A friend once introduced me to the amazing combination of vodka, lemon and black pepper, frozen together in a state of utmost bliss. Saved for a special occasion, and served in the heart of winter. Something about fire and ice. Opposites.
Here in Norway, we have firewater. Aquavit (akevitt), that is. Golden or as clear as crystal and as hot on the throat as lava. There’s a saying that goes:
Drik min ven, men drik med maade;
drik, men lad fornuften raade.
Drink, my friend, but drink with moderations;
drink, but let good judgement rule.∗
And as I watched the sunset from our porch one night, the colors swirling the sky like a painter’s palate – fierce, abrupt, intense, beautiful – I was reminded about opposites. The fierceness, and the beauty. The lights and darks. All working together to deliver a moment of awe. Something great. Something desired. I took that thought back to the kitchen, and I put a Norwegian twist on my friend’s recipe. I swapped the vodka with aquavit, the lemon with raspberries and the pepper with cardamom. And the result is that sunset. Bright and deeply colored, intense with flavor, and comes with a guarantee of wanting more.
Aquavit, Raspberry & Cardamom Sorbet (Akevittsorbet)
It’s boozy, it’s red, it’s easy to make and it’s got so much going on in the flavor region. Perfect for that special occasion. A thrill in the winter, refreshing in the summer.
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 cardamom pods, gently crushed
- 250g raspberries
- 1/3 cup juice from an orange
- 1/3 cup aquavit
Create a simple syrup by placing the water, sugar, and cardamom pods in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves. Take off the heat, and set aside to cool.
Puree the raspberries and the orange juice together with a hand blender. Using a mesh strainer, strain the mixture into a clean bowl, catching all the raspberry seeds and discarding them.
Using the mesh stainer again, pour the cooled simple syrup into the puree, catching the cardamom pods and discarding them. Add the aquavit to the puree as well and combine.
If using an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into the machine and follow the manufactures directions. If you do not have an ice cream maker, you can transfer the mixture to a metal baking pan and freeze until firm (about 2 to 3 hours), stirring with a fork every 30 minutes.
∗Source for the quote: Authentic Norwegian Cooking by Astrid Karlsen Scott