Review: O.P. Anderson Klar aquavit

O.P. Anderson Klar is a brand new organic aquavit, first introduced in Denmark but now also available in Sweden, which is supposed to be the perfect match with fish and seafood - somewhat surprising since I was under the impression that all aquavit was made to drink together with traditional Scandinavian fare like pickled herring, boiled crawfish, shrimp etc. Anyway, the difference compared to other O.P. Anderson aquavits is that Klar in addition to classic aquavit ingredients like anise, caraway and fennel also contains dill and lemon peel. After distillation it has rested in oak barrels for eight months.

Nose: It begins in familiar aquavit territory, but with a sudden fresh breeze of lemon and grassy, tangy notes of dill. Mouth: The recommendation is to sip this neat directly from the fridge, but in order to get all flavours I tried it at room temperature. It's quite sweet and round with a nice and comforting, yet rather subdued, herbal complexity, with refreshingly bright and zesty citrus notes and a prominent, lingering grassiness from the dill until it fades out. Hey, this is good stuff - and even if all aquavit can be used in cocktails maybe this one is slightly preferrable because of the freshness from the citrus and overall earthiness. Let's see...

Dill Martini
For cocktails, I decided to borrow two recipes from Gamle Ode, an American company making a dill aquavit which I have yet to try but should be quite similar. First Dill Martini (45 ml O.P. Anderson Klar, 15 ml Beefeater gin, 22 ml Martini Bianco (original recipe calls for a sweet, red vermouth), 7 ml Noilly Prat, 1-2 dashes orange bitters (use Bittercube if at hand) - stir ingredients over ice and strain into Martini glass, garnish with lemon twist and a sprig of dill) and the result was a very nice and savoury cocktail with lots of herbacious goodness going on with a touch of lemon peel - a perfect start to any dinner.

Smoked Dill Sour
Last but not least I went for a Smoked Dill Sour (45 ml O.P. Anderson Klar, 15 ml Scotch, 22 ml lime juice, 22 ml demerara syrup - shake all ingredients and double strain into coupe. Express orange disc over cocktail and insert) and I have to say that the Scotch added a nice smoky layer to the aquavit, and the sugar and citrus really brought out the citrus and dill notes - delicious indeed!

In conclusion, this is a tasty gin to sip on at room temperature while eating stuff like smørrebrød, crawfish boil and smoked salmon, but equally delicious or maybe even more in cocktails because of its fresh, citrusy and tangy qualities. Don't forget to get a bottle before midsummer!

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