Although the combinations of spices and herbs used in aquavit are endless, some of the most recognized flavors include caraway, anise, fennel, and cardamom. This infused spirit from Scandinavia is best enjoyed straight from the freezer as a shot—accompanied by a toast.

This recipe was featured as part of our Summer Solstice menu.

  • Yield: 1 (750-milliliter) bottle
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: 5 mins, plus 2 weeks infusing time
  • Active: 5 mins

Ingredients (8)

  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 medium lemon, rinsed and dried
  • 1 medium orange, rinsed and dried
  • 1 (750-milliliter) bottle vodka, such as Absolut or Svedka
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar


  1. Toast the caraway, fennel, cardamom, and cloves in a small frying pan over medium heat, shaking occasionally until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, remove a quarter of the peel from both the lemon and orange. Avoid removing the white pith; set the peels aside.
  3. Remove about 2 tablespoons of the vodka from the bottle. Either drink it or discard it.
  4. Place the toasted spices, lemon and orange peels, and sugar into the bottle. Cover tightly.
  5. Let the vodka infuse at room temperature (choose a spot that is neither too warm nor too cold) for 2 weeks, turning and gently shaking the bottle once a day. After 2 weeks, taste the aquavit; let it stand longer as needed.
  6. Strain the aquavit through a fine-mesh strainer into a large liquid measuring cup; discard the solids. Transfer the strained aquavit to a clean bottle with a tightfitting lid and store it in the freezer.