A Festival solely for Snaps & Aquavit!

This is actually happening – an entire festival dedicated solely to snaps and aquavit!

It’s called Spirikum and it is going down on the 1st of september in a big tent on Israels Plads as part of Copenhagen Cooking & Food Festival. with producers present from USA, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

Spirikum akvavit festival 2018Aquavit cocktails will be served during the day in a bar hosted by Duck and Cover. In the evening the tent will be turned into an aquavit party hall where you can have smørrebrød dishes paired with specific aquavits or party in the pavillion with aquavit cocktails from Rastløs and crisp disco tunes by the hyped DJ ’Fyraftensboogie

Spirikum is a summit and melting pot for producers of snaps and aquavit from all over the world. The festival which is arranged in a collaboration between Arcus A/S, Copenhagen Distillery and Schumachers saw the light of day for the first time in 2017.

We asked Spirikum partner Sune Urth a few questions to find out what this phenomenon is all about:

Q: Why a festival specifically for akvavit and snaps in Copenhagen?

Sune Urth and Henrik Brinks from Copenhagen DistillerySune: Copenhagen sits comfortably as a bridge between Europe and Scandinavia, and has furthermore, in the last decade, cementet it’s position as the centre of a Scandinavian culinary evolution. MAD Food and a growing number of food festivals has helped this. We find it is high time the nordic spirit gets elevated into that sphere. Also we all work in or around Copenhagen, so it makes the planning easier…

Q: How did the idea come about?

Sune: We started last year with a feeling of necessity more than anything else. We (Rasmus Poulsgaard and I) had just written our book on aquavit, Arcus, Schumachers and Copenhagen Distillery had done a show-and-tell at Lidkoeb together, and all in all we had a lot of people walking around feeling we needed to do something more than just… write another article…

We honestly believe the category needs a collective forum for exchange of ideas and thoughts. So this year we start the festival with a BtB day on friday with prominent speakers talking about what akvavit and snaps really is and how we can make it great again.

Q: Why should people book the date?

Spirikum aquavit glassSune: Because it’s a unique and unparalelled chance to meet these producers in a relaxed and informal setting. Normally when you go to a spirit show you may meet five or six actual producers and everyone else is a distributor or brand rep or bartender hired in for the event. Here we have the actual lions, they fly in from Michigan and Reykjavik to be here for a few days, talk to like-minded people and set a direction for the future. If that is not worth a few ours of a Saturday I don’t know what is.

Across the Equator - an aquavit cocktail from Duck and Cover in CopenhagenThe Vesterbro neighborhood bar Duck and Cover which is renowned for serving bold and delicious aquavit based cocktails and occationally featuring only aquavit cocktails on their menu will be serving aquavit drinks throughout the day. Among others one of our favorites “Across the Equator“, which is reason enough to go in itself.

We can’t wait. See you there!

Best snaps and aquavit 2017

Last year a panel of judges selected winners within four snaps and aquavit categories. We share them here, so you’re up to speed with what is cooking on the frontier:

Strand brænderi Dry AquavitAkvavit:

STRAND Brænderi Dry Aquavit – GOLD



Fadlagret Aquavit:

Hellstrøm Aquavit – GOLD

STRAND Brænderi SMØR Aquavit – SILVER

Qvänum Mat & Malt; Ekefadslagret Akvavit – BRONZE

Schumachers snaps

Kryddersnaps (flavoured spirit):

Schumachers Dild – GOLD

Nord Bøgesnaps – SILVER

Schumachers Rødgran – BRONZE


Helsinki Distilling Company – GOLD

Arcus Project No. 1. Fourage, Norsk Finmark – SILVER

Arcus Project No. 1. Fourage, Svensk Skov – BRONZE

A few good things to know about Spirikum

Taste samples from all producers will be free and the tasting glass from Holmegård can be brought back home. Tickets for the event can be bought via Madbillet for 150 kr.

Separat tickets has to be bought for the evening event where selected restaurants from Ole Troelsø’s book ’Denmark’s best Smørrebrød’ will be serving traditional open faced sandwiches and Jacobsen Øl together with snaps and aquavit paired for the dishes. These tickets can be acquired for 350 kr.

There’s free entrance for the party in the pavillion with funky tracks by the DJ Fyraftensboogie and drinks served by the local aquavit bar Rastløs for 65 kr.

Author image
Thomas Klem Andersen
I believe that true mastery eventually leads to original creation given the right conditions. I love creative cocktails that push the limits of flavor pairing. But I can't deny I have a personal preference for whisky and love everything that is clear and stirred.