Few activities offer the novice the opportunity to master them immediately—spicing your own snaps is definitely one of them. (Aquavit is spiced vodka and hard liquor, please drink responsibly.)

It’s this simple: Take a dill stem. Place it in a bottle of vodka in the morning; drink it in the evening. Few will recognize the taste at first and most people will be thrilled. Leave the dill in the bottle and you have a piece of art!


Of the more popular and common Swedish spiced aquavits, many include the taste of wormwood, St. John’s wort or aniseed. Having tested Swedish snaps in a variety of American “focus groups” throughout the years, the editors have come to the conclusion that these tastes, much like the Swedish herring, are a bit too exotic for the typical American palate. The exception among the ready-made snaps is the new OP brand from Swedish Vin & Sprit, imported through Crillon Importers. It is decidedly fruity and has much less bite.

Your very own spiced snaps can be as strong or as mild as you choose it to be, and it’s easy to do. All you need is some vodka and ingredients common in most households.

An easy to make snaps for Midsummer or the crayfish party -

Place in a glass jar:

2 tbsp. aniseed
1 tbsp. fennel seed
1/2 tbsp. caraway seed

Pour 6 oz. of vodka or similar un-spiced alcohol into the jar. Seal the jar and leave it for a week; then filter the liquid and dilute with more vodka until the right taste balance has been reached. Serve very cold with Swedish crayfish.

Dill snaps
Place a stem of dill into a bottle of vodka or similar spirit. Do not leave the dill in the bottle for more than two days, however, and do not save this snaps for more than a week, as it lose its freshness quickly.

Sage and lime snaps
Wash the lime, peel off the rind in a spiral and place it with four sage leaves into half a bottle of vodka; let is rest until the next day.

Lemon snaps
Wash the lemon and peel off the outer layer of rind with a potato peeler. Squeeze the lemon rind into one bottle of vodka, and let it rest for a few hours or overnight. Remove the lemon rind when the snaps has reached the desired taste.

To make your lemon snaps smoother and reduce its bite, add a vanilla pod and 1 tbsp. of sugar with the lemon; let it rest for two days and then taste it. If it needs more time with the vanilla pod, leave it for another day or two.

Chive and pepper schnapps
Place three or four chive straws and four whole black peppercorns in half a bottle of vodka and let it rest for one day.

Christmas snaps
Place into a glass bottle:
1 tbs. sugar
1 cinnamon stick
8 whole cloves
8 cardamom pods

Add half a bottle of vodka and shake until the sugar is dissolved. Let it rest for 24 hours. Wash an orange and peel off three inches of the rind; add this to the bottle. Let it rest for another 24 hours, filter and chill.

Gingerbread cookie snaps
1 1/4 tbsp. sugar
A piece of bitter orange peel
8 cardamom seeds
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp. ginger
Pour ingredients into a glass bottle with half a bottle of vodka. Shake the jar until the sugar is dissolved. Let it rest for two days; remove the ginger, cinnamon stick and cardamom.