DIY Aquavit Recipe

Photograph: Marcia Simmons

Aquavit is a Scandinavian spirit that dates back to the 1500s. Much like gin, it's a neutral spirit flavored with botanicals—only caraway seed is the primary flavoring instead of juniper berries. Use aquavit instead of vodka in a cocktail recipe to add a bold and savory kick.

Note: Be sure to sample as you go to see if it's reached your ideal flavor. If you prefer an intense aquavit, let the spices steep for a longer amount of time—up to two weeks. Orange zest can be used in place of lemon, if desired.

Recipe Facts

Active: 10 mins
Total: 336 hrs
Serves: 6 to 8 servings
Makes: 1 cup

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  • 1 cup vodka

  • 1 sprig fresh dill

  • One (2-inch) strip of lemon zest, without pith

  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

  • 1 pod star anise

  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds


  1. Put the vodka, dill, and lemon zest in a sealable glass jar. Seal and shake, then let steep at room temperature for one day. Remove and discard the lemon zest and dill.

  2. Add the caraway seeds, star anise, and fennel seed to the infused vodka. Let steep at room temperature for an additional 2 days. If you'd like a stronger flavor, continue to steep for up to two weeks. When desired flavor is achieved, strain through cheesecloth. Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Special equipment

Fine-mesh strainer, cheesecloth

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
65 Calories
0g Fat
0g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 65
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 2mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 4mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)