The fourth annual Aquavit Week, the week-long celebration of the signature spirit of the Nordics, returns for 2015 with events running from December 6-12. Aquavit is an underrated spirit behind the bar, and there may be more aquavit in the Pacific Northwest than in any other part of the United States. When Aquavit Week began in 2012, the number of aquavits regularly available in America could almost be counted on one hand. Today there are more than thirty available here, from small batches produced by American craft distillers to quality imports from its home in Scandinavia.
This year’s Aquavit Week promises to be the best and biggest yet, with more events than ever in Portland, Oregon and expansion into Seattle, Washington. This growth has been made possible with generous sponsorship from Linie, a Norwegian aquavit barrel aged at sea in sherry casks. Aquavit Week is devoted to celebrating the wonderful diversity of aquavit, its pairing possibilities with food, and its untapped potential in cocktails. A comprehensive guide to aquavit brands available in the United States, including many that will be featured at Aquavit Week events, can be found right here.
This year’s core events include four in Portland, one in Seattle, and many bars joining the celebration by offering aquavit cocktails all week long. This year’s featured events include:
Aquavit Week Opening Party (Dec. 6) – Join us at Broder Nord to experience Portland’s largest selection of aquavit. This ticketed event will feature more than ten different aquavits, aquavit cocktails, light Scandinavian fare, and a true Swedish toast. Special guest Christer Olsen of Linie will be traveling all the way from Norway to join the celebration. Come say “Skal!” with us! 6:30-8:30 pm. Tickets $20 per person.
Seven Days of Aquavit (Dec. 6-12) – Three of Portland’s best bars dive deep into aquavit all week long. At Bit House Saloon, seven different aquavit cocktails from seven different bartenders, each featured for just one day. At Multnomah Whiskey Library and the Green Room, a special menu of cocktails, each made with a different aquavit. And at The Rookery Bar at Raven and Rose, aquavit cocktails and a flight of selected aquavits, including a special cask-strength single barrel exclusive. (Check bars for regular business hours.)
Spirit of Scandinavia: Aquavit! (Dec. 8) – Author and ambassador Jacob Grier (of Portland’s Multnomah Whiskey Library and Cocktails on Tap) will join Seattle’s Jay Kuehner (of Cloud Room and Damn the Weather) for an evening devoted to the pleasure’s of aquavit. We’ll be pouring Scandinavia’s finest as well as inspired iterations from the Pacific Northwest, both neat and in cocktails, at the Cloud Room in Seattle. 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm.
Snaps & Beer (Dec. 10) – The Hop and Vine hosts a night of aquavit and beer pairings with special offerings from Portland brewers, including an aquavit barrel aged holiday ale from Alameda, a saison spiced with lemon zest, grains of paradise, and elderflower from Breakside, and a coffee and cardamom infused barleywine from Upright. 5:00 pm until close.
Aquavit Week Closing Party (Dec. 12) – It’s a cocktail collaboration! La Moule, Fenrir, and Aquavit Week team up for a late night celebration of Scandinavian cocktails at La Moule’s beautiful new bar. 10 pm until close.
In addition, many bars and restaurants will be featuring aquavit cocktails throughout Aquavit Week, including Expatriate, Rum Club, Victoria, Sante, Davis Street Tavern, The Fireside, and more. Check here for complete listings.
About Aquavit Week: Aquavit Week was founded in 2012 by Portland, Oregon bartender and writer Jacob Grier. The event is dedicated to showcasing aquavit as a neat spirit and as an ingredient in cocktails, introducing American imbibers to aquavits produced domestically and abroad. More information about the event, participating bars, and a guide to the variety of aquavit available in the United States is available at www.aquavitweek.com.
About Linie Aquavit: Sponsorship for Aquavit Week 2015 is provided by Linie. Produced in Norway, Linie is the spearhead icon of aquavit worldwide. It is matured in old sherry casks as deck cargo on ships that travel the seas twice across the equator. The change of temperature and humidity through different climate zones, along with constant rocking of the casks, make for a unique ripening process that gives Linie its distinct taste. Look inside the back of the bottle, enter the individual code online, and see where your Linie aquavit has traveled and which ship took it there. More information about Linie can be found at www.linie.com.
About Jacob Grier: Jacob Grier is the author of Cocktails on Tap: The Art of Mixing Spirits and Beer, and has worked in various Portland drinking destinations, including The Multnomah Whiskey Library, Expatriate, and The Hop and Vine. He writes at www.jacobgrier.com.