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As Local as Local Food Gets

The Harvest

It’s Tuesday. The first day of the restaurant’s week. The sun shines through holes in the cloudy sky from time to time. It’s about 12°C in the air, 8°C in the ocean. A fresh breeze flows by here and there. Just a typical day in the middle of May. Nicolai, Andreas and Andrea are garbed in wet suits and ready for this morning’s harvest. Today’s goal: Eight tubs of seaweed and a bucket of Ascophyllum, a brown seaweed mostly seen in the Northern Atlantic. Head chef at Restaurant Under, Nicolai Ellitsgaard calls it truffle algae because of its distinct truffle-like taste.

Super Local

After about an hour of harvesting in the small bay, Nicolai and his team have gathered what they need for the coming week. So they head back to the restaurant. Conveniently, they’re about a hundred metres away from the restaurant, so it is not that long of a walk. For Nicolai, it is important to use locally sourced ingredients. The goal is that all produce that can be gathered in the area should be. Of course, pepper plants and olive trees are far from normal in Scandinavia, but most of the fresh ingredients are sourced right here in Lindesnes. With cod and mackerel swimming past the restaurant’s massive glass window, lots of algae in the bay and sea urchins by the beach they basically have their whole menu right outside the restaurant.

The Michelin Menu

Being a restaurant submerged into the ocean it goes without saying that the menu has to be mainly maritime. With a seasonal menu constantly evolving, the restaurant offers a culinary experience you’ll never forget. During the course of the night, you may encounter blue mussels, traditional fish pudding, scallops, crab, and of course, algae.  In the spring of 2020, just ten months after their first guests had their first taste of the Norwegian sea, Restaurant Under won their first Michelin star. The Michelin guide describes Under’s menus as “a surprise multi-course menu, that offers creative, original dishes inspired by Norwegian classics.” The head chef had an ambition of getting one at some point, but could not believe it himself when they got it within a year of business.

In addition to being Europe’s first underwater restaurant, Restaurant Under is a true architectural masterpiece. Read all about its construction and meaningful design in our blog post, the Sunken Restaurant.

In the Water

During the past decades, as the importance of environmental protection and the effects of climate change has entered the political agenda, people have looked more to the sea for solutions. As one of our problems may be struggling to produce enough food on land, some people start experimenting with maritime produce we might not traditionally think of as food. In Norway, chefs try to use the tonnes of algae along our shores to our advantage. During the past years, several brands have launched algae and seaweed products for consumers. From spices to snacks, soft drinks to salads, algae is becoming a larger part of ordinary people’s culinary experiences. At Under, Nicolai Ellitsgaard wants to keep growing this trend by using algae and seaweeds in their menu. It is not just for the trend, of course. It has to taste good. Which it does.

Ready for Tonight

Back in the kitchen, having showered and dressed into their uniforms, the team is ready to prepare dishes for the night. Here, the produce is sorted and made ready for an evening of exceptional cuisine. One of tonight’s courses is a fish pudding inspired by Norwegian traditional cuisine, garnished with a blue mussel and Nicolai’s truffle algae. The bowl is decorated with non-edible seaweed harvested right outside Under just hours earlier. Now it’s just to wait for the guests to arrive, and let the magic happen.

Interesting read? Here at Nuet, we publish blog posts about everything Scandinavian. Read other stories from our Scandiverse on our blog, and follow our Instagram @nuetquavit to get instant updates on new posts.

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The Sunken Restaurant

The Area

We are now in Lindesnes, the southernmost municipality of Norway. This area is most known for the Lindesnes lighthouse, the first sight of home many Norwegian sailors saw coming back to the motherland decades ago. The lighthouse might have been the area’s most known construction, but now that title is heavily challenged. About nine kilometres northwest we find, Restaurant Under Lindesnes a construction like no other. 

The Construction Process

During the spring of 2018, the construction of the 400 tonnes concrete shell began. After a few months of construction, in late July, Norway’s largest crane ship Uglen (the Owl) transported the shell of Under from the manufacturing facility to its final destination. The operation had to be precise because the colossal concrete structure had to be lowered onto a few dozen metal rods that were going to hold it in place in all kinds of weather. With a handful of divers in the water, they slowly manoeuvred the massive construction with millimetre precision. When the shell finally was secure on its base and emptied for water, the process of building the interior began. After a few months of construction, with around 80 companies and hundreds of employees, Restaurant Under finally was ready to open its doors in the early summer of 2019.

