Alpine Distilling, a local company right here in Park City, crafted 200 bottles of barrel-aged aquavit for our us at Stein Eriksen Lodge. The spirit made its debut on Stein Day, December 15th, 2019, and was enjoyed by guests celebrating the life of Stein Eriksen. Aquavit originally hails from Scandinavia and was a favorite of Stein himself. Its rich tradition and flavor complement the Norwegian heritage here at the Lodge.
Water of life
The word “aquavit” is derived from the Latin aqua vitae meaning water of life. Though now typically only seen around the holidays, weddings, or birthdays, aquavit was indeed the “water of life” for some Scandanavians in its early years as it was believed to possess healing powers. Today, however, aquavit is no longer considered medicinal though it is regarded as a digestive ease when consuming rich foods, which most likely plays a factor in its popularity during the holidays.
Our Aquavit from Alpine Distilling was made from Utah Winter Wheat and Utah 2-Row Barley that was converted from starch to sugar before fermentation. After fermentation, the liquid was distilled, seasoned, and transferred to barrels before being bottled and brought to the Lodge. Aquavit is traditionally made from either wheat or potatoes, then seasoned with caraway, cardamom, cumin, anise, fennel, or orange peel to name a few. The longer the Aquavit ages in barrels, the easier it is to detect these flavors. In fact, Norwegian Aquavit is often aged the longest and turns a delightful amber color whereas Danish or Swedish Aquavits are more pale, even clear. The Stein Eriksen Aquavit presents as “liquid gold” with a beautiful aroma and a complex taste profile maintaining a balanced mouthfeel.
Norwegian aquavit is served at room temperature in a special tulip-shaped glass. You can either take the whole glass at once and follow it with a dark beer, or sip on the contents to savor the unique flavor or the spirit. No matter how you choose to drink it, always start with a toast. The toast used when drinking aquavit originated with the Vikings. Skaal is the standard toast used today and references a drinking cup that the Vikings used. During the toast, it is traditional to maintain eye contact with your fellow drinkers. This too originated with the Vikings and embodies their sensibility of keeping an eye on others at all times.
Stein and Aquavit
Stein himself enjoyed a glass of aquavit with friends and guests at the Lodge. His favorite way to drink it was all at once and encouraged his fellow drinkers to do the same. The aquavit crafted by Alpine Distilling not only carries on a Norwegian tradition but also reminds us of the legend himself and his days here at Deer Valley
After the Lodge received the 200 bottles of aquavit, the barrels used to age the spirit were delivered to another local company for repurposing. Red Rock Brewing is making a beer that will be aged in these same barrels for the Lodge. Stay tuned for the release of this beer!
You can try some aquavit yourself at Glitretind while supplies last. Call (435) 645-6455 to make a reservation today, and be sure to ask your server for food recommendations that will pair well with the spirit for the complete experience
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