Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Drink What the Vikings Drink: Aquavit

It was an exciting moment when Viking River Cruises christened four new longships, and I feel incredibly thankful to Viking for inviting EuropeUpClose.com to report on the event. I send warm wishes to all of the people at Viking, from Chairman Torstein Hagen and his welcoming daughter Karine Hagen to the good folks in PR and sales to the crew on board. Check out their website here and learn what riverboat cruising is all about. It might just be the most fascinating method of touring Europe to emerge in the past 20 years.

In my coverage of the event for EuropeUpClose.com, I couldn't fit all of the amazing experiences that I had into my articles. As a result, I'll be posting short highlights on this blog over the next week, beginning with Viking-brand Viking Aquavit.

Aquavit is powerful spirit from Scandinavia (the land of the Vikings!) that tastes strongly of caraway seed. The name means water of life. For many, this spirit is too mighty, but I believe that there's a time and a place for it. Scandinavian food is rife with smoked and pickled dishes, from smoked fish to pickled cabbage, cucumbers, and beets. I can imagine several smoked dishes that will pair well with wine, but I can't think of a single wine that would pair well with the myriad pickled accompaniments and sauces traditional to Scandinavian food. Fortunately, aquavit pairs well with everything!

Viking Aquavit was served onboard Odin in a nifty carafe or decanter with a shot glass for a lid. The shot glass nests in the carafe's spout. The next time you're munching on a smørrebrød sandwich, consider sipping on a shot of aquavit.

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