In every country that one travels it is important to adopt certain cultural practices and take them away to be shared with friends and family back home. In Denmark, we fell in love with Snaps and practice we did in order to get it just right!
“A group of people are clustered around a table for a typical lunch that will include several courses and a clear, fiery drink. The host pours the ice-cold liquid into frosty, conical glasses with long stems. He raises his glass, at which point the diners turn to one another and make eye contact, making certain not to leave anyone out. “Skål!” calls out the host, and everyone takes a sip. Again there is eye contact, and then the glasses are set on the table, not to be lifted again until the host raises his. The liquid is aquavit. The ritual is virtually the same throughout Scandinavia.” (Blue, Anthony Dias (2004). The Complete Book of Spirits: A Guide to Their History, Production, and Enjoyment. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. p. 42. ISBN 0-06-054218-7.)
Some other anecdotes and tidbits we learned about Snaps in Denmark:
- Snaps is also known as bitters and is a herb filled liquor to help settle the stomach in the morning or else before one goes hunting. If you order snaps/bitters it will be bitter!
- Akvavit is the clear liquor that is served with the smorgasbord lunches. It is sweet, warming and delicious.
- Many old age homes in Denmark are phasing out medications and bringing in the Akvavit and Snaps for the residents to enjoy and feel better.