O.P. Anderson Red Logo


O.P.A. Distillery – Copper pans

Sometimes the label says “aquavit”, sometimes “akvavit”, sometimes “akvevitt”. What is the difference and most importantly, what is this Nordic spirit all about?

Spiced aquavit has its origins in 15th-century Sweden and for several centuries it was drunk as medicine. It is a strong spirit originating in the Nordic countries, at least 37,5% in the alcohol strength department, with a dominant taste of caraway, dill, or both. Whether you’ve heard of it, tasted it or had twelve shots of it last night, it is – in our humble opinion – an undervalued classic.

In the cool North of Europe, a proud aquavit bottle is the maypole around which celebrations swing. Aquavit is also something of a symbol for Scandinavian cuisine. Depending on which of the Nordic countries it comes from, almost all of the home-cooked meals in that region are aligned in sisterly fashion with that country’s particular style and character of aquavit.


During the first part of the 19th century, the consumption of aquavit started early in the morning and continued until bedtime. The total consumption for a Swedish man was in excess of 100 litres of alcohol per year. The spices were mostly used to hide the taste of the spirit which was of a low quality.

During the late 19th century, the quality of the spirit improved considerably. It is then that aquavit became part of our high-class Swedish gastronomy.

O.P. Anderson aquavit is the symbol of Swedish identity through its established role during traditional Swedish celebrations. The bottle with the bright red cap belongs on the table at Easter, Midsummer, the annual crayfish party and at Christmas.

O.P. Anderson Herring Recipe Image


O.P. Anderson has a timeless flavouring that goes just as well with the Swedish smorgasbord as with the new Nordic cuisine. The aquavit works well with the entire smorgasbord as well as dishes with a slightly higher fat content and matured cheeses.

Examples of perfect combinations:

  • Pickled herring

  • Steak tartare with fried onions

  • Mac 'n' cheese

  • Smoked salmon and gravlax

  • Matured cheeses

  • Potato pancakes with roe

O.P. Anderson Red Logo