Updated at: 19-07-2023 - By: John Lau

Exploring the intricate world of Scandinavian liquors can feel like a delightful voyage, but knowing where to start can be challenging.

Did you know Scandinavia is renowned for its distinctive spirit called aquavitproduced since the 15th century?

Our comprehensive guide will navigate you through the various types of Nordic spirits, their history and brands that have aced liquor crafting over centuries.

Gear up for an immersive journey into Scandinavian beverages – it’s toast time!

Types of Scandinavian Liquor


Scandinavian Liquor (1)

Akvavit, also known as aquavit, holds a special place among Scandinavian liquors. This staple Nordic spirit dates back to the 15th century and is deeply rooted in the region’s cultural fabric.

Each Scandinavian country enjoys its own version; for instance, you may come across a uniquely flavored Swedish Akvavit or Norwegian Aquavit that will tantalize your taste buds.

Grain or potatoes form the foundation of this liquor—much like vodka—with each brand offering distinctive flavors based on their secret blend of herbs and spices.

In olden times people revered akvavit for its purported medicinal properties, enhancing not just celebrations but health too!

Today, it remains an essential part of traditional festivities and gatherings across Scandinavia.

Brands such as Linie Aquavit lead charge in providing global enthusiasts with this unique experience encased within bottles of history and tradition.


Glogg is a traditional Scandinavian liquor that is perfect for warming up during the cold winter months. This spiced and mulled wine concoction originated in Sweden but is enjoyed throughout the region.

It typically includes red wine, along with spices like cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and ginger. Glogg also often contains raisins and almonds for added flavor and texture.

The drink is heated gently to infuse all the flavors together, then served warm in mugs or glasses.

Glogg has a rich history tied to holiday celebrations in Scandinavia and is often enjoyed during Christmas time.

Its aromatic spices and comforting warmth make it a popular choice when you want to indulge in something cozy on chilly evenings.


Scandinavian Liquor (2)

Mead, a traditional Scandinavian liquor, has been enjoyed by people for centuries. Made from fermented honey and water, mead is often referred to as “honey wine.”

It has a rich history in Scandinavian culture and is believed to be one of the oldest alcoholic beverages known to man.

Mead was highly valued in ancient times for its perceived medicinal properties and was even used in rituals and celebrations.

This sweet and aromatic drink offers a unique taste experience that captures the essence of Nordic heritage.

Whether sipping it on its own or using it as an ingredient in cocktails, mead continues to be cherished by those who appreciate the flavors of Scandinavia.


Lakka is a unique Scandinavian liqueur that is made from wild berries found in the Arctic region.

This flavorful spirit hails from Finland and is highly regarded for its distinct taste. The main ingredient used to make Lakka is the cloudberry, a rare and sought-after berry known for its vibrant orange color and sweet yet tart flavor profile.

To produce this delightful liquor, the berries are carefully picked by hand during the short Arctic summer months when they fully ripen.

The result is a smooth and slightly tangy liqueur with hints of honey and citrus.

Lakka has become synonymous with Finnish culture, often enjoyed neat or as an ingredient in refreshing cocktails.

It’s worth noting that due to limited availability of cloudberry, Lakka can be considered quite exclusive.


Scandinavian Liquor (3)

Punsch is a popular Scandinavian liquor that has its roots in Sweden. This sweet and aromatic spirit is made by mixing arrack, a distilled rice or sugarcane spirit, with sugar, water, and various spices.

Punsch offers a unique flavor profile that combines notes of tropical fruit, spice, vanilla, and caramel. It is often enjoyed neat or used as an ingredient in cocktails.

With its rich history dating back to the 18th century, punsch holds a special place in Swedish drinking culture.

So if you’re looking to explore the diverse world of Scandinavian liquor, don’t forget to give punsch a try for its distinct taste and fascinating origin story.

