Pimp up your Xmas lunch!

Traditional dishes paired with aquavit cocktails

Are you feeling a little down on Aquavit? Or are you fearing the upcoming festivities due to prior year’s alcohol-induced shenanigans, suddenly finding yourself in the lap of the boss’s wife? Not that there is anything wrong with finding yourself on the lap of a beautiful woman – just choose the lap with care…

Whatever the case – don’t despair! Aquavit can be so much more than most people give it credit for. It can be both elegant, smooth and even a sophisticated palate teaser.

Rastløs akvavit barSo in order to help you out a little and get you ready for the forthcoming holidays – we (the Rastløs bar crew) have developed a range of cocktails that match the traditional dishes usually enjoyed during the Christmas lunch. Sipping on delicate and funky cocktails while enjoying dishes such as curry-herring, pork roast and ris ala mande, will invariably give your parties an extra spring in their step – while still imbibing in a classy way.

We have created these Christmas cocktails so that they can be re-created by anyone – anywhere. They are easy enough to tackle, so no reason to feel overwhelmed. Just follow the recipe and you’ll be golden. So without further ado – let’s get cracking.

For these recipes we have used my own brand of aquavit VI.ER AKVAVIT. But you can substitute with any caraway or dill aquavit you have available to you, if you cannot get a hold of VI.ER AKVAVIT.

Cocktails with herring – but why?

Herring and dill just suit each other like peanutbutter and jelly. The dill works with all sorts of seafood and at the same time you need something stronger and more spirit forward, to cut through the naturally fattiness of herring. Here you will find that a Martini is just what the doctor ordered, or it could be the fresher and more winey Herring and dill. What we are looking for are some cleaner and fresher flavours to tingle your palate and lay the foundation for the rest of the experience.

Nordic Green Martini: 

Nordic Green Martini and herring– 70 ml Green Midsummer (dill aquavit)

– 10 ml dry vermouth

Stir the drink with ice until it reaches the correct dilution for your palate, strain and pour into an ice cold Martini glass. Garnish with a sprig of dill or drops of dill oil.



Herring and Dill: 

Herring and dill, photo by Marie Frank– 20 ml Sherry Manzanill

– 40 ml Green Midsummer (dill aquavit)

– 25 ml lemon juice

– 10 ml simple syrup

All ingredients go into shaker along with ice, give it a good shake, strain and pour into low ball glass with ice and garnish with sprig of dill and a lime slice (the lime slices can be dried for a more refined look).

Cocktails with pork roast – really?

Pork roast is another rich dish, so here we are looking for fresh and bold flavours to compliment the majestic pork. Tropical flavours and pork go well together, whether you decide to coat your pork in it or you use them in your drinks. Mint, lime and pineapple are super nice and balance out the fattiness of the pork. The same can be said for our Juletide Hibernation cocktail – where we pair coffee and caraway with lime and ginger beer for a mouthwatering companion to your pork.

Tropical Xmas:

Tropical Xmas, photo by Marie Frank– 25 ml pineapple juice

– 15 ml lime juice

– 15 ml simple Syrup

– 50 ml VI.ER AKVAVIT Nordic Hygge (caraway aquavit)

– 7 mint leaves

All ingredients go into the shaker along with ice, shake it around, strain and pour into a lowball glass filled with ice and garnish with mint and a pineapple wedge.

Yuletide Hibernation: 

Juletid Hibernation, photo by Marie Frank– 15 ml cold coffee

– 5 ml lime

– 40 ml VI.ER AKVAVIT Nordic Hygge (caraway aquavit)

– Ginger beer to top

Pour all ingredients in an ice filled highball glass, give it a quick stir and garnish with candied ginger (alternatively you can use a slice of fresh ginger).

Cocktails with Risalamande – are you serious?

For the pudding, in this case risalamanden, you can go one of two ways. Either you can stay with the fresh tasting notes or you can round off the meal with some deeper and rounder flavours. Lemon Rain, is as the name implies, a fresh and easy caraway/lemon cocktail, that livens it all up a bit and gives a nice counterbalance to cream, vanilla and cherries. Whereas one cocktail counters the flavours, the next one plays along with the tasting notes in a complimentary fashion. C&C is a deeper and smoother after dinner cocktail, full of unctuous flavours like caraway, cherries and the warm deep notes from the vermouth.

Lemon Rain: 

Lemon Rain from Rastsløs, photo by Marie Frank– 15 ml Limoncello

– 45 ml VI.ER DANMARK (caraway aquavit)

– 25 ml lemon juice

– 10 ml simple syrup

All ingredients go into shaker full of ice. Shake it around, strain and pour into lowball glass with ice. Garnish and serve with a sprig of mint.


C&C from Rastløs, photo by Marie Frank– 40 ml VI.ER DANMARK (caraway aquavit)

– 10 ml Cherry liquor (Cherry Herring)

– 20 ml Sweet Vermouth (preferably italian)

Toss a couple of coffee beans into a stirring glass, stir all the ingredients over ice, strain and pour into a chilled Martini glass with an Amarena cherry on the bottom. Alternatively serve in a cognac snifter.)

Aside from dabbling in Christmas lunch and cocktail pairings – you will always find new and exciting Aquavit cocktails at Rastløs.

We focus on aquavit in all shapes and sizes and from countries and regions you never even knew made Aquavit. In short – Aquavit like you have never tried it before!

If you are interest in aquavit and intrigued by the use of aquavit in cocktails download our free ebook on aquavit and aquavit based cocktails to explore further.

Author image
Frederick-Sebastian Krause
As a Highwayman of Aquavit I have created VI.ER AKVAVIT and opened the all Aquavit-Bar Rastløs in Copenhagen. The Aquavit Revolution starts here baby... so lets pour a bottle of Aquavit on the pyre, strike a match and set the world alight.