Published in The A - Z of Drinks

aquavit/akvavit/akevitt – it’s vodka really, from Denmark (Aalborg), Sweden (Absolut, OP Anderson), Norway (Linie) and Finland (Finlandia, as if), but let’s play along as it was probably the original version. All distilled from potatoes, flavoured with caraway and usually one or more of fennel, dill, aniseed, cumin and bitter orange.

Published in The A - Z of Drinks

anis – (aka anise, anisette, pastis, raki, arak, ouzo); loose group of alcoholic beverages popular around a great swathe of the Mediterranean and which have in common the fact that they are aniseed-flavoured. Some are effectively flavoured vodkas; other sweetened versions are liqueurs. France’s leading brand, Pernod (see absinthe p. 4) is dry and less alcoholic than pastis, which is flavoured with both staranise and liquorice. Spanish anis (Mono, Chinchón) is sweet or dry (dulce or seco). French anisette liqueur (Brizard) is sweetened and similar to Sambuca in Italy. Usually served diluted with water (anywhere from 1:1 to 5:1). A rough Greek ouzo was responsible for one of my worst ever hangovers, although sleeping on a sandy beach facing windward didn’t help. The inevitable mouthful of sand and a steep climb back up to the bar where mein host informed me: ‘It’s still fermenting in your stomach’, finished me off.

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