The name of this very popular especially in the Scandinavian countries brandy is derived from aqua vitae (lat. water of life). In the Middle Ages Aquavit was still made from wine, later from potatoes and only from the end of the 17th century from grain. At that time, flavors such as juniper berries, malt, honey, dill herb and caraway were used for the flavoring. But gradually, caraway has become the dominant flavor. One of the first producers of Aquavit was Isidor Henius, who came from Prussia at the time. He founded the foundation stone of the world-famous aquavit culture in Aalborg in 1846 Denmark, it was the birth of the legendary brand "Aalborg Taffel Akvavits". Incidentally, the addition "Danske" (Danish) is now a protected designation of origin.
The Aquavit is distilled from grain or potatoes, the second distillation herbs and spices are added, but the addition of essential oils is not permitted. The main component is caraway, in addition, too anise, Coriander, fennel, cinnamon, Cloves and dill seeds are used. In some varieties, the taste of the dill is even decisive. The caraway note develops best with an alcohol content of 40 to 45% vol. In Italy, "Acquavite" is the name for all bright, clear brandies. In Austria and Germany, an alcohol content of at least 35% vol, in Switzerland of at least 40% vol is required by law. Well-known German brands include Bommerlunder and Maltese Cross. Aquavit is served ice cold and drunk. As with all aniseed spirits, a characteristic milky discolouration occurs when water is added or when it is very strongly cooled - the so-called Ouzo effect (Ouzo effect).