Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Homemade Aquavit

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields 4 bottles of about 8 oz.

Flavored vodkas may be all the rage with the chocolate martini set, but aquavit—a traditional, spice-infused spirit from Scandinavia—is a far more sophisticated tipple with notes of fennel, caraway, and coriander. Although aquavit keeps well at room temperature, it’s traditionally served chilled.


  • 3 Tbs. whole coriander seeds
  • 2 Tbs. whole fennel seeds
  • 1 Tbs. caraway seeds
  • 1 Tbs. dill seed
  • 1 liter vodka (I like Stoli)
  • 6 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 whole cloves


  • With a mortar and pestle, lightly crush the coriander, fennel, caraway, and dill seed.
  • In a large, airtight glass container, combine the vodka with the crushed spices, peppercorns, and cloves. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 2 weeks, gently shaking the jar every 2 or 3 days. Strain the vodka into 4 clean 8-oz. glass bottles. Discard the spices.


Rate or Review

Reviews (2 reviews)

  • Jake_Fantom | 05/05/2020

    I'm actually reviewing the adjusted recipe written above by Oval on 11/28/2017. In fact, I only created an account here to say to Oval that this recipe is spot on — perfect. It creates an Aquavit very similar to Aalborg, only a good deal better. Thank you so much for posting this, Oval. It has made our time in quarantine a lot brighter!

  • Oval | 11/28/2017

    This recipe does not offer the more traditional flavor of Danish and Norwegian aquavit, which tends more to caraway and cardamom. This recipe doesn't call for it, but I recommend adding 2 crushed cardamom pods. One clove is enough. Skip the dill, coriander, peppercorns and especially the fennel, unless you want a fairly strong anise flavor -- and if you're looking for the more traditional flavor. Also, crushing, then heating the seeds in a pan over a low to medium flame to just smoking will give a richer flavor. Don't burn them! I also add 1/4 of the peel of one lemon and one lime each (no pith) and 1 teaspoon sugar (max!). The citrus melds in with the other aromas, so is barely distinguishable -- more nuance. And the sugar offsets any bitterness from the seeds.

    Finally, my Norwegian family and friends always keep their aquavit in the freezer -- it just tastes better, for some reason -- and sip it with a beer chaser.

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.