Introducing Our Aquavit
Our latest product adventure is the ‘water of life.’ Stockholm Syndrome is an Australian Aquavit made in collaboration with PS40, an incredible Sydney based bar and soda producer.
Aquavit is a traditionally Scandinavian spirit with an earthy, savoury character. Our Australian Aquavit utilises some of the Australian botanicals discovered in our gin R&D phase. These were considered unsuitable for our gin style but delicious in their own right, especially when combined with flavours found in Aquavit.
Caraway, fennel and dill have been used to form the structure of the spirit base, with complexity added through the addition of cinnamon myrtle, riberry, macadamia and strawberry gum. The resulting spirit is clean, bright and herbaceous.
Aquavit is the true spirit of Northern Europe. First recorded in a letter from a Danish lord to a Norwegian bishop in 1531, it has grown to become one of the largest spirits in Europe.
Having been popular initially due to it’s digestive aid after large meals during the viking season.
Aquavit is made by infusing selected herbs and spices, in alcohol when distilled. It can also be made with grain or potatoes. It is common in current aquavit production to barrel age the spirit in oak casks. This gives rise to the different types of aquavit.
Swedish Aquavits are more likely to contain a light hay colour and a slight sweetness, while Danish aquavit is clear with a strong caraway aroma. Norwegian aquavit is also commonly barrel-aged with an amber colour to the spirit.
Never Never Distilling Co and PS40 have collaborated to create an Australian Aquavit, set for release in early September.
“I’ve always loved the way that PS40 are fearless in the way they work with flavour, it resonates with who we are and what we stand for,” says Sean Baxter, Brand Director at Never Never Distilling Co.
Last year on another late night at PS40, Sean’s eyes were opened to the complexity of Aquavit. It was PS40’s Director of Bubbles Thor Bequist who planted the seed for potentially collaborating to create a uniquely Australian representation of the spirit.
“We’ve created something exciting and new, yet familiar and distinctly Australian,” says Thor, “most importantly, it does justice to the Aquavit range we’ve been so fond of using”.
Aquavit appealed to the team at Never Never right off the bat because of its bold, bright and earthy flavours.
“Aquavit is something that packs heaps of flavour that hasn’t really been done that much here in Australia,” says Sean. “Right from the outset we wanted to use some of the Australian botanicals which we discovered in our R&D phase when creating our Triple Juniper Gin.”
These flavours were considered unsuitable for Never Never’s gin style but the team found them delicious in their own right, especially when combined with the bright herbaceous and savoury characteristics found in Aquavit.
PS40 has been working with uniquely Australian flavours since their inception and were the perfect authorities in harnessing the bold and powerful flavours of Australian and international botanicals.
Earlier in the year PS40’s Director of Party Michael Chiem visited the distillery to oversee the creation of the various distillates required with Lead Distiller Tim Boast. These were then blended together remotely by the Never Never and PS40 teams.
“It was rewarding to be able to explore different flavour combinations,” says Tim, “both gin and aquavit are built around a small number of signature botanicals so it was interesting to see how the production process overlapped structurally.”
Caraway, fennel and dill have been used to form the structure of the spirit base, with complexity added through the addition of cinnamon myrtle, riberry, macadamia and strawberry gum.
The resulting spirit is clean, bright and herbaceous and perfectly compliments the PS40 Bush Tonic, Smoked Lemonade and PS Outback Viking, a soda made especially for the Aqauvit,. “Tonics and carbonated beverages were historically aimed at waking up the palate and stimulating the appetite, we now have accessible to us a spirit that has the same synergy as our sodas,” says Chiem.
The Aquavit will be called Stockholm Syndrome and will be exclusively available direct through the distillery. It will be released as part of Never Never Distilling Co’s experimental Dark Series range and will be limited in number.
The Aquavit will be launched during Sydney Bar Week on Tuesday 18 September from 3.30pm at PS40 Bar with an Amuse-Boosh party to awaken your palates prior to the Bar Awards.