Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Prow of the Viking

Who knows whether one of my distant ancestors, originating in Norway, ever sailed in one of these boats--to England, Greenland, Russia, or perhaps even the Northeast corner of the North American continent in the days before Columbus? Who knows whether they drank some kind of home-brew? Akvavit or aquavit has been produced there since the 15th Century, but I'd bet they were tossing back something equally strong long before that. One of the marks of civilization is the invention of alcoholic beverages, which are believed to have existed as early as six thousand years ago.  Various fermented mixes of grape, grain, herbs and honey have been consumed in various parts of the world for a very long time. 

This concoction, which features aquavit, reminds me a little of the North Sea, bracing with sea air and a slight chill, though this may just be my vagrant imagination at work. By itself, aquavit may have a slightly sour/nutty taste, which is moderated by the gin, in this case a specific kind, produced locally by the St. George firm--a bit dryer, and spicier than usual. Lime juice tightens it up further, and the odd combination of violet flower, peach and cherry may resemble the kind of flavor combination favored by some of the ancients. Since they couldn't have had a way of measuring the alcoholic content, except by judging its effects on their bodies, approximating its actual strength wouldn't have been possible. For my purposes, weighing and measuring the flavor factors is much easier than it would have been for them.  


2 parts St. George "Terroir" gin
2 part aquavit
1 part fresh lime juice
1/2 part peach liqueur
1/2 part creme de violette
1/2 part maraschino liqueur

This combination makes two cocktails, shaken and served up in frosted glasses. 

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