Since 2008 Bluewater Organic Distillery has been pioneering the sustainable and organic in their distillation practice. When I talked with founder John Lundin a few years ago he shared how his Scandinavian heritage has helped inform his distilling practice and that one day he would produce an Aquavit. In 2018, Bluewater launched Wintersun Aquavit.
Firstly, Wintersun Aquavit is distilled from a base of grain and features three botanicals including aniseed and orange peel. They opt for caraway as their Aquavit ingredient, which borrows from a more northern tradition (the alternative being dill, which is more common in Danish Aquavits). Like all of Bluewater’s spirits Wintersun is 100% certified organic from grain to the glass.
While many Aquavits focus on more traditional consumption— neat or snaps— Wintersun Aquavit was designed with a different audience in mind. John told Spirited Biz in 2018 about the role of their bar staff in helping them craft a cocktail focused Aquavit. “. As the recipe evolved over several years, we began to surprise ourselves with how incredibly versatile Aquavit can be in craft cocktails.”
Wintersun Aquavit has a nutty, caraway forward nose. There’s a slight pecan-tinged earthy warmth here. It’s not overpowering, but it’s clearly Aquavit in the glass.
There is a brightness here that really lifts that Aquavit. Wintersun has a vanilla-tinged top note that lifts with orange zest and bright citrus. Mid-palate caraway comes on with a slight hint of anise— it’s very subtle. Soft orange notes segue into a finish dominated by a smooth, gently creamy finish reminiscent of neutral red winter wheat spirit. There’s certainly a glow of caraway hovering, but the finish is quiet.
There aren’t a lot of go-to Aquavit cocktails, so instead I’ll share one that they shared with me called The Wayfarer.
1 oz Wintersun Aquavit
1½ oz Bluewater Elderflower Cardamom Liqueur
¼ oz fresh squeezed lime juice.
Shake and strain into champagne flute. Top with Champagne.
This one sounds like a perfect way to incorporate Aquavit into your next brunch.
Overall, Wintersun Aquavit
Wintersun Aquavit is perhaps a more accessible Aquavit than many out there. The caraway/dill notes are moderate and are balanced with a bit of citrus for lightness. This might be a great gateway for Aquavit for those who are just getting into the style. I also applaud a cocktail-focused aquavit because I think that is one of the more important vectors for getting people to try new spirits.