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How did Aquavit get so cool?

The classic Scandinavian spirit has come from nowhere to become the drink of the moment. The man behind Copenhagen’s best cocktail bar tells us why

How did Aquavit get so cool?

A few years ago, young people would never have dreamed of ordering aquavit here,” says Nick Hovind, manager and chief bartender at Ruby, widely seen as Copenhagen’s best cocktail bar.

But a year and a half ago, Ruby started making concoctions using Scandinavia’s native spirit, a strong drink flavoured with spices and herbs. “Danes were sceptical at first, but it’s been fun to see people change their minds. Now, if people have the option of a Bloody Mary or a Danish Mary with aquavit, they go for the local option. Aquavit is popping up on cocktail menus across the world and there are new versions being made in Denmark by young, creative people. It’s part of a return to our heritage – restaurants like Noma (in Copenhagen) have helped us to be proud of what we have here.” www.rby.dk

Ruby's Aquavit Coktails

The 866 Dill aquavit, Campari and fresh grapefruit juice

Kaffe Punch #2 OP Anderson Aquavit or Porse Snaps, Drambuie, sugar syrup, 1 espresso shot

1st Class Brøndums Snaps, St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, lime, lemon and orange juice, sugar syrup, dry Champagne

What a Pickle! Esrum dill aquavit, chestnut liqueur, crème de cacao, fig and date vinegar, lemon zest, a pinch of salt

Jubilee Sour Jubilæums Aquavit, Old Apple Brandy, fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup, egg whites, coriander leaves, 1 cardamom pod

Danish Mary Esrum dill aquavit, fresh- squeezed lemon juice, tomato juice, Ruby Port wine, Worcestershire Sauce, Tabasco, black pepper, celery salt, 1 lemon slice, 1 pickled onion


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