actorartathleteauthorbizcrimecrosspostcustomerservicedirectoredufoodgaminghealthjournalistmedicalmilmodpostmunimusicnewsworthynonprofitotherphilpolretailscispecialisedspecializedtechtourismtravelunique

IamA High School drop out that had a million dollar bet with his parents that if I made a million before I'm 18. I did not have to go to college! I won! AMA!

Jun 22nd 2017 by erikfinman • 13 Questions • 3136 Points

Hi Reddit,

I've been working as a Master Blender for 22 years, specializing in Swedish aquavits. The most known and popular is O.P. Anderson. I spend my days in a lab, extracting flavour from spices to create new products. A great aquavit comes down to craftsmanship and that's why we've just released a new documentary about our new distillery and the people who thrive to create an amazing product. Watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1orZomXx08 Proof: http://imgur.com/sNZFsUJ I'll start answering questions at 9AM CET

Edit: I am answering questions until 10:30 CET (4:30AM EST), back again at 4:00PM CET (10:00AM EST) I will be answering questions the same times tomorrow (June 21:st)

Edit 2: I need to check out now but, post your questions and i will answer as many as I can when I check in tomorrow :)

Edit 3: Checking out now 11 CET but keep posting! Back 4:00PM CET

Edit 4: Questions still to be answered, so I will check in again tomorrow 10AM CET to do that, so if you have more things to ask just post them.

Edit 5: Checking out. Thanks a lot for all interesting questions, it has been fun to answer them. I hope you have found my answers helpful! I wish you all a nice summer!

Q:

How many second graders do you think you could wade through until you'd be overcome by them?

A:

This seems oddly specific, why are you asking?


Q:

Is it true that Skåne is simply diluted OP?

A:

153


Q:

Just one of those "popped into my head while I was on the jon" moments I guess.

A:

For non Swedes: Skåne Aquavit is the second most sold Swedish Aquavit after O.P. Anderson Aquavit. It was launched in 1931 when there was a demand for a milder less spicy aquavit. Yes, it is true. It was based on the recipe of O.P., and to make it milder they simply halved the amount of the same spices (Caraway, Aniseed, Fennel)


Q:

How did you learn to code?

A:

Swedish snaps are very hard to find in the US. For some reason it seems relatively easy to find the Norwgian Linie Aquvait. There's an American acquavit from Portland, OR called Krogstad.


Q:

Codecademy is really what got me going and asking and looking for questions on Stack Overflow. With the knowledge that I learned from Codecademy I decided to build my own projects and when I got stuck I googled the answer and usually found it on Stack Overflow.

Hope that helps!

A:

O.P. Anderson Aquavit has been sold in the US from time to time in the past. Last time was in the beginning of the 00's. But I have good news! It will be back again soon! Right now we are in the phase of getting all the import permits and legal stuff in place. My guess is that it will be available again in 2018. :)


Q:

Can confirm. CA is a great place to start out and Stack Overflow basically earned 63% of my CS degree. Albeit, it didn't earn me 1 million in that sweet sweet cryptocurrency (and other successful ventures) moolah like you lol

A:

What is the most memorable moment in your career so far?


Q:

Where would the world be without Stack Overflow? A question that I do not ever want to answer haha

A:

O that was a hard one ;) But I would say that it was a the 5:th of May this year when we opened our new Aquavit distillery in the city of Sundsvall in the middle of Sweden. That was a really nice and rewarding moment!


Q:

Which snapsvisa pairs best with aquavit? Why?

A:

The one you like most! But remenber to sip the Aquavit to the food also!


Q:

Why is it that Aquavit must have some certain ingredients to be called Aquavit?

OP Andersson and Norrlands Aquavit are my favorites

Edit: bad memory

A:

From the beginning Aquavit was a medicinal drink, medicinal herbs and spices were steeped in spirit and then used as medicine. The name Aquavit is from Latin "Aqua Vitae" meaning "water of life". A lot of those spices were used to improve digestion and caraway was one on them. Over the years it developed to be something you drank also for the taste and intoxication. From that followed that the spicing that was best with the food became most used and Aquavit turned into a term used for Caraway spiced spirits. Nice choice of favorites! :)


Q:

So the alcohol was just a side effect of needing to suspend the botanicals in a solution? Was the alcohol thought to have some beneficial properties too?

On a side note; are there any good Swedish restaurants in London that you would recommend for a smogasbord and Aquavit evening?

A:

Alcohol in it self was also believed to improve health and it was actually alcohol that first were named "water of life". The traces of that is the name for wine distillate "Eau-de-Vie" and "Whisky" (originally "Uisge Beatha" water of life in gaelic). When the spirit was combined with the medicinal herbs it turned into a even more potent medicine. The history behind both today's Aquavits and Gins.


Q:

What's your favorite glogg recipe?

A:

"Glögg" is the name for the Swedish type of spiced wine, drunk hot in Christmas time. My favorite is the classical Swedish recipe, sweet and spicy. Made from red wine, fortified wines, sugar and spiced with cloves, ginger and cardamom. The original recipe sold under the brand name "Blossa" Yummy! :)


Q:

What education do you have? What knowledge is recommended for a master blender? Also: how much snaps do you consume during a year?

A:

I have a Master in Biology and Chemistry. A good natural science knowledge is needed to master the processes of extracting flavors from spices and herbs. Then you need to have a great interest in tastes and flavors in general, to really enjoy food and drinks is important to be able to develop your sense for taste and to create a memory bank for flavors. I don't belive that I have been born with a "super nose", most people have the physiological ability, motivation and training is the key. How much snaps I consume? I have no idea, I for sure taste more in my work than I consume privately. But of course at the traditional festivities and othervise as soon as I think it will give me a taste experience with the food or in a cocktail :)


Q:

Got any recipes for mixed drinks with aquavit? What alcohols/juices/flavors work best with aquavit if I wanted to experiment?

A:

I really encourage you to experiment! Check out what these guys do for inspiration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im7KP6766yg&list=PLPr1o12ioO7OkJvfwYXTGAoXpwr2PHDLr


Q:

Do you drink during work?

A:

No, but it taste and spit a lot ;)


Q:

What is some recipes you can make at home? And how should it be made? (Time and temp?)

I made some with rönnbär, färsk dill, kummin. Have not tasted it yet tho. Last midsummer i made one with just rönnbär and dill.

A:

Either you can make a "instant" spicing with fresh herbs and fruits. Like I wrote in another answer. Or you can make separate concentrated extracts and use portions of them to blend your final product, that way it is easier to adjust how much taste you get from each botanical and to fine tune your recipe by making a small test blend first to check the result before blending a bigger batch. For recipes you will find a lot on the web.


Q:

Since you're a good blender... Can you make chocolate milkshake or are u vegan?

A:

I stick to Aquavit :) Good to know though is that Aquavit is completely "safe" to drink for vegans.


Q:

I heard from my partly russian friend that in Russia they believe hangover is caused by the methanol in the vodka. He says that in the distilling process methanol is always produced in small quantities and the better the vodka, lower the methanol concentration. That is why hangover is in Russia considered the be a "sickness" of the poor people. Is there any truth to this?

A:

It is not really true. Hangover is mainly due to over consumption of ethanol (the "normal" alcohol) in whatever form it is consumed. It is correct that in natural fermentation of sugar to alcohol (ethanol) a lot of other substances are formed, some of those will distill over during distillation and end up in the distillate. Among those are fusel oils (different higher alcohols) and methanol. Methanol is very poisonous if consumed pure, it will kill you, that unfortunately happens when people are buying "moonshine" but are sold stolen methanol (pure methanol is used in industrial processes). The methanol in distilled products are though harmless, it is low in concentration and the ethanol in the product is actually a protection against methanol poisoning. This is due to that methanol will be a danger first after being metabolized in the liver resulting in dangerous substances. Methanol and ethanol is degraded a the same "sites" but ethanol "fits" better. The reason being that during the evolution our bodies have been adjusted to metabolize ethanol (eating by eating fermented fruits). So as long as ethanol is present the methanol will be intact and leave the body without causing any harm. The first treatment of methanol poisoning is to give the patient normal alcohol to drink. The purity of the distillate will though have an impact on hang over due to that our bodies will have more substances to take care of if the spirit is less pure. So a pot-still distilled spirit will give you more hangover (cognac, whisky,..) than a column distilled spirit (vodka, gin aquavit,..) if you over consume them but the main part of the suffering is due to the same ethanol.