Cherry Heering

Cherry Heering is a delightful Scandinavian liqueur that is popular among cocktail enthusiasts. It has a rich and sweet flavor, with distinct notes of ripe cherries.

This vibrant red liqueur adds a burst of flavor to classic cocktails like the Singapore Sling and Blood and Sand.

Cherry Heering has been around for over 200 years, making it one of the oldest continuously produced spirits in Scandinavia.

Made from Danish cherries, this liqueur undergoes a meticulous production process to bring out its authentic taste.

Whether sipped neat or used as an ingredient in your favorite drink, Cherry Heering is sure to add a touch of sophistication to any occasion.

So why not indulge yourself in the world of Scandinavian liquor and discover the unique flavors that make each sip truly unforgettable?.


Scandinavian Liquor (4)

Sahti is a traditional Finnish beer that has been brewed for centuries. It is unique because it is made using a combination of malted and unmalted grains, such as barley, rye, and oats.

The brewing process involves boiling the mash in large wooden vats and then fermenting it with baker’s yeast or wild yeast strains.

Sahti has a distinct flavor profile, with hints of banana, clove, and juniper berries. It is typically enjoyed unfiltered and unpasteurized, giving it a cloudy appearance.

With its rich history and distinctive taste, Sahti offers alcohol enthusiasts an authentic experience of traditional Finnish brewing techniques.


Brennevin is a type of Scandinavian liquor that holds a special place in Icelandic culture.

It is often referred to as the “national spirit” of Iceland and has been produced on the island for centuries.

Brennevin, which translates to “burning wine,” is a strong distilled spirit typically made from potatoes or grain. With its high alcohol content, Brennevin is known for warming up those cold winter nights in Scandinavia.

In fact, it’s traditionally enjoyed alongside some fermented shark meat called hákarl.

So if you’re looking to experience an authentic taste of Iceland, don’t forget to try a shot of this unique and fiery Scandinavian liquor.


Koskenkorva is a popular Scandinavian liquor that originates from Finland.

It is a clear and smooth vodka-like spirit made from locally grown barley, which gives it a distinct flavor.

Koskenkorva has gained recognition for its high-quality production process and premium taste.

With an alcohol content of 38%, this Finnish spirit offers a strong yet enjoyable drinking experience.

Whether enjoyed neat or mixed in cocktails, Koskenkorva is a beloved choice among both locals and tourists seeking to explore the rich world of Scandinavian liquor.


Scandinavian Liquor (5)

Vodka, a popular Scandinavian liquor, is known for its smooth and clean taste. Made from either grain or potatoes, it is similar to aquavit in terms of base ingredients.

Vodka has become widely enjoyed not only in Scandinavia but also around the world.

It can be sipped neat or used as a base for numerous cocktails. In Scandinavian countries like Sweden and Finland, vodka is often seen as an integral part of their drinking culture.

The process of distilling vodka involves multiple filtration steps to ensure its purity and quality.

Some notable Scandinavian vodka brands include Absolut from Sweden and Koskenkorva from Finland. So if you’re looking for a crisp and versatile spirit, give Scandinavian vodka a try!

Popular Scandinavian Spirits and Liqueurs


Aquavit, also known as akvavit, is a traditional Scandinavian liquor that holds a special place in the region’s drinking culture.

This distilled spirit has been produced in Scandinavia since the 15th century and is often compared to vodka due to its base of grain or potatoes.

However, what sets aquavit apart is its unique blend of herbs and spices, such as caraway seeds and dill, which give it a distinct flavor profile.

It was believed that aquavit had medicinal properties, making it even more cherished by the locals.

Today, aquavit continues to be enjoyed as a traditional Scandinavian spirit and can be found in different variations and brands like Linie Aquavit.

Aquavit is deeply rooted in the history and heritage of Scandinavia. Its production process is fascinating and showcases centuries-old traditions passed down through generations.

While each Scandinavian country has its own version of aquavit with slight variations in ingredients and flavor profiles, they all share a common love for this regional specialty.

