Monday, 10 October 2011


Some of my friends have noted that I have several things in common with pregnant women. It is true, of course, that I have never actually been pregnant or anything of that kind, but I do feel rotten most mornings and am disinclined to take up the pole vault. Also, like many an expectant mother, I sometimes have a sudden craving for some exotic comestible or extraordinary combination of foods.

My fancies are not dramatically perverse; no dill pickles with raspberry ice cream, or hot chocolate with minced ox kidney stirred in. Nothing like that; for example, it came to me the other day that what I hankered after at that moment was a snootful of Aalborg Jubilæums.

I am speaking of Danish akvavit. Nothing exotic about that if you live in Scandinavia, but it's not easy to find in leafy rural Sussex where I live. It's years since I used to sit all evening in a café near Copenhagen harbour with an old havnearbejder and his friends, a bottle of the stuff and a bowl of herrings between us, singing many a chorus of Det Var En Lørdag Aften and then perhaps a few rude verses of Den Sag Er Aldrig I Verden until some kindly politiman told us to go home.

But I can still remember the effect as the first tiny, bitterly cold glassful is knocked back: the aaah! of delight, the instant clearing of the nasal passages, and the feeling that you had been struck violently on the back of the neck by a large soft object. It has a mere 42% of alcohol by volume, but somehow it feels like more.

I suppose I could get a bottle on the internet, to have ready for whenever I am next overcome by a fancy for it.



dandd said...

It sounds delightful. My first go at akvavit was a the toast to the bride and groom at a niece's wedding. The akavit gave the toast an unexpected authority.

Froog said...

Can't say I've ever tried it, but you've piqued my interest - and my envy. Chinese baijiu, as you surely know, is fit only for degreasing the stove.

Jubilaeums is supposedly now Denmark's "most exported akvavit", and available through a number of online retailers, such as Whisky Exchange.

I wish you luck in satisfying your craving.