What the Danes Drink

It is no secret that Danes like to drink but while other European countries are known for their beers, there are more varied selections of alcoholic beverages in Denmark. Drinks are as much an integral part of the Danish tradition as are the different types of food prepared for the many holidays and celebrations.

Akvavit. Also known as “schnapps,” this spice-flavored drink typically distilled from potato or grains is one of Denmark’s traditional drinks. It is often taken during important celebrations such as Christmas or Easter, or to mark formal occasions where the liquor is served cold in shot glasses and served with appetizers such as pickled herring and fatty courses.

Glogg. A Danish Christmas celebration will not be complete without this hot punch. It is made with warm red wine, brandy and sherry, raisins and almonds and spiced with cloves and cinnamon. The drink is served with ginger snaps or aebleskiver (Danish pancakes).

Mjod. Drinking honey-fermented mjod or mead in Denmark harkens back to the Viking era. It has been written in epic stories such as Beowulf where warriors drink and feast in mead halls.

Gammel Dansk. When the Danes drink in the morning, they take this bitters liquor. Gammel Dansk is the brand name of the most popular bitters in Denmark and is typically drunk during special occasions where brunch or breakfast fare is served.

Beer and Wine. These ubiquitous drinks are of course part of the Danes’ everyday life, served in bars and restaurants. The most popular beer brand is Carslberg while Denmark is known to produce some exceelent varietals such as Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Cortis.

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