In Scandinavia, during festivals and holidays, it's common to see bottles of herb-infused schnapps and aquavit passed around the dinner table or passed between friends during a crayfish boil. Of all of the different type of infused schnapps, the traditional "besk"
or bitter schnapps is one of the most unique.
Avery Glasser, co-founder of bitters and bitter liqueur producer Bittermens, decided to keep the tradition of bitter schnapps production alive using very traditional methods. First, a high proof aquavit is made by infusing caraway into strong spirits. Licorice, rhubarb, citrus and other herbs are then macerated in the aquavit to slowly extract their flavor. Distilled wormwood is then blended in and the schnapps is finished with a little bit of sugar.
To make this product, Bittermens partnered with one of the world's most prestigious absinthe distilleries, Emile Pernot in Pontarlier
, France as their experience in working with wormwood distillates
is second to none.
Bäska Snaps starts off bracingly bitter with a strong wormwood flavor which lingers on the palate. Bright citrus keeps the overall flavor crisp and light while the complimentary herbal components keeps the Bäska Snaps from feeling thin.
A wonderful introduction to bitter spirits for lovers of Absinthe, Bittermens recommends experimenting by substituting the Bäska Snaps into traditional Absinthe cocktails or simply serving it in the Swedish style - ice cold in a small "snaps" glass.