Sunday, January 6, 2013

Aquavit and Limoncello

I remember the first time I had Aquavit, a Norwegian alcohol. It was at my cousins Anna and Craig's Christmas party. Anna's family had gone to Norway that year, and had brought back some Aquavit. They convinced me to try it. I took a shot, and thought I had just drank nail polish remover. It definitely hits you! However, despite the taste, I found myself drinking more of it. I admit, that's because it's a Norwegian drink, and I'm Norwegian. It only seemed right.

Years later, when I came across an Aquavit recipe, I felt the need to try and make it. I don't know why, but again, I'm Norwegian. It only seemed right.

This drink is traditionally enjoyed around the holidays. I had timed it so that it would be ready for Christmas, hoping to bring it up to Minnesota with me. This is mostly because I thought I would be hard pressed to find someone to share it with me amongst these non-Norwegians in Kansas City. Of course, about an hour after we left for the holiday, I realized I had forgotten it. Luckily, my cousin, Graham, came up to Kansas City a couple weeks later, and I talked him into trying it. I made sure to use the appropriate shot glass.

To my pleasant surprise, Graham actually enjoyed it! He compared it to the taste of Absinthe (The legal kind of course). I tried it just to make sure, and sure enough it was much better than I remembered! If you're going to try Aquavit, this is definitely the kind to try.

Because Joe is Irish/Italian, and to try and stay nationality neutral, I decided to also make Limoncello, an Italian liqueur. It kind of tastes like lemondrops, or at least this recipe does.

From Chow

2 tsp. caraway seeds
2 tsp. fennel seeds
2 cardamom pods, crushed
2 whole cloves
1 medium lemon
1 medium orange
1 750 ml bottle vodka
1 tsp. granulated sugar

Toast the caraway, fennel, cardamom, and cloves over medium heat for about 3 minutes, shaking occasionally.

Remove a quarter of the peel from the lemon and orange, avoiding the pith. Remove about 2 tablespoons from the vodka bottle and place the peels, sugar, and toasted spices in the bottle. Cover tightly.

Let stand for 2 weeks in room temperature, gently shaking the bottle once a day. After the 2 weeks, strain the aquavit through a fine mesh strainer. It is best to do so into a large measuring cup. Transfer the strained aquavit back into the bottle after the bottle has been cleaned. Store in the freezer.

From Diane, A Broad

4 cups vodka
10 lemons
3 cups sugar

Clean the lemons and, once dried, zest, avoiding the pith. This takes awhile, so I set up a zesting station in the living room and zested while watching "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" and drinking a glass of wine. I highly recommend this method.

Mix the zest with the vodka in either a large bottle or two large mason jars. Leave in a cool, dark place for a week (not the refrigerator). Gently shake every few days.

After the week, combine the sugar with 3 cups of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until dissolved, and allow to cool to room temperature. Mix the sugar with the lemon vodka mixture and allow to rest for another week. Strain the limoncello in a fine mesh strainer, and then through a coffee filter. This part also takes awhile.

Return to the bottle, keep chilled and enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...