What is Vodka?

Vodka can be manufactured from grain, root crops, fruit or molasses. For a liquor to qualify as vodka it must first have been distilled to the point where it reaches an alcoholic percentage of 95% before it is diluted to a minimum of 37,5% alcohol.  

Vodka, aqua vitae, whiskey and schnapps. Skåne, in the southern part of Sweden has a long tradition of liquor production. 

It all started in 1349 when Hennichinus was granted royal permission to distil alcohol, to produce gunpowder. With its fertile soils and rich agricultural heritage, Skåne is full of barley fields and potato plantations, the main ingredients in liquor production. Today, the small province of Skåne is home to three renowned vodka distilleries and has also given name to Skåne Akvavit, one of the most popular schnapps brands in Sweden.

We’ve put together a list of the most famous and accessible distilleries in the region that offer tastings, guided tours and that you simply should not miss out on.

Absolut Vodka

Absolut Vodka

Absolut Vodka is an internationally very well-known brand in the spirits industry that had its global breakthrough in the 80’s. Thanks to consistent and creative marketing as well as being a genuine high quality product, Absolut Vodka is today the third best selling vodka brand in the world after Smirnoff and Bacardi. The characteristic bottle has always been at the center of attention and has been painted and reinterpreted by famous artists like Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. What is perhaps lesser known is the fact that Absolute Vodka is a Scanian affair, and that the whole production takes place in Skåne, in the small village of Åhus on the eastern coast to be specific. In this small village, more than one hundred million liters of this clear and crisp liquor is produced every year. In the summertime, guided tours are arranged at the visitor’s center in Åhus.

See opening hours on Absolut 's website Read more

Spirit of Hven Backafallsbyn

Spirit of Hven Backafallsbyn

On the island of Hven, located in the strait of Öresund (the waters dividing Denmark and Sweden), lies Spirit of Hven - a distillery, and hotel, a gourmet restaurant and a pub. This place is a whiskey-lovers dream come true -the whiskey bar serves over 500 different types of whiskeys and is considered one of the best in Sweden and the whiskey that is produced on site has won several awards. Tastings and tours can be booked in advance, and the gin, vodka, aquavit and whiskey of the house can be enjoyed in the restaurant in Backafallsbyn.

Check out more on Spirit of Hven Backafallsbyn's website Read more

Purity Vodka

Purity Vodka

Purity Vodka, the most awarded ultra-premium vodka in the world, is manufactured in a small-scale distillery next to Ellinge Castle,inte heart of Skåne. Daring to stand out from the crowded cluster of mainstream vodka, Purity Vodka has not been made to please everyone - it is full-bodied, complex and loaded with character, while at the same time being smooth and sophisticated. It is not only delicious but also organic, made from exclusive wheat and barley grown in Skåne’s fertile fields. Guided tours of the distillery and Ellinge Castle can be booked in advance.

Read more on Purity Vodka's website Read more

Karlsson's Vodka

Karlsson's Vodka

This unique high end vodka is made from fresh spring potatoes grown on the Bjäre peninsula in western Skåne. Based on top quality produce and a meticulous craft in the production process, the result is an award-winning vodka with an outstanding taste. The liquor is destilled in the Gripsholms Destillery.

Watch a video about Karlsson's Vodka Read more

Skåne Akvavit

Schnapps, or in Swedish, snaps, is a term for a family of alcoholic beverages that take several forms including distilled fruit brandies, herbal liqueurs and neutral grain spirits flavoured with spices.  The word is derived from the German Schnaps, meaning swallow, which says something about how to consume this drink.  Whether it is Midsummer, Christmas or Easter, a bottle of schnapps is sure to be on the table.  The content should be quickly swallowed from small glasses, heads kicked back and accompanied by drinking songs.  One of the most popular brands is Skåne Akvavit. Chilled, this is a perfect match for herring, salmon and cheeses, foods that are a traditional part of Swedish celebrations.  Skåne Akvavit is flavoured with cumin, anise and fennel, making it the perfect companion to crayfish that is consumed every august in Sweden.   


About Systembolaget

In Sweden, all alcoholic beverages containing over 3,5% alcohol by volume are sold through the government owned chain of liquor stores called Systembolaget, which literary translates to "the System Company". To buy alcoholic beverages at Systembolaget, one has to be 20 years of age or older, whereas the age limit for ordering alcohol in bars and restaurants is 18. The reason for this governmental monopoly is the aim to control and reduce the damages caused by overconsumption and to promote a moderate drinking culture. Systembolaget with