Under was designed by Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta, which also designed the Opera House in Oslo and Tverrfjellhytta in Dovrefjell National Park. Read more about them on their respective blog posts.

The Interior

Just like the exterior, the interior was designed by Snøhetta, which did an amazing job creating the atmosphere inside. When entering the restaurant, you look straight down through the whole interior shell. The view from the top of the stairs is designed to mimic an aquascope, a handheld device you submerge in water to get a better sight of what lays beneath the surface. All the wood for the interior is made of wood from local forests, and it was put together just a dozen kilometres from the restaurant itself. It makes for a warm atmosphere in the cold water.

5,5 metres under sea level, guest sit and stare into the abyss that is the North Sea.

The Name

The name, Under might be self-explanatory for most. The restaurant is underwater, that’s it? Not entirely. In the Scandinavian languages, the word under also can be translated to wonder. Which itself has a double meaning. The magnificent construction clearly is a wonder. It might not be the Taj Mahal, but it is close. Could we call it the Taj Mahal of Sourthern Norway? In addition, guests arriving at Under are supposed to wonder. To wonder about what lives on the seabed and the reefs around the restaurant, and to wonder what smells and flavours they’re going to encounter throughout the night.

The Food

The restaurant’s head chef, Nicolai Ellitsgaard has put much work into the restaurant’s menu. Being an underwater restaurant, it is obvious that seafood should be your speciality. This, Nicolai and his team have taken it to a whole new level. Throughout the year, he experiments with new produce and preparation methods to give the restaurant’s guests the best dining experience possible. With ingredients ranging from Fucales picked in the water right outside the restaurant to locally harvested blue mussels, the menu will definitely impress most of us.

We will cover the restaurant’s maritime menu in an upcoming blog post, so we suggest you sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when the post is published. If you find this post interesting, consider checking out our blog and follow us on Instagram @nuetauqavit to see more of Nuet’s Scandiverse.

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Everything you need to know about Aquavit

What is aquavit?

Aquavit or akvavit a distilled spirit, mainly produced in Scandinavia. Aquavit is distilled from grain or potatoes and flavoured by herbs. To be classified as an aquavit, the dominant flavour must come from a distillate of caraway or dill seed. The word aquavit derives from the Latin words aqua (water) and vita (life), translating to “the water of life”

What does aquavit taste like?

Traditional aquavits from Norway and Denmark in particular are usually quite heavily influenced by herbs and spices like caraway, fennel, and anise seeds, which makes them quite strong and spicy. Some would say this is an acquired taste, and that the caraway influence can be a bit overbearing. The fennel and anise seeds tend to enhance the sensation of caraway, and the trifecta tends to exaggerate the sensation of alcohol, giving it a “burning” sensation. This has lead to reviews like this one from the Norway Pavilion at Epcot in Florida:

“We asked one of the Norwegian cast members her opinion of Aquavit, and we were greeted with a wrinkled-up nose. I gotta tell ya, after sipping it, I’d agree with the summation. We decided that it tasted a whole lot like cough syrup…but licorice cough syrup, which is a little better than normal I guess. Regardless, a couple of sips were enough to confirm that this probably wasn’t something I needed to do again immediately.

Nuet Dry Aquavit is different, in that the fennel and the anise seeds have been replaced by fresher botanicals like grapefruit peel, blackcurrant and blackcurrant leaves, and the caraway (sourced from Inderøy, Norway) has been better balanced. The result is aquavit that takes the best from tradition and from modern thinking; smooth and fresh aquavit that works just as well neat as in a wide range of drinks. It is the world’s first super-premium aquavit, and that is also why the prestigious London Spirits Competition named the Nuet Dry Aquavit “…the world’s first aquavit that serves as a proper premium gin substitute” in 2020. A stark contrast to the review above.

Learn more about the caraway spice we use in Nuet Dry Aquavit in the blog post, A cornerstone of Aquavit.


How is aquavit made?

