Aquavit (lat. aqua vitae – water of life) is an alcoholic beverage flavored with spices and herbs, a strength from 38 to 50. For the first time, these drinks people made in Scandinavia in the 13th century on the territory of the modern countries of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Initially, the alcohol beverage production used wheat. However, in the 16-th century in the yield of grain alcohol production for aquavit started from potatoes.
The production process consists of 3 stages.
- First, autoclaved potato starch manufacturers boil and the resulting mass mix with malty grain. Then for three weeks takes the process of fermentation.
- The fermented mass they distill, double-distill, and filter through charcoal. The result is the purest alcohol of 70 to 90 rpm.
- The resulting alcohol manufacturers dilute with specially purified water to the strength of about 38-50. and pour into it spices and herbs.
The spices and herbs for almost 7 centuries of the history of the drink almost did not change. Traditionally manufacturers use cinnamon, coriander, anise seeds, dill, caraway, fennel fronds, St. John’s wort, juniper berries, elderflowers, and other secret ingredients. For maceration and purchase of yellowish-brown color, with a collection of herbs and spices, they pour the drink into oak barrels of 250 l. The longer the drink’s exposure, the brighter the color.
Flavor and aroma of aquavit
The secret to getting the kind of flavor and aroma of aquavit is that the barrels with a drink during the first months are subjected to constant movement during the first months. All fresh barrels manufacturers load on a ship and set sail from the Northern Hemisphere to the Southern and back. The result is that the essential oils of herbs give their taste and aroma. After this trip, they bottle the aquavit. It has become a tradition to indicate the sea route on the labels, which crossed the aquavit.
Good manners is the use of aquavit chilled or frozen to -18°.
Initially, the aquavit was produced as a drug. Surprisingly, it was popular for the treatment and prevention of alcoholism.
In the 60-is the aquavit was popular as a great means of improving heart function, expanding blood vessels, and enhancing blood flow. In Denmark, weekly to each pensioner government gave two glasses of aquavit. However, due to the frequent manipulation, the gesture of “care” from the state stopped.
Also, the Scandinavian countries’ population drinks aquavit as a tool that stimulates digestion and helps to absorb fatty foods. Akvavit is an integral part of the holiday or festive table.
In acute respiratory diseases and diseases of the upper respiratory tract, people use inhalation vapor with aquavit. The inhaler they fill with a glass of water and 70 g of the drink. The steam generated is saturated with essential aquavit components, which reduces the number of pathogenic bacteria and facilitates breathing. Besides, it provides improving the physiological regeneration of the mucosa and the local immunity.
Aquavit in hypertonia
Also, aquavit is widely popular for rewarming in hypothermia. People add it to the tea or brew in the collection of medicinal herbs.
In the traditional cuisine of Norway, aquavit is popular in the preparation of confectionery products. Manufacturers add it as an aromatic additive for the impregnation of cakes and in the manufacture of cakes. Chocolate factories use aquavit to manufacture candy of the same name, in which this drink is in a liquid state.
Norway is a fishing country where fish is prevalent. So in some recipes for sea trout, they use the aquavit. This gives the fish a unique flavor and a hint of alcohol.
The dangers of aquavit and contraindications
A large amount of alcohol has a detrimental effect on the body’s activity, and its systematic use is addictive and leads to alcohol dependence.
Dangerous properties of aquavit include the manifestation of allergic reactions to the herbs in their composition. Possible the appearance of shallow scars and redness in the neck area and underarms. It is not advisable to drink it for people who suffer from high blood pressure.
For this reason, it is not necessary to make compresses as well, especially for people with skin affected by eczema.