Last night was our annual Schi dinner, and the story of that soup ritual can be read here. For the past few years I’ve been making my own akvavit to serve with the Schi, and I’m sharing that recipe with you this year.
It began when I thought I had some akvavit in the freezer one year, and turned out to be wrong. Now, here in Washington state, it’s not so easy to rush out and buy hard liquor. It has to bought at a state store — the groceries and wine shops can only carry beer, wine, and fortified wines. And it was a Sunday, so the local state store was closed. What to do? I had vodka on hand, and caraway seeds, caraway being the flavoring for akvavit. So I poured a cup of vodka into a pitcher and added about two tablespoons of caraway seeds. I let that steep for a couple of hours at room temperature, strained it into a serving carafe, and put it in the freezer, as akvavit is best served very cold. The result was a pale golden elixir that tasted just right. Crisis averted, a new tradition born.
Skål! And Happy New Year!