Aquavit is distilled from grain or potatoes. When it’s distilled, it is flavoured with herbs, spices, or fruit oil. Examples of flavours are; caraway, cardamom, lemon peel and fennel. Nuet Dry Aquavit is flavoured with grapefruit peel and blackcurrant leaves. Aquavit can be either barrel-aged or come straight from the distillery. The spirit is rarely produced outside of the Nordic countries, and in the few areas it is produced, it is often because of a large population with Scandinavian heritage. Although the production is quite similar, it is not as authentic as the real deal, with ingredients fresh from Scandic fields and forests.

Where do they drink aquavit?

We often call aquavit “quintessentially Scandinavian”. Russia has vodka, Japan has sake, Scotland has whiskey, and Scandinavia has aquavit. For 500 years, Scandinavians have celebrated valuable moments with aquavit. Aquavit is often seen accompanying feasts and banquets, celebrating Christmas, Easter, the Norwegian constitution day and other large celebrations. The spirit is traditionally almost exclusive to large meals, and drinking it without food is not very common. Again, this is where Nuet stands out from the rest. Nuet Dry Aquavit was created specifically to be used in cocktails, and recently became the first and only aquavit ever to win a gin award.

Read more about the history of aquavit in our blog post, 500 Years of Scandinavian Moments.

What is the alcohol content of aquavit?

In order for aquavit to be aquavit, it needs to have an ABV of at least 37.5%, and most are above 40%. Nuet Dry Aquavit is at 43% but is smooth and well-balanced so that it doesn’t have the burning sensation most traditional aquavits tend to have.

How many calories are there in aquavit?

Depending on the aquavit and its sugar content, it’s usually around 244 calories per 100 grams. Since the amount of spirits used in a drink is low (usually around 4cl for a normal drink), the amount of calories is also usually far lower than for the likes of a beer. The Nuet Dry Aquavit has no added sugar, as opposed to most other aquavits.

How can you use aquavit?

Aquavit has always been regarded as a strong and bitter spirit, often used for what Scandinavians call snaps, small shots of alcohol consumed during the course of a meal. It has also been enjoyed slowly, as a pure spirit, and never really in cocktails. This is where Nuet Dry Aquavit arrives on the arena, as a smooth and refreshing take on the traditional aquavit. Nuet Dry Aquavit is created just like other aquavits, to enhance the moments you enjoy, but in a far more versatile way. Nuet is perfect for cocktails and with tonic water. The fruity and citrusy aquavit is a perfect substitute to gin.

Can you buy aquavit in the US and UK?

Aquavit is growing in popularity in the US, but it’s still not easy to come by. You can purchase Nuet Dry Aquavit for US delivery from our webshop, though. Aquavit is more available in the UK, being sold by several distributors. If you want to buy Nuet Dry Aquavit in the UK you could buy it from our webshop, 31Dover, Master of Malt and the Whiskey Exchange. Our delivery times are usually is within 3 days. Please be advised that VAT and duties are not included in the price quoted in our webshop.

Why should I buy Nuet Dry Aquavit?

Nuet Dry Aquavit is the first-ever aquavit to win a gin award. You might ask yourself why this is a good thing. The answer is quite simple; it was just what we wanted. We wanted to innovate in the aquavit market and make an aquavit for everyone. This is a versatile aquavit you can use in cocktails just as well as for schnapps. By winning a gin award, we have proven that we are just what we want to be, a premium gin substitute. Exciting? You can buy your own Scandinavian moments in a bottle in our shop, and read more about the many use-cases in our drink-section.

“Nuet is the result of almost 500 years of Scandinavian tradition, combined with our passion for innovation and quality. It is the first and only aquavit to ever win a gin award, and we take pride in every bottle we produce.”

Moren Pharo Halle, founder of Nuet Aquavit

If you want to know more about Nuet Dry Aquavit, check out our about-section, and follow our Instagram @nuetaquavit to join our Scandiverse.

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Creating the World’s Lightest Alpine Ski

The Inventor

The snow splashes to the sides when the narrow wooden strip slides through it. From side to side, between frozen trees, over snow-covered boulders and down steep hills, we whizz down the mountain. On this February afternoon, we are in Burfjord, a small village between tall mountains and long fjords in Northern Norway. The 42-year-old that comes down the mountain first is a long-time alpine enthusiast, economist and inventor. The inventor of the world’s lightest alpine ski. Even though Bjarte Hollevik doesn’t look like a mad scientist or stereotypical inventor, he has a passion. And where there’s a passion, there’s room for innovation. After countless trips up and down the snowy mountains of Norway, he was getting annoyed by the weight of the skis. There had to be a way to make these skis lighter.

