The Spirit of Midsummer

By Karen Shimizu

Published on March 18, 2019

The defining drink of Midsummer is undoubtedly aquavit, a neutral grain- or potato-based spirit infused with a variety of herbs and spices that's been made in Sweden since the 17th century. While most commercially produced bottles tend to the savory side—Swedish law requires that they be flavored primarily with caraway and dill—the drink lends itself to experimentatio. Enjoyed as a digestif and as a snaps (a bracing drink taken throughout the meal), to Swedes, aquavit is the spirit of celebration distilled.

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