Aquavit. Norway’s national drink is a potato-based distilled beverage flavored with herbs such as caraway seeds anise, dill, fennel, and coriander and matured in oak barrels for at least one year, some even for 12 years. Peculiar to the Norwegian tradition is Linje Aquavits (such as “”Løiten Linje”” and “”Lysholm Linje””). Linje Aquavit is named after the tradition of sending oak barrels of aquavit with ships from Norway to Australia and back again, thereby passing the equator (“linje”) twice before being bottled.

The constant movement, high humidity, and fluctuating temperature cause the spirit to extract more flavor and contributes to accelerated maturation. Norwegian aquavit distillers Arcus has carried out a test where they tried to emulate the rocking of the casks aboard the “Linje” ships while the oak barrels were subjected to the weather elements as they would aboard a ship.

The finished product was, according to Arcus, far from the taste that a proper linje aquavit should have. Therefore to this very day boats loaded with “Line Aquavit” set sail from Norway to Australia and back again before they are tapped on bottles and sold as part of the Norwegian Christmas tradition.