“The inspiration to make the world’s lightest ski simply is a result of me being terrible at losing weight.”

Proving Them Wrong

Bjarte started researching all the technical aspects of alpine ski making and decided to try out something that had been disputed in the skiing community. After extensive research, he started sketching. Despite experts and engineers claiming that his chosen material wouldn’t be able to withstand the intense pressure, he wanted to try anyway. He sent his sketch to a manufacturer in Sweden. After they made the first prototype, the Swedish manufacturer called and asked if he had forgotten something in the ski since it was so light. That’s when he figured that this could actually work. He tried them and continued tweaking until he had something light, yet durable.

Of course, the recipe is secret, but he reveals that the skis are made of a mixture between European beech, foam and the Chinese tree type paulownia. While the average ski weighs about 2,5 kilograms, Bjarte’s skis clock in at just 1130 grams, less than half of the average. He started Moonlight Mountain Gear in 2014 and has since sold a few thousand pairs of the world’s lightest ski. In 2018 and 2019, Moonlight won the ISPO-award for best alpine ski, becoming the first company to ever win two years in a row.


The World’s lightest ski is not the only innovation Bjarte and Moonlight Mountain Gear have in stock. They also make and sell the world’s brightest headlamp, blasting a whopping 16000 lumens. Lumen is a measurement used to calculate the brightness of a light source. An average light bulb emits about 250 lumens, making Moonlight’s headlamp 64 times brighter than your normal bulb. Now, Bjarte and the others at Moonlight Mountain Gear are currently working on a new project, which is yet to be revealed, but as far as we know there will be innovation in the driver’s seat.

Harvesting the Fruits of the Trip

For decades, Bjarte has spent his winters in slopes and mountains, with different skis strapped to his legs. Like many Norwegians, this sport is a favourite. The feeling of adrenaline rushing through your veins, snow in the air, and the wind flowing through your hair is truly a great feeling. And after hours of ascending, what better way to end a great journey by whizzing down the mountain? 

“The best thing about descending is the feeling of harvesting the fruits of your ascend up the mountain and have fun in new and perfect snow.”

Interesting read? Check out our other blog posts at and follow our Instagram @nuetaquavit for more content like this.

Banner photo by Kjell Ellefsen.

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A Dog Sledding Passion

In Tverraelvdalen, outside of Alta, far into Arctic Norway we find a cabin where there lives three people, all training to become world-class dog sledders. One of them is Annbjørg Bakken, a girl from Lillehammer in her mid-20s. For over a decade she dreamt of becoming a musher and two years ago the dream came true. Now she’s getting ready for one of the hardest dog sledge races in the world.

A Life-Long Dream

For as long as she can remember, Annbjørg has been dreaming about becoming a musher, a dog sledder. When she was about ten years old, she wrote a note to herself ordering herself to become a musher, even if she had changed her mind. After getting her bachelors, she had to listen to her younger self. So, in 2019 she moved 1200km north, to a small lodge community in Northern Norway. For two years she’s been living in a community with three people and over 50 dogs, living her dream.

“Dog sledding is something I’ve dreamt of all my life.”

Preparing for the Toughest

After two years in the North, Annbjørg is now preparing for her most challenging race yet, Finnmarksløpet. Finnmarksløpet is the world’s northernmost dog sledding race. This is a race through the winter colds of Inner Finnmark, the coldest area of Norway where temperatures are known to fall below -30°c. Although she’s running in the limited class this year, she still has to conquer 600km of snow-covered plateau in extreme weather, taking care of eight dogs. As a rookie, you have virtually no chance of winning your first race against veterans that has been doing this for many years, but Annbjørg is optimistic. For her, it is not about winning, it is about the experience. The journey and experience is the goal.

Man’s Best Friend

Living like Annbjørg, you not only have to tolerate dogs, but you have to love them. To become good at dog sledding, you need to know a thing or two about your dogs. Annbjørg and her companions make sure to give every dog enough nutrition, exercise and attention. Being a musher isn’t just a job, it’s a lifestyle. To become good at dog sledding, you need to know a thing or two about your dogs. Organizing the team is a science in its self. Figuring out what dog is a good leader, which dogs have the best stamina and so on. Closing in on competitions, they train every day, taking trips on up to 100 kilometres in a day. All this exercise and time with the dogs allows for a strong connection between the musher and her dogs.

