DIY-on-the-Fly: Homemade aquavit
Michelle Leon Skol!
In Latin, the phrase aqua vitae translates to the "the water of life"--hence the name aquavit, a Scandinavian spirit that is full of life and vigor, and so easy to make at home. Fragrant with caraway, spice, and citrus, this infused vodka makes a lovely digestif or a fine accompaniment to pickled or cured fish.
Adapted from a recipe courtesy of Chow.com
2 tsp. caraway seeds
2 tsp. fennel seeds
2 cardamom pods, crushed
2 whole cloves
1 medium lemon
1 medium orange
1 (750-milliliter) bottle vodka
1 tsp. granulated sugar
Toast spices in a small frying pan over medium heat, shaking occasionally until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Using a vegetable peeler, remove a quarter of the peel from both the lemon and orange--avoid removing the white pith. Remove about 2 tablespoons of the vodka from the bottle. Place toasted spices, lemon and orange peels, and sugar into the bottle. Cover tightly.
Infuse at room temperature in a spot that is neither too warm nor too cold for 2 weeks, turning and gently shaking once a day. After 2 weeks, taste the aquavit; let stand longer if desired. When ready, strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean bottle or jar and discard the solids. Store it in the freezer.
Aquavit infusing with the flavors of licorice and spice.
Drink straight and very chilled as a shot, or create a cocktail. Try your aquavit with a splash of cranberry juice, topped with club soda and garnished with lemon.