Aquavit Week at Metrovino

Aquavit Week coming to Metrovino!

I’ve been making the case for a while that aquavit is an underrated spirit. Many bars don’t carry it at all, and those that do usually only have one bottle. But with more American distillers trying their hands at this traditionally Scandinavian spirit, we decided it was time to host an Aquavit Week at Metrovino.

Aquavit Week kicks off Tuesday, December 11 with an all-aquavit cocktail menu and an aquavit-inspired beer from Breakside Brewing. The cocktail menu will have six cocktails featuring six different aquavits: Krostad Festlig and Gamle (Portland), Bull Run’s forthcoming Regnig Dag aquavit (Portland), North Shore (Chicago), Sound Spirits (Seattle), and Linie (Norway). To show off aquavit’s versatility in mixing, the cocktails range from spirit-forward to citrusy, from sparkling wine to a Hot Toddy. We’ll also have chef Dustin See’s house cured gravlax on hand to pair with the drinks. The cocktails and food will be available all week.

The beer is a fun project that brewmaster Ben Edmunds invited me to collaborate with him on at Breakside Brewing. New Nordic Porter is inspired by the flavors of aquavit and cutting edge Nordic cuisine. It’s a classic porter flavored with caraway, dill and fennel pollens, and a hint of plum. It’s on tap at Metrovino this Tuesday only and at the Breakside brewpub.

The newest aquavit we’re featuring is Bull Run’s, which will be out in limited quantities very soon. We’re pouring it in this riff on the Boulevardier, the Swordplay:

1 1/2 oz Bull Run Regnig Dag aquavit
3/4 oz Campari
3/4 oz Maurin Quina

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

I would have liked to include Gamle Ode dill aquavit in this event, but we weren’t able to get it into Oregon in time. However if all goes well, we’ll have it here sometime soon. I highly recommend it.

The full cocktail menu is below. Come get it next week.

Bull Run aquavit, Campari, Maurin Quina

Aquavit and Tonic
Sound Spirits aquavit, house dill and mustard seed tonic, lime

Stockholm 75
Krogstad Festlig aquavit, lemon, sugar, sriracha bitters, sparkling wine

Golden Lion
North Shore aquavit, Dolin blanc vermouth, Galliano, celery bitters

Scandinavian Sling
Linie aquavit, cherry Heering, lime, Angostura bitters, sparkling wine

Aquavit Hot Toddy
Krogstad Gamle aquavit, house Swedish punsch, lemon, star anise


7 thoughts on “Aquavit Week at Metrovino”

  1. Speaking as a Norwegian gin enthusiast, I don’t think it’s a particularly good spirit!

    I have no doubt some of the American microdistillery aquavits are more interesting and of higher quality than the govt monopoly mass-manufactured aquavits they churn out over here, though.

    1. Unfortunately I’ve only been able to try a few of the European aquavits. Of what I’ve tried, Linie is the standout. I’m especially curious to try some of the ones with even more age on them. The aquavits produced in the US right now are very interesting spirits.

  2. Hi Jacob–I wanted to comment to thank you for creating this event, I think it is fabulous and the creativity of Breakside Brewing coming up with an aquavit-inspired beer is fantastic…even if it needs tweaking later (because why should it be perfect right out of the gates), it expands and stretches the rules of beer in a good way. Brewing now is so much better than even two years ago…I still shudder about that summer where every brewery became entralled with how bitter they could make their IPAs.

    Speaking of rules, I have to apologize for my clumsiness in following the OLCC special order rules. I am still new to all these complex liquor/shipping rules and only through multiple conversations individually with my producer, distributor, and a couple retailers was I able to piece together the missing link, which was my producer neded to become set up to do the shipping with his own account. He is now, so we are working with the OLCC to handle your order.

    Back to your event–I am pleased to learn of Krogstad’s new Gamle Aquavit and the Bull Run Regnig Dag Aquavit. One of my early conclusions is that aquavit suffers from being the lonely bottle on the shelf in many stores/bars. Combine that with too many ‘Viking’ stories where young people were drinking aquavit that tasted like jet fuel to prove manlihood (or maybe scare them away from it later)…well, I shouldn’t complain, since now it provided a niche for well-made aquavits to gain acceptance in a market flooded with hundreds of rums, vodkas, and whiskeys.

    Last thought, sorry this has gotten a bit long, but–this is a great time for spirit producers, mainly because I believe high-end mixologist/bartenders haven’t been this good since pre-prohibition. I have gained much respect for them this past couple years. I haven’t met Jacob in person, but I can tell he takes his job seriously, and I’ve been incredibly impressed with the local Minneapolis area mixologists. Drinking hasn’t been at this level of excellence in my lifetime, and it is continuing to improve.

    Anyone who doubts this, should pick out the booze they hate the worst or know the least and ask Jacob (or your local guild-level mixologist) to make you a drink, tell them the types of flavors/mixes you tend to favor and turn them loose…it will change your life, or at least improve your mood that night. Best regards–Skaal!!

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