“Sometimes, I think I like dogs better than humans”

Whit red cheeks and wind in her face, Annbjørg slides across the Finnmarksvidda plateau.

The Feeling

Many can relate to the feeling; just being exactly where you’re supposed to be while doing your passion. Either it is surfing the waves of Jæren, knitting a sweater for a friend or sliding across a snowy landscape with the wind in your hair and the sound of dogs breathing heavily. It’s a feeling we all can relate to; being where you want to be, in the moment.

“I love doing many activities, but when I’m on the sledge, there’s nowhere else I want to be”

Interesting read? Then we suggest reading our blog post about the Lyngen Horse, an arctic workhorse. Here at Nuet, we publish frequent blog posts about everything Scandinavian. Follow our Instagram @nuetaquavit and subscribe to our newsletter to get instant updates on new posts. 

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Nuet Aquavit Makes History

A World’s First

The winners of the Nordic Spirits Award were just announced, and for the first time ever an aquavit took one of the top spots in the gin category of an international spirits competition. Nuet Dry Aquavit got a silver medal in the
competitive gin category, and by doing so they wrote themselves into the history books. Founder Morten Pharo Halle is happy for the recognition, and says it’s all according to plan:

“We’ve spent an enormous amount of time and effort in developing the first aquavit ever to be enjoyed all-year round, all over the world, primarily in cocktails, as opposed to traditional aquavits that are mostly enjoyed neat at Christmas or midsommar. We really wanted to show the world what a great aquavit can be. When developing the Nuet Dry Aquavit, we had two litmus tests; it had to really shine both in a martini and with tonic, which of course are cocktails usually reserved for gin. Therefore it’s fantastic to be the first aquavit ever to get an award in the gin category, and with that make history.”

Startup with Global Ambitions

Nuet was founded in 2018 by Morten Pharo Halle from Oslo, Norway. The ambition was to take aquavit outside the Scandi borders, and out to the world. The small company spent most of 2019 what would become a whole
new type of spirit; the world’s first super-premium aquavit. More than a hundred test-distillings had to be done before the then two-person company had perfected the recipe. The recipe was developed by the company’s first
(and at that time only) employee, product developed Benjamin Lee, who is one of Norway’s best-known bartenders. He wanted to combine the best of almost 500 years of Scandinavian aquavit tradition with innovation, to create
a product unlike anything on the market. The reception has been fantastic so far, and the company has managed to grow despite the obvious challenges posed by Covid-19.

Morten Pharo Halle comments: “We’ve luckily always had very realistic expectations, despite the huge potential we see for Nuet long-term. This has meant we’ve been very well-suited to face such unforeseen challenges like the one Covid-19 has been. 2020 was a great year for us, and 2021 is shaping up to become even better. Our product is on the menu of everything from Michelin star restaurants to ski resorts, in classic cocktails, new creations and of course our
signature serve the Nuet Spritz, which has sold out wherever we have introduced it. We are looking to expand further into new markets globally, and we’re on track to accomplish our mission, which is to share Scandinavian moments with people all over the world, through the best aquavit products ever made.”

Benjamin Lee developing the fresh and fruity taste of Nuet Dry Aquavit.

A Great Award

Nuet Aquavit has a quite different approach when it comes to competitions and awards than many of their competitors. They rarely participate, and they rarely boast about awards they may receive. But this one’s different, as
Benjamin Lee explains:

“We notice that most companies win some sort of award for their products, so we see little point in shouting about it when we do as well. However, comments like the one we got from London Spirits Competition late 2020, where were
mentioned as “the world’s first aquavit that serves as a proper premium gin substitute”, are different. And writing history by being the first aquavit ever to get a top award in the gin category of an international spirits award is something
else. It really sets us apart. Promoting a product as unique as ours can be tricky at times, but being a pioneer is always tough. Getting the recognition we got from the Nordic Spirits Awards make us more motivated to keep pushing.

