Here Is The World’s Best Aquavit Cocktail In 2018

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Linie The Journey is an international cocktail competition where bartenders from throughout Europe compete for the prestigious first-place award. The international final
was held on Monday, 27 August, at Ingierstrand Bad in Oslo.

Linie The Journey
The story of LINIE started in 1805 with the remarkable journey to Indonesia. It was then discovered that sailing around the world, crossing the equator twice, gave the aquavit a smooth and unique taste. The premise for Linie The Journey is to create a cocktail with Lysholm Linie Aquavit as the main ingredient. The cocktail should also be inspired by the countries along Lysholm Linie Aquavit’s route around the world: Norway, Germany, England, USA, Panama, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, China, Korea, Japan and Mexico.

International coverage
The competition has drawn a lot of international attention since aquavit is growing in popularity. Aquavit has taken cocktail enthusiasts by storm, and it is clear that many are very committed to bartending, Lysholm Linie Aquavit and the competition. “We are seeing considerable interest in aquavit among young, up-and-coming bartenders, and this national spirit comprises an exciting base in cocktails. We have received more than 200 suggestions for this year’s competition, and quality and creativity are high among participants,” says Romain Jourdan, Category Manager for International Premium Spirits at Arcus and the driving force behind the competition.

With early rounds in Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Austria and Norway, respectively, more than 200 participants competed to earn one of the 11 spots in the final.

World-class jury
The jury is headed by Monica Berg and also includes the king of mixology, Alex Kratena; the star bartender from Paris, Carina Soto Velasquez; and Arcus’s own Master Blender, Ivan Abrahamsen. The jury weighed four criteria in its assessment of the drinks and the finalists: appearance, taste, story and, most importantly, originality.

Women outscore the men in mixology
This year’s Linie The Journey is the third consecutive competition, and the first two both
crowned female champions. And this year it happened again!

German Peggy Knuth, one of two women in the final, went home Monday night with the coveted first-place award in Linie The Journey 2018 with her cocktail Eastcoast Park. Knuth is the Bar Manager at Salut! Bar in Berlin. Despite her love for Norwegian spirits and Lysholm Linie Aquavit, this was the first time she competed in – and made an impression at – Linie The Journey.

“This year’s Linie The Journey was larger and better than ever, and the winner, Peggy, had a very personal and excellent presentation, but perhaps most importantly – she had a fantastic drink! Lysholm Linie Aquavit was accentuated well, the flavours were balanced, and it was really a drink that you would want to have again! It sounds cliché, but simplest is often best!” says the head of the jury, Monica Berg.

I did not expect to win.
“I naturally hoped on some level that I would win, but I really did not expect it. But, in my opinion, Lysholm Linie Aquavit and Pandan are the perfect partners, just like lovers, and I am so pleased that I was able to incorporate my own preferences in a drink and that the judges liked it. I also think it is incredibly fun – and exciting – that I now have the opportunity to create my own Linie Aquavit with Ivan Abrahamsen, and it is a thrill that it will be sent on the same journey as Lysholm Linie Aquavit. I have to say, I am very satisfied with the evening’s outcome,” said Knuth.

Self-crafted aquavit on first-class journey 
The finalists in Linie The Journey were not just competing for the prestigious first-place ranking, but also a unique opportunity: the possibility to craft their own Norwegian cask-matured Linie Aquavit. Knuth, together with Master Blender Ivan Abrahamsen, will
now create her own personal blend, which will head out on the same journey that Lysholm Linie Aquavit has undertaken all these years – across the equator twice.

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THE winning cocktail: Eastcoast Park
60 ml Linie Aquavit
30 ml lemon cordial (homemade*)
7 drops Pandan Extract (homemade**)

*Homemade lemon cordial
60g lemon peel
1000ml water
500g sugar
20g citric Acid

**Homemade pandan extract
50g dry Pandan leaves (chopped)
200ml neutral alcohol
Leave it for min. 2 weeks

 

Lysholm No. 52

Lysholm No52

For those of you who may have read my feature on Linie, you’ll know that I have only really been introduced to the category of aquavit in the last 12 months. It’s a surprise then for me to realise that I’ve been missing out on something rather special, and I am excited to experience their latest creation in Lysholm No.52, the first aquavit that’s ‘perfect for cocktails’.

Lets take a look.

Usually, aquavit is served neat and as an accompaniment with food, but Lysholm No.52 takes the ever-growing use of aquavit within cocktails (as seen at the annual Linie Aquavit Awards) and offers to us a base that involves 11 different botanicals, including Norwegian caraway, star anise, coriander, bitter orange peels and ginger.

