Skål!

Anyone who has been to a festive Swedish dinner knows that drinking invariably is part of the action - and on extra festive occasions it starts with a "skål" of snaps or schnapps.  This is usually ice-cold aquavit flavored in different ways like these and taken like a shot.  Otherwise known as "brännvin" it literally means "firewater".  

And then there's the singing.  Everyone joins in singing the easy songs with twisted lyrics sung to tunes that we all know.  You get the words so you can follow along, and it's hysterical, especially when like my American husband you don't know the song or how to read the words!  Good times.  Ha, ha!

So now there's a fun competition at Nordstjernan where you send in your own snaps-visa.  Here's mine (sung to the tune of "Take me out to the ballgame")

Bar-room Skål
take me out to the bar-room
take me out to say skål!
buy me some schnapps and some aquavit
it better be cold or I'm stomping my feet
For it's root, root, root for blue, yellow
and here's the keys to my car
for it's one, two, three times you drink
and I'm sleeping on the bar!

Make sure you click over if you want to learn more about the tradition of singing "snaps visor" (schnapps songs) and how to enter the contest. Here are the rules   Good luck!  Finally, just for fun, here's a nice looking snaps recipe for the adventurous.  Thanks Patrik at Santa Maria for sharing.  It looks yummy (see the picture above) I think I'll try it for my next party.  And maybe I'll get people to sing my new song too!  

LEMON AND FENNEL SNAPS
700ml vodka
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tsp Fennel SEEDS
The PEEL of 1 lemon, just the yellow!

Rinse the lemon well and finely grate the ZEST.
Add the lemon zest, fennel seeds and sugar in the bottle. Let stand for a few days at room temperature. Strain the spices and pour it back into the VODKA bottle. LET STAND LONGER FOR MORE FLAVOR. The taste is fresh, round and soft with perceptible sweetness and low bitterness.


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