What is the difference between snaps and aquavit?

What is the difference between snaps and aquavit?

3
min
Aquavit, Knowledge

Depending on where in the world you are, the distinction between these two spirits can be wildly different, and here is how.

How is Aquavit made?
Is it Akvavit, Akevitt or Aquavit?

What is the difference between snaps and aquavit?

3
min
Aquavit, Knowledge

Depending on where in the world you are, the distinction between these two spirits can be wildly different, and here is how.

To start with, we need to establish there is a significant difference between Danish' Snaps', German' Schnapps' or the hodge-podge of fruit liqueurs and brandies, herbal liqueurs, and infusions that exist in North America that share the German spelling. They are quite different, but for the sake of this article, let's define Danish' Snaps.'

Snaps is a word we use for infused spirits in Danish. One could say that snap is more of a method than a category. Anything can be called a 'snaps,' if you infuse raw alcohol with a flavour ingredient. So technically, Gin is a snaps infused with juniper. In fact, a spirit needs to be legally called 'gin' if it's dominant flavour is juniper.


To clarify further, in Denmark, snaps is often referring to home infused spirits. In other words, Mormor buys a bottle of vodka, throws in some nuts and spices and lets it sit for around a week and viola—Mormor's Snaps.


However, if this is the case, then what is aquavit. Well, the simple answer is that aquavit is a snaps which is flavoured dominantly by dill seed and/or caraway. 


Similar to gin, what defines aquavit is regulated by EU law. However, the difference between gin regulations and aquavit regulations are quite different. 


The main difference between the two, from a very geeky production point of view, is that aquavit must be flavoured with a ‘distillate’ of dill seed and/or caraway. What this means in practice is that if you take a handful of juniper and put it in a bottle of vodka, it becomes gin. But if you do the same with a handful of caraway it becomes caraway snaps - NOT aquavit. 


So, long-story-short: aquavit can only be made by professionals.


When it comes to the difference in spelling—Aquavit, Akevitt, or Akvavit—it’s subjective. However, traditionally the spelling can often be linked to which Scandinavian country it originates. In Denmark, you will often see clear Akvavit with the flavour profiles leaning towards caraway or dill. In Norway, you will often find more brown barrel-casked Akevitt with more substantial notes of anise. The Swedes often favour more subtle flavoured Akvavit.


It is important to note here that these are broad characteristics. In fact, the distinction between various Aquavit, Akevitt, or Akvavit is far more nuanced and personal to the individual distilleries. 

What is the difference between snaps and aquavit?

3
min
Aquavit, Knowledge

Depending on where in the world you are, the distinction between these two spirits can be wildly different, and here is how.

To start with, we need to establish there is a significant difference between Danish' Snaps', German' Schnapps' or the hodge-podge of fruit liqueurs and brandies, herbal liqueurs, and infusions that exist in North America that share the German spelling. They are quite different, but for the sake of this article, let's define Danish' Snaps.'

Snaps is a word we use for infused spirits in Danish. One could say that snap is more of a method than a category. Anything can be called a 'snaps,' if you infuse raw alcohol with a flavour ingredient. So technically, Gin is a snaps infused with juniper. In fact, a spirit needs to be legally called 'gin' if it's dominant flavour is juniper.


To clarify further, in Denmark, snaps is often referring to home infused spirits. In other words, Mormor buys a bottle of vodka, throws in some nuts and spices and lets it sit for around a week and viola—Mormor's Snaps.


However, if this is the case, then what is aquavit. Well, the simple answer is that aquavit is a snaps which is flavoured dominantly by dill seed and/or caraway. 


Similar to gin, what defines aquavit is regulated by EU law. However, the difference between gin regulations and aquavit regulations are quite different. 


The main difference between the two, from a very geeky production point of view, is that aquavit must be flavoured with a ‘distillate’ of dill seed and/or caraway. What this means in practice is that if you take a handful of juniper and put it in a bottle of vodka, it becomes gin. But if you do the same with a handful of caraway it becomes caraway snaps - NOT aquavit. 


So, long-story-short: aquavit can only be made by professionals.


When it comes to the difference in spelling—Aquavit, Akevitt, or Akvavit—it’s subjective. However, traditionally the spelling can often be linked to which Scandinavian country it originates. In Denmark, you will often see clear Akvavit with the flavour profiles leaning towards caraway or dill. In Norway, you will often find more brown barrel-casked Akevitt with more substantial notes of anise. The Swedes often favour more subtle flavoured Akvavit.


It is important to note here that these are broad characteristics. In fact, the distinction between various Aquavit, Akevitt, or Akvavit is far more nuanced and personal to the individual distilleries. 

How is Aquavit made?