Nuet Aquavit is a modern take on the quintessentially Scandinavian aquavit, with almost five centuries of tradition. Bringing Scandinavian moments to you. Want to read more? Check out our blog at and follow our Instagram @nuetaquavit to get instant updates on new posts!

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Three Cocktails to Make at Home

Nuet Dry Martini – The Classic

The Dry Martini, such a classic. With roots stretching all the way back to the late 1800s, this cocktail has become one of the most popular and recognizable in the world. When hearing about a martini, most people probably think of the mix of gin and vermouth. But what if we told you that you can make a martini with aquavit instead of a gin? Well, this is not the case for all aquavits, but with Nuet Dry Aquavit, the world’s first premium gin substitute you may enjoy a whole new experience with the drink you know all too well. Just mix six parts of Nuet Dry Aquavit with one part of your favourite dry vermouth, stir over ice and strain into a classic martini glass. Garnish with a grapefruit peel or an olive, and voilà. Now you have yourself an iconic cocktail, with a new twist. Definitively of our best homemade cocktails.

Check out the recipe here.

Nuet Lemonade – The Signature Serve

During the first half of 2020, we were trying to find the perfect Nuet cocktail, our signature serve. Our mission was simple; to find a cocktail that would be easily recognizable in bars and easy to make at home. We talked to loads of bartenders to find the perfect drink. But while bartenders in Oslo was experimenting, one of our creative directors, Martin discovered something delicious. With him to the mountains of Jotunheimen, he had brought a bottle of Nuet Dry Aquavit and a flask of lemonade. While enjoying an early summer sunset, Martin mixed the two delicious and flavourful liquids in a glass and had a sip. And now he was onto something. Right away, he sent a message in the work chat and recommend it. 

Soon everyone had to try it out, and we were all shocked by the result. With some more experimentation at home, we finally settled on the perfect mixing ratio. Simply pour one part Nuet Dry Aquavit and three parts premium lemonade as well as adding a slim grapefruit boat to add a citrusy touch. In addition to being as flavourful as it is, Nuet Lemonade was made in true Nuet spirit; outside, while enjoying the Scandinavian moment.

Make your own!

The Currant – The Complete

Did you know that Nuet Dry Aquavit is flavoured by grapefruit peel and blackcurrant? Blackcurrant is one of the world’s strongest berries. Being able to survive freezing temperatures during the winter and quickly readjust to increasing warmth in the spring, blackcurrant is a survivor worthy of culinary praise. The Currant brings you and your tastebuds into the wild Norwegian forests. Mixing 50ml Nuet Dry Aquavit, 1 teaspoon of blackcurrant jam, the juice of a lemon and 15ml of blackcurrant cordial, stirring and topping with a premium tonic. This will leave you with a fresh and delicious cocktail to enjoy from winter till summer till winter again. Garnishing with a sliced lemon wheel or a grapefruit to make a drink that emphasises on Nuet Dry Aquavit’s ingredients and completes the circle of raw materials.

Mix and enjoy!

Not your cup of tea? Check out the rest of our homemade cocktails section to find your favourite. Here at Nuet, we also run a blog where we publish frequent stories about Scandinavian culture, cuisine and more. Read our stories at and follow our Instagram @nuetaquavit to see instant updates on new posts and drink recipes.

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Born With Skis on Our Feet

An Evolving Culture

For thousands of years, slim wooden planks with rounded tips and leather straps were the primary transportation for Norwegians during the winter. In areas where neither horses nor wheel carts could pass, the ski was the perfect means of transportation. As technology evolved, motorized vehicles became the norm of transportation, and most skiing becomes purely recreational. Even though the numbers have declined a little in the past decades, a 2020 study showed that half of the Norwegians asked had gone skiing in the past year. Adding the great number of tourists to the statistics, over three million people visit the Norwegian nature with skis on their feet every year.  There is something unique about spending time in the cold wilderness, crossing large plateaus, climbing mountains or exploring forests around the country. This is the reason we say we are born with skis on our feet.