Created by Master Distiller Ivan Abrahamsen, the name comes from both the founder of Lysholm aquavit, Jørgen B Lysholm, as well as being the 52nd recipe chosen when the original trials were set.

But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Lysholm No.52 – 40%

Fresh caraway and orange peel upon the nose, with swirls of the star anise, followed by fresh mint and thyme. Light on the palate, but a slow growth of ginger, caraway and lavender come through. Very fresh, plenty of warmth which offers a lingering mouth-feel.

A superb flavour sensation when drinking neat, although I can see it working well within one of these –

Lysholm52 bilde med kryddere
Tonic No.52

Tonic No.52

Glass – 

Rocks

Ingredients – 

25 ml Lysholm No.52
50 ml Double Dutch Tonic Water

Method – 

Combine the ingredients over an ice filled rocks glass and serve with a slice of lemon and cucumber.

Lysholm No.52 lives up to its hype, and with its flavour driven profile, it works perfectly for the cocktail scene. With summer coming, it’s a great alternative to your normal refreshing serves!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

Linie

Linie (2)

Aquavit.

Ever come across the name?

It’s not the most common of spirit categories here in the UK compared to the likes of whisky, rum or gin, but if you’ve ever visited any part of Scandinavia you will have more than likely drank some form of aquavit, the local tipple of choice. Aquavit itself is a distilled spirit from either grain or potatoes within pot stills, then redistilled with the likes of anise, coriander, dill or fennel, filtered with charcoal and then bottled without ageing. It is interesting then that when I visited Sweden to attend the Linie Aquavit Awards this year, I not only came across aquavit for the first time, but also an aged aquavit.

The Norwegian brand of Linie can trace itself back to 1780 when Catharina Lysholm built the brig Trondhiems Prøve with her brother and sailed towards the East Indies in 1805. Within their cargo hold were five casks of potato spirit alongside other types of merchandise, hoping to open a trade route which ultimately failed. However due to the storing of the potato spirit within the deck cargo, it was discovered when the ship came back to Norway in 1807 that the spirit had vastly improved in flavour. Keeping this close to their chests, Jørgen B. Lysholm rebuilt his fathers soap factory into a distillery, before moving the distillery and offices to the centre of Trondheim and the creation of Linie aquavit. The unique maturation of the Linie aquavit has meant that for the last 200 years, the spirit embarks on a four and a half month journey, taking in 35 countries and crossing the equator twice. It’s interesting to note that at any given time, more than a thousand Linie aquavit casks are maturing as deck cargo.

So how does Linie fare? Well below I give to you my tasting notes, as well as two further expressions I had the opportunity to try on the awards evening mentioned above –

Linie Pre-Journey – unknown abv

Rich on the nose with glazed fruits and fresh vanilla combining well. Very thin on the palate, with light flavours of aniseed bringing a lingering dryness to the finish.

Linie – 41.5%

Matured within Spanish Oloroso sherry casks for 16 months. Plenty of honey on the nose, with fragrant meadow scents coming through slowly. A thin texture on the palate, with light flavours of kummel and aniseed drawing a dry finish.

Linie Double Cask – 41.5%

Aged for a further 6 months within selected port casks. Rich oak and soft port notes on the nose blend well, with the richness following to the palate. A boldness develops over time, with caramel flavours giving the finish a sweet, long experience alongside the heavy port notes.

Three very interesting expressions here, with the main Linie expression perfect for these recipes –

Complement Cocktail
Complement Cocktail

Complement Cocktail

Glass – 

Martini or Cocktail

Ingredients – 

45 ml Plymouth gin
20 ml Linie
2 dashes Maraschino liqueur
1 sprig Dill

Method – 

Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full with ice. Add the gin, aquavit and liqueur; shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled Martini glass and garnish with dill.

Or perhaps,

Swedish 60
Swedish 60

Swedish 60

Glass – 

Champagne flute

Ingredients – 

45 ml Linie
15 ml freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar syrup
85 ml Sparkling Wine

Method –

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the aquavit, lime juice and simple syrup. Shake well, then strain into a Champagne flute. Top with the sparkling wine and garnish with the twist of lime peel.

Linie aquavit is commonly drunk at room temperature within a tulip shaped glass, accompanying smoked salmon or marinated fish dishes, which shows off the versatility of this traditional Scandinavian spirit. A bottle to shake up your evening meal perhaps, or impress your friends with something a little different, or indeed head to your local bar as Linie is starting to push its way around the UK’s bartenders to really shout about the Norwegian flavour spectrum.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.