - and has been used as a kind of medicine in the past - and up to our time. Some doctors routinely prescribe it for good blood circulation - plus it heats well in wintertime. Mostly every Dane agrees that - A shot of "Snaps" a day - keeps the doctor away!

Cocktails - With Danish Akvavit (Snaps)

Name: "Copenhagen Fantasy"

- 30 ml Aquavit (Danish Snaps)
- 30 ml Pernod Anise
(Anise alcoholic drink)
- 15 ml Lemon Juice
(Pure and freshly
squeezed lemon)
- Ice Cubes

Shake all ingredients with crushed ice cubes - and strain into a flute- or cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon slice and serve.


Name: "Viking Blood"


- 2 cl
Aquavit (Danish Snaps)
- 2 cl Tia Maria - coffee liqueur
- Fill up - Sprite soda or 7-Up

Pour Aquavit and Tia Maria over ice cubes in a highball glass. Fill with sprite or 7-up. Then stir - and serve.

See: Danish Food Culture

This Snaps & Akvavit Site will be updated regularly
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