Freezing Joy

It is -2°C out, and with a freezing breeze flowing through the air, we pass the fifth hour of our journey.. WIth cold nose tips, tomato red cheeks and a running nose we slowly cross a frozen lake. We now see the cabin where we’ll be spending the weekend. Easter bark just arrived, and we’re now spending some time off, far away from people. Today, thousands of Norwegians head for the mountains for both day trips to the slopes, a few days on the cabin or a week exploring the many Norwegian mountain ranges. When we finally arrive at the cabin, far from people, noise, and stress, firstly we have to fire up the oven. Then, while heating the cabin and drying some wet clothes, we seat ourselves at the terrace, peel an orange and enjoy the last bits of sun, this April evening. 

For some reason, we don’t just use our skis for transportation, some also use their skis as decoration on cabin walls. Read more about the phenomenon in our post The Norwegian Cabin Obsession.

The Taste of Gold

Being a competitive people, there is no surprise we managed to make what we do best to a gold-winning machinery. No other country has as many gold medals in cross-country skiing as Norway. With 680 golden world cup medals in 38 years, there is no doubt the Norwegians know how to speed through the ski trails. With a tight grip around the second step of the podium, the Swedes with their 190 championship victories. As long as international ski competitions have been organized virtually every event has had a flag with a nordic cross flying over the podium. We Skandis truly are born with skis on our feet.

For years, the sibling countries Sweden and Norway have had a friendly-hostile relationship when it comes to winter sports. For a Norwegian, there are few things more frustrating than seeing a Swede climbing to the top of the three-stepped podium, and it is certain the Swedes feel the same. We love rugging yet another victory in each other’s faces. For a few years, the Swede’s ladies’ elite Cross-Country team had a Norwegian coach, resulting in Norwegians claiming every Swedish medal as theirs. Of course, we Scandis don’t really hate each other on a common basis, but when it comes to sports, things tend to get a little heated.

They [The Swedes] don’t stand a chance. This is a children’s competiton”

Petter Northug Jr, former world champion

Interesting read? Then we suggest reading our post about Nordmarka, the grand wilderness area just outside of the Norwegian capital. Here at Nuet, we publish weekly blog posts about everything Scandinavian. Follow our Instagram @nuetaquavit and subscribe to our newsletter to get instant updates on new posts. 

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Celebrating the Scandinavian Jul

Scandinavian Jul

In Scandinavian language, Christmas is named Jul. The word origins from old Norse, spoken by Scandinavian Vikings over a thousand years ago. Jólablót, originally was the word for mid-winter-day, the 12th of January, but evolved into Jul as the different Nordic languages developed. As Christianity entered the region, Norse traditions faded, but the name still stuck around, becoming the word for Christmas. Brits may know this time as yule or yuletide. Yule covers the same period as the Scandinavian jul, and was traditionally celebrated to commemorate the dead, arrange wild hunts lead by mythological figures and celebrate the Norse god Odin. The origins of yule are disputed, with the British claiming the word descends from Old English, while Scandinavians claim that the word is stolen from Old Norse.

Christmas Eve

Unlike many European countries and the Americas, the main event of Christmas in Scandinavia happens on Christmas Eve, the 24th of December. This is the day where friends and family gather to eat too much greasy food, have drinks, and open presents. After a grand feast and some time for the food to settle, the festivities begin. Many Scandinavians celebrate with a Christmas tree dance where participants hold hands and walk around the Christmas tree, singing carols. Giving the tradition some adrenaline is the lit candles resting on the fir’s branches. Here it is important to be careful so you don’t burn holes in your knitted Christmas sweater.   

Topping the list of knitwear per capita, it is almost certain that the majority of Scandis receive a pair of home-knitted mittens, woollen socks, and other homemade clothes. In Norway, Christmas Eve goes on way after midnight as 90% of Norwegian households open one present after another. Norwegians often gather the extended family for Christmas, and with ten or more people in the house, it is understandable that the festive consume hours upon hours.

Last week, we published a blog post about the Scaninavian Christmas Feast, which you can read here.

Romjul – Space Christmas

On the 26th of December, the period known as Boxing Week in the UK, the Norwegian romjul starts. Directly translated to Space Christmas, romjul is the space between Boxing day and New Year’s Eve. Again, the word descends from Old Norse. The word rúmheilagrmeans “period that doesn’t have to be holy”. Scandinavians spend the week with their loved ones, eating good food, playing board games, and participating in other festive activities. Schools, as well as many offices, close down during this period to give their employees some time off to recharge their batteries before the new year. Romjul often hosts many winter sports events like biathlon and cross-country skiing. What is more Scandinavian than spending some well-deserved free time on skis through forests and over mountains?


