In correspondence with Dennis Stensgaard of Spiced Spirits, we struck up a conversation about aquavit. This is a traditional Scandinavian spirit that in modern times is heavily flavored with carraway but over the centuries has had many different variations. It's potent liquor often served ice cold.
Stensgaard offers a recipe specifically from Denmark and specifically for August made from green walnuts. He describes this as making the "ultimate aquavit" and we can say that in all our discussions, we've never heard of a spirit precisely like this. While the official legal definition of aquavit involves carraway and other spices, this version has no additives of any kind except the walnuts. It sounds outstanding. Knowing that many people like to experiment with making and infusing their own liquor, we offer this recipe for the daring Vikings-at-heart.
In this way, you'll have a traditional, dark aquavit ready annually for your pleasure (assuming you have access to green walnuts).
But hold on! Like scotch and bourbon, longer resting may improve the aquavit. Stensgaard says:
My advice is to wait. My own walnut aquavit from 2009 is just beginning to be great now, in 2012. And some fans of this fantastic dram argue that you can't really call it a Green Walnut Aquavit until it has matured for 7 years! So the very best advice is to make a large portion, when your start - and make a large portion every year. I made two litres of concentrated green walnut the first year, and that is definately not overdoing it, because it really IS fantastic. And I need to have some 2009 batch left in 2016.
Given that there are walnut trees nearby at Proof66 headquarters that frustrated homeowners leave as detritus on the street corner, we hope to have a follow-up series of articles on this subject as we attempt to perfect our own Green Walnut Aquavit.