Make A Memorable Martini With Aquavit

Photo: Claire Lower

Happy Memorial Day weekend, I guess. To be honest, I had completely forgotten about the U.S. holiday and its elongated weekend until I saw a press release for “Memorial Day cocktails,” a phrase which, to me, is largely meaningless.

This is not to say you should not drink this weekend, I just don’t think it’s a weekend that lends itself well to a theme, so the theme is “what Claire feels like drinking,” which is aquavit, because of nostalgia. It’s hard to believe that just over a year ago I was traipsing around Copenhagen (for work), eating lots of hot dogs and drinking lots of aquavit. Travelling isn’t something I’m going to be doing any time soon, but at least I can feel a little more worldly sipping on this Scandinavian spirit.

I think of aquavit as “angry gin,” which means it makes a pretty stellar martini. I use a 3:1 ratio of spirit to vermouth, as the fortified wine can help tame aquavit’s more aggressive qualities, and add a little orange bitters just for fun. It’s slightly savoury and surprisingly smooth, and I just know it will help this long weekend fly by.

To make it, you will need:

  • 65mL aquavit

  • 22mL dry vermouth

  • 3 dashes orange bitters

Add everything to a mixing glass filled with ice and stir for about a minute, until you drink is very cold. Strain into a coupe and garnish with a strip of lemon zest if you have it. Repeat until the weekend is over.


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