Being the time of large, greasy meals it is important to have the right drinks to rinse the throat with afterwards. For 500 years, the Scandinavians have celebrated large festivities with a bottle of Aquavit on the table. The caraway-based spirit is often used for schnapps, small shots taking during the course of a meal. This has been the use-case of Aquavit for centuries, but in May 2020, new aquavit entered the game. Nuet Dry Aquavit is a revolutionary aquavit that serves as the world’s first premium gin substitute, perfect for cocktails. This Christmas, we have released several drink recipes perfect for the romjul evenings. Check out the Freezing Robin, Rising Skies, Nuet Gimlet and more in our drinks section, and buy your own 70cl of Nuet Dry Aquavit in our webshop.

Interesting read? Here at Nuet, we publish weekly posts about everything Scandinavian, from cuisine to culture. Read more at and follow our Instagram @nuetaquavit to get instant updates on new posts.  And, if you’re super interested, you could sign up for our newsletter at the bottom of the site, and get a chance to win a free bottle of Nuet Dry Aquavit.

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The Scandinavian Christmas Feast

The Porridge

Back when rice first was imported to Scandinavia in the 1300s, it was a symbol of status to be able to serve rice porridge. For hundreds of years, rice was a luxurious import product from an exotic continent. But as shipping methods evolved during the industrial revolution, rice quickly became available for the average Joe. During the mid-1800s, its availability made rice porridge the highlight of the Scandinavian Christmas Eve. Since then, the meal has become synonymous with the Christmas Eve morning and Scandinavian Christmas Food. Making the tradition more interesting for family members of all ages is the almond hidden in the porridge. A white almond is dropped into the pot of porridge. When found, the lucky person who found it wins a prize, typically a marzipan pig. It is believed that the tradition dates back to 1500s Germany and the game King Bean. The one who found the bean was declared King Bean all night and everyone else was his servants. The tradition migrated northwards and scaled down a little, but is still based on the same principle.

The Main Course Debate

Every year, the Norwegians have the same debate; what is the best Christmas Eve dinner? Here, you have two main contestants; the ribbe (slow-cooked pork belly) and pinnekjøtt (dried and salted lamb ribs). These two have a market share of 46% and 43% respectively, meaning that 9/10 Norwegians eat one of two meals on the 24th of December. It is estimated that around three million kilograms of ribbe are served every Christmas. Other honourable mentions are turkey and the world-famous lutefisk (dried whitefish in water and lye).

Serve it All

Crossing the border eastwards and looking to Norway’s big brother, Sweden, we hear a different story. Instead of arguing about what to eat and what not to eat, the Swedes have come up with an excellent solution; serve everything that the party desires. The Swedish julbord (Christmas table) is covered in plates with different types of meat, salads and sides. Here you can experience dozens of culinary treats throughout the Eve. Of course, you have the traditional Swedish meatballs served with sour cream, red onion and chives, accompanied by the Christmas ham, typically made with a breadcrumb and mustard crust. Along the table, you will also find pickled herring, mini sausages, red cabbage, and of course, rice porridge.

Celebrate a fresh and fruity Christmas with the Freezing Robin.

Christmas Drinks

No meal is complete without fluids to help digest the ridiculously large and greasy food. For centuries Christmas dinners across Scandinavia have been washed down with a few snaps, shots of aquavit. Throwing a Scandinavian Christmas party? Then you need a bottle of aquavit for the snaps. You’re in luck, because with just a few clicks you can buy your own 70cl of Nuet Dry Aquavit, a fresh and smooth take on the traditional Scandinavian spirit. Buy now in our webshop (orders outside Norway) or Vinmonopolet (in Norway). And when you’ve picked up our own bottle of Nuet Dry Aquavit, celebrate a fresh and smooth Christmas with our Nuet homemade drinks. Check out the Freezing Robin, Rising Skies, Nuet Gimlet and more in our drinks section.

Interesting read about Scandinavian Christmas Food? Stay tuned for next week’s blog post, when we explore Scandinavian Christmas traditions. Here at Nuet, we publish weekly blog posts about everything Scandinavian. Subscribe to our newsletter, and follow our Instagram @nuetaquavit to get instant updates on new posts.