Berry Liqueur

Berry liqueur is a popular Scandinavian liquor that offers a delightful burst of fruity flavors. Made from a variety of berries such as lingonberries, cloudberries, and blackcurrants, this sweet and vibrant liqueur adds a unique twist to cocktails and can be enjoyed on its own.

Known for its rich color and intense aroma, berry liqueur captures the essence of the Nordic landscape.

Its production process involves infusing the berries in alcohol and adding sugar to create a harmonious balance between sweetness and tartness.

Whether sipping it neat or mixing it into your favorite drink, berry liqueur provides a taste of Scandinavia’s natural bounty in every sip.

Regional Guide – Scandinavian Distilleries

Distilleries to visit in Scandinavia

If you’re a fan of Scandinavian liquor and looking for a unique experience, here are some distilleries in Scandinavia that you should definitely visit:

  1. Mackmyra Distillery (Sweden) – Known for their award-winning Swedish whiskey, Mackmyra offers tours and tastings to give visitors a firsthand look at their production process.
  2. Aalborg Akvavit Distillery (Denmark) – Aalborg is one of the oldest aquavit distilleries in Denmark. Take a tour to learn about the history and production of Danish schnapps.
  3. Oplandske Spritfabrikk (Norway) – This Norwegian distillery specializes in aquavit made from potatoes. Explore their facilities and taste their exceptional Norwegian aquavit.
  4. Koskenkorva Vodka Village (Finland) – As the largest vodka producer in Finland, Koskenkorva invites visitors to experience the craftsmanship behind Finnish vodka production.
  5. Lysholm Linie Aquavit Distillery (Norway) – Discover the intriguing process involved in aging aquavit at sea at this historic Norwegian distillery.
  6. House of Mungo Park Distillery (Denmark) – Known for their unique gin creations, House of Mungo Park offers visitors an opportunity to try Danish gin with a twist.
  7. Hernö Gin Distillery (Sweden) – Experience the artistry behind Scandinavian craft cocktails at this renowned Swedish gin distillery.

Highlighted Scandinavian liquor brands

Here are some highlighted Scandinavian liquor brands that alcohol enthusiasts should definitely try:

  1. Linie Aquavit: This Norwegian brand is known for its unique aging process where the aquavit is matured in oak barrels on a ship that sails across the equator twice.
  2. Aalborg Akvavit: A popular Danish brand, Aalborg offers a range of different aquavits, each with its own distinct flavor profile.
  3. OP Anderson Aquavit: An iconic Swedish brand, OP Anderson has been producing aquavits since 1891 and is renowned for its smooth and balanced taste.
  4. Brøndums Snaps: Another Danish favorite, Brøndums Snaps offers a variety of flavored snaps, including classic caraway and dill varieties.
  5. Koskenkorva Vodka: Produced in Finland, Koskenkorva Vodka is made from locally grown barley and distilled multiple times for a clean and pure taste.
  6. Hernö Gin: Hailing from Sweden, Hernö Gin is crafted using traditional gin-making techniques combined with local botanicals like lingonberries and meadowsweet.
  7. Mackmyra Whisky: This Swedish distillery produces award-winning single malt whiskies that showcase the unique flavors of Scandinavian ingredients.
  8. Lapponia Lingonberry Liqueur: Made from hand-picked Finnish lingonberries, this liqueur offers a sweet and tart taste that encapsulates the essence of Nordic berries.


In conclusion, Scandinavian liquor offers a rich and diverse range of spirits that reflect the region’s history and culture.

From the traditional aquavit with its unique blend of herbs and spices to the sweet berry liqueurs, there is something for every palate.

Whether you’re exploring the distilleries in Scandinavia or enjoying a Scandinavian-inspired cocktail at home, these Nordic spirits are sure to add an extra layer of authenticity to your drinking experience.

Cheers to discovering the flavors of Scandinavia!