Brands launch aquavit awareness campaignBy Georgie Collins
A trio of independent British distilleries has launched a campaign to raise awareness of ‘lesser-known’ Scandinavian spirit aquavit.
Orkney Spirits Limited, Bristol’s Psychopomp Microdistillery, and Silver Circle Distillery of Monmouthshire, are respectively the ‘first’ Scottish, English and Welsh producers of aquavit.
The three producers have joined forces to increase the spirit’s UK awareness and popularity, under the banner of ‘British aquavit’.
“We want more people to know about this delicious and versatile spirit, so as the first distilleries to make it here in the UK, we’re pooling our efforts to spread the word about what aquavit is – and more importantly – how great it tastes,” said Erin Watt, marketing manager at Orkney Gin Distillery.
Aquavit is a botanical spirit, with numerous spellings: aquavit, aqvavit or akvavit. The spirit’s specific flavour profile varies depending on the country in which it is made.
It is produced in the same way as gin, using dill or caraway as lead botanicals instead of juniper.
Stephanie Peck, head of operations at Psychopomp Microdistillery, said: “Across our three distilleries, we’ve all got different styles of aquavit, but there are common similarities – just like when you look back at the heritage of traditional aquavit in Scandinavia.
“They all have their own idiosyncrasies, which means there is plenty of room for people like us to experiment.”
Joe Howden, co-founder of Silver Circle Distillery added: “As a group, we all recognise that there is a lot of potential for aquavit in this country; once people try it, they tend to love it – but it’s still relatively unknown.
“As a cocktail ingredient, it really is phenomenal, it just brings a whole new dimension.”
The three distilleries have created a short film, which showcases how each of their individual aquavits are made, and how they might be used to create new and unusual versions of popular cocktails, such as a Martini or a Bloody Mary.
Orkney Akvavit is distilled eight times over a 24-hour period using whole, fresh and hand-picked botanicals including rose hips, whole orange segments and cinnamon.
Psychopomp uses handmade 30-litre copper pot stills to produce its spirits in small batches, using a single shot method. Its British expression was inspired by the Danish style but with ‘its own Bristol twist’.
Silver Circle’s 40% ABV aquavit is distilled with caraway, fennel, raspberry, lemon and rye. The brand recommends switching gin for aquavit for a ‘new perspective’ on a gin and tonic.
The brands have also created a tasting pack that can be enjoyed on its own, with food and in a variety of cocktails at home.
The tasting packs include three 50ml bottles – one each of Orkney Akvavit, Psychopomp Aqvavit and Silver Circle Aquavit, plus an online guided tasting for consumers to learn more about the spirit as they taste it.
Click below to watch the campaign video.