Introducing Ginavit! May’s Innovation Club release is our take on a Aquavit, with added juniper transforming the traditional Scandinavian spirit into a gin. Ginavit is distilled with classic aquavit botanicals dill and caraway, balanced with fennel, anise, citrus and juniper. The result is refreshing citrus on the pallet, giving way to a savoury profile with a full-bodied juniper finish.
Our take on an aquavit
Aquavit means “water of life.” The name comes from early distillers believing spirits to be a healing liquid, and it is still used to aid digestion after meals. The birth of Nordic aquavit was first recorded in a letter from the Danish Lord Eske Bille of Bergenhus castle, to the Norwegian bishop Olav Engelbrektsson in 1531. Throughout the rest of the 16th century this distilled grain spirit became popular in Nordic countries, with small distilleries in most villages. Traditionally the alcohol was flavoured with herbs and berries gathered in summer harvests. Locally grown spices such as caraway, coriander and dill were commonly used. In 19th century this process became more refined and some aquavit was barrel aged to round the flavour, giving aquavit a light amber colour, compared to the clear un-aged spirit. Although aquavit is still enjoyed across Scandinavia, different regions have their own specific style.
After drinking aquavit on a work trip to Sweden and Denmark, Batch director Phil, has always planned to experiment with the Scandinavian spirit as part of the Innovations Club. Phil’s inspiration for distilling an aquavit was encouraged further after a trip to Washington DC where he sampled Green Hat Gin.
Developing the recipe, however, became the responsibility of Junior Distiller, Ryan. The first ever spirit Ryan distilled was Apprentice’s Vodka, with fruity undertones and a subtle sweetness. From there be produced Zheng Lun Botanical Blend, packed to the brim with exotic fruit and last September he released his first ever gin, Peddler’s Pins – all the Batch gin flavours balanced with sour cherry. So this herbaceous gin was new territory for Ryan!
A note from the distiller
“This is the first time I’ve been given a brief for a product, before now I’ve developed a flavour profile based on my own inspirations and palate. Not only was I given a specific brief, the profile of an aquavit is much different to the sweeter notes I usually aim for. I’m really happy with how Ginavit came out. The flavour profile is well balanced; the juniper sits really well with the classic aquavit botanicals. I added quite a lot of citrus as this cuts though the sharper herbs and gives the roundness that ageing adds to some aquavits.”
Grains of paradise
Over ice, top with tonic and garnish with a sprig of dill and a ribbon of cucumber or try this month’s Innovations Club cocktail.
Ginavit is exclusive to our Innovations Club members. Become a member now to get your bottle of Ginavit for £25!