We, Swedes, love a good reason to eat food that requires a “nubbe”. We love any good reason to be drunk, disorderly and stupid. Like at Easter, Midsummer and the Crayfish festival. Even at Christmas we take a “nubbe” or two with the pickled herrings dishes. “Nubbe” isn’t anything we drink weekly.
And it has to be ice cold – most of us keep a bottle of snaps in our freezer at all time, in case of. Me too. *smile
Snaps is a small quantity of aquavit, usually as much as form a mouthful or a sip. Schnapps drinking usually from a smaller glass intended for the purpose, lace glass. The word snaps can also be included in both the drink and the glass. A common measure was a Virgo, which corresponds to 8.2 cl but that disappeared after about 1850. In the mid-1900s was a standard snaps on restaurant 7.5 cl.
Two such implied 15cl, and thus was “ration” according to contemporary alcohol legislation reached. When the legislation was subsequently amended (the elimination of the ration book) became the standard dimension 6 cl for a restaurant snaps. A Danish snaps, “a little one”, is less: in the extreme case as low as 1 cl, which in practice hardly more than a minimum sample. (text: wikipedia.org)
Also we sing before every “nubbe” we take – the more “nubbe” the better singing. Silly short “snaps” songs – just like Will Ferrell does in this video on Jonathan Ross show, the shot song is called “Helan Går” – it means take it all at once. Also the song I use as cloud for this postcard.
Shot = snaps or nubbe
Spiced liquor is primarily a Scandinavian phenomenon. The custom of spice liquor, began in the 1500s, when for medical reasons, now for the taste.
The largest group of spiced spirits aquavit. The flavor is dominated by caraway, other garden spices or dill. Other spices are permitted as a complement. Anise, fennel, caraway, dill seeds and other vegetable garden spices used to flavor breads as well as brandy.
Along with salty butter, herring of all kinds, Dill cooked crayfish, cumin spiced cheese, rye bread, marinated salmon and other typical Nordic dishes are spiced schnapps part of our traditional festive culture. The largest group of flavored schnapps is aquavit, where caraway and /or dill must be included. Other spices are allowed, but the former will dominate the taste. Norwegians seasons preferably with only cumin, and stores usually its aquavit in sherry casks, while this is unknown at the Danes, who almost slavishly follow dill and cumin as a spice, but in return it screws up the alcohol a few snap.
In Sweden do you make a lot of aquavit, some barrel aged, mostly not. We also have a rich flora by other liquor types, like porcelain, St. John’s wort and bitter orange. A peculiar flavor of brandy is wormwood, which has a very bitter taste. Bitter schnapps has its loyal followers as well as detractors.
Anyway, do not hesitate to serve it to the smorgasbord, although the bitter flavored schnapps, may take precedence over the taste of the food, which is why it sometimes finish last as a digestif (text: systembolaget.se)
I love my “nubbe” to be plain – Absolut vodka! Best vodka for shots, because it’s so pure and if you only stick to it and don’t mix with any other alcohol – you will be okay the next day. Personally I max spread myself to 2 “nubbe”.
A lot of us make our own flavored/spiced aquavit – using vodka as base – and anyting goes, it looks and taste like. Had a dinner at the famous Swedish restaurant “Aquavite” in New York many years ago and they had over 70 different flavors on their aquavit.
When serving “nubbe” I also rinse my shot glasses in water and put them in the freezer – so they ice up.
Today we can buy mixed packs of mixed flavored aquavit – so every guest can get their own little bottle. If we want to be real fancy we use an empty tetra pack box (big juice) – put the full size bottle in the middle – we fill the tetra with water and put flowers and leaves inside and then we freeze the pack over night – time for serving the tetra package will be removed. Very effective to put the beautiful ice block on the table.
I think that it was the old Vikings started this tradition up here in the Nordic countries – to become stronger, braver and to keep the warmth during the cold winters, but also very violent and stupid. It’s nothing for the fainthearted, but it’s something you have to try when visiting Sweden, but a good advice – don’t bite the snaps off – let it all go down at once.
“Alcohol gives you infinite patience for stupidity.”
Sammy Davis, Jr.
My cloud “Helan Går” – The histroy of the song is difficult to follow as it is rarely talked about in historical documents. However, we know that it was quoted in an operetta already in 1843.
Several composers have written variations on the melody, including Franz Lehár. If Franz Lehar is also told that he, during his visit to Sweden in 1937, in all seriousness said to have believed that “Helan Går” is Sweden’s national anthem.
When Sweden won the Ice Hockey World Championship in 1957 in Moscow, in the former Soviet Union, could not all of the Swedish players text to our anthem, so instead they sang “Helan Går”.
Images provided by and thanks to:
Gallery 2; hd.se/alltomstockholm.se/sverigesradio.se/arbetarbladet.se