A MONMOUTHSHIRE distillery is bringing a taste of Scandinavia to the Wye Valley with the launch of Wales' first aquavit.

Thought of as gin’s Scandinavian cousin, aquavit is a premium spirit distilled using caraway or dill instead of juniper.

Traditionally enjoyed straight with food and on public holidays and celebrations, aquavit is Scandinavia’s most famous spirit.

Now, an award-winning distillery in the Wye Valley has created what they believe is the first one to ever be made in Wales.

Silver Circle Distillery creates craft spirits in the Monmouthshire village of Catbrook.

Founded by Nina and Joe Howden in June 2019, they use locally sourced ingredients to create spirits such as gin, vodka and a range of cocktails.

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Silver Circle Aquavit is one of only three in the UK (the others are made by distilleries in Scotland and Bristol). 

Distilled with caraway, fennel, raspberry, lemon and rye, it has been designed to drink both neat (in the traditional way), and to be used in cocktails. 

Silver Circle’s co-founder, Nina Howden, said “Aquavit is part of my Swedish heritage so it's something we planned to produce from day one.

"It has a deep connection to food and drink culture across Scandinavia which goes back centuries but is now growing as a category around the world.


"You can twist classic cocktail recipes by using aquavit and you get something new and unexpected. It makes it easy for people to experiment which is exciting.

"Now we are thrilled to be launching our Silver Circle Aquavit after months of testing and tasting.

"We’ve found it to be delicious straight, and its savoury nature makes it a perfect pairing for many kinds of food. But it also works extremely well in cocktails as a replacement for gin, whiskey or vodka.

"You can drink it with tonic, or in an old fashioned or negroni. Just wait until you try it in a martini.”

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The launch of Silver Circle’s new aquavit comes after the independent distillery scooped six stars at the 2021 Great Taste Awards; three stars for the pre-mixed, small-batch Damson Negroni, two stars for their Black Garlic Vodka, and one star for their signature Wye Valley Gin.

Silver Circle Aquavit is now available from the distillery shop and online, priced at £38 for 70cl.

For more information, visit: silvercircledistillery.com