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Linie Aquavit

Linie Aquavit is the drink of choice with the meal of the the Torske Klub.

Linie Aquavit is imported from Norway. It is a golden colored, lightly flavored liquor which is served very cold. In fact, it is kept in the freezer before serving. The golden color distinguishes it from the clear Danish varieties of aquavit or akvavit.

The name of Aquavit or Akvavit means "water of life". It is said that "if a man be bereft of speech in death, give him akvavit on his lips, and he shall at once regain his tongue." The Linie brand is especially noted for it's smooth taste. Early sailors realized the virtue of aquavit after it rolled around constantly in the hold of a ship and found the drink especially delightful when it passed from Norway across the equator and back. Passing across the line or linje is where the name comes from. Proof of this passage is noted on the back of the Linie label, as is the time of passage and the date of return.

The Linie Aquavit web site notes that it was in 1805 that Jorgen B . Lysholm's premium aquavit first crossed the equator in passage to the East Indies.  Five casks went unsold and returned to Norway. It was found that the flavor was smooth and enhanced by this passage over four and 1/2 months. We agree.

The Torske Klub will skål (skoal) to the torske at the time it is presented for dinner. It is done in unison, acknowledging the people you are dining with. Many of our members have been known to spontaneously break out in song, in the tradition of their Viking ancestors. Our tradition with aquavit is described in the Frequently Asked Questions.

Additional History of Aquavit

In 1467, Master Berentz, a Stockholm manufacturer, received from Lübeck, Germany, a
shipment of "aqua vitae" (water of life). It was to be used as an ingredient for the manufacture of gun power. It soon was discovered that one can also drink it..."Br
ännvin" had found a home in Sweden.

Ever since that time, the people of the Scandinavian lands have had an inordinate, almost obsessive love/hate affair with alcoholic drinks.

19th century Nordic dinners found the gentlemen flocked around a side table of cold salt dishes flanked by a couple of decanters of aquavit.

First they downed a brimming dram of snaps, dubbed for that reason 'helan" or "the whole", or "Helan Går", using it to wash down a small selection from the table. After that, the second glass was known as "halvan" of "the half", or  "Halvan Går". If anyone was still in need, it was "klacken", the heel, or a few more drops in the bottom of the cone shaped glass.

Confident that this would soften the bones in their herring and codfish and that their social skills were fortified, the gentlemen could now proceed and turn their attention to the ladies.

REF: Nordstjernan (Viking) by Sons of Norway.

Helan Går

Helan går, sjung hopp falle rallen rallen lej,
helan går, sjung hopp falle rallen lej.
Och den som inte helan tar
Han hellar inte halvan får
Helan Går, sjung hopp falle rallen lej.

It is a drinking song, advising us, the singers, to down the “whole” glass so as to qualify for the “half” that comes after it [….hmmm, maybe we need to change the klub rules]

A proper way to drink is illustrated here.

Other links describing Linie Aquavit:

Other Akvavit links

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