Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.

Christmas Snaps

Christmas Snaps

Christmas, Drinks, Holiday, LunchTove Balle-PedersenComment

December 12th. 

In Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia we have snaps for holiday lunches, mostly when having herring or another kind of fish. Snaps is also called akvavit, and gets its distinctive flavor from spices and herbs, and the traditional spices are caraway. Typically snaps contain 40% alcohol by volume.

My dad and aunt made “homemade infused snaps" from neutral-tasting snaps, adding herbs found in nature or grown in the garden. I remember the flavors: Woodruff (skovmærke),  St. John’s Wort (perikon) and Blackthorn (slåen). I actually still have some of the blackthorn snaps my dad made. The infused snaps gets like an extract, the flavor gets stronger the longer it sits. To get it ready to drink, you should dilute it with more neutral-tasting snaps about 14 days before you want to use it.

This infused snaps is my attempt to capture the flavors of christmas in a snaps you can drink with open faced sandwiches.


  • ½ bottle vodka 
  • ¼ orange, the zest of
  • 10 juneberries  
  • 3 cloves
  • 3 cardamom 
  • 1 star anise


Add all the ingredients to an airtight container, and pour over the vodka.  Keep the snaps in a kitchen cabinet, so it gets as little light as possible, for 1-2 weeks. Taste the snaps every other day, the clove can be to overpowering, so if you feel like this is happening, remove the cloves. Strain the snaps into a small bottle, and serve it at room temperature with open faced sandwiches.

You can dilute the snaps with more vodka if you like.


Please drink responsibly.