In addition to using caraway and dill—the most traditional flavors for aquavit—in Sweden, home cooks make the spirit with an infinite variety of spices, herbs, and other flavorful botanicals. An aquavit steeped with dried figs and toasted cardamom adds sweetness and warm spicy notes to this twist on a Manhattan from New York City's Restaurant Aquavit.
For the Fig and Cardamom Aquavit
- 8 dried figs, halved
- 4 pods cardamom, toasted
- 1 (750-ml) bottle vodka
For the Cocktail
- 1 1⁄2 oz. fig and cardamom aquavit
- 1 1⁄2 oz. bourbon
- 1⁄2 oz. lingonberry syrup
- 3 brandied cherries, plus a splash of juice
Make the aquavit: Combine figs with vodka and steep for 3 weeks; add cardamom and steep 1 more week. Strain.
Make the cocktail: Combine aquavit, bourbon, syrup, and juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake vigorously and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with cherries.