Swe-Dishes (And Drinks): Svenska Spring with Aquavit

Photos courtesy of Hootan Hadavand

Food & Drink

Swe-Dishes (And Drinks): Svenska Spring with Aquavit

Today, we have a recipe from American bartender Hootan Hadavand just in time for spring!

This light and refreshing cocktail has a nice balance of citrusy, herbaceous and spicy flavors and uses one of our favorite Scandinavian spirits, aquavit.

The Benedictine in this cocktail gives a sweet and herby flavor that complements the caraway and other ingredients used in aquavits. The ancho chili liqueur gives a nice little kick that makes the drink unique.


  • 1.5 oz James River Distillery Øster Vit (or any aquavit of your choice)
  • .75 oz fresh lemon juice
  • .5 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
  • .25 oz Benedictine
  • .25 oz Ancho Reyes ancho chili liqueur


Candied ginger


Pour all ingredients into a shaker, add ice and shake until chilled. Double strain into a coupe glass and add skewered candied ginger. Enjoy! 

Hootan Hadavand is an American bartender at Rappahannock Restaurant in Richmond, Va., with a newfound passion for the Scandinavian spirit aquavit. “I was first introduced to Øster Vit by my bar manager when James River Distillery first started pushing it out. We really enjoy their aquavit and always try to promote and use local products so it’s a win-win,” he said. “I like the spirit because it’s great by itself or for mixing cocktails. The herbs used in making it gives it a nice flavor that’s a little more interesting and enjoyable than other neutral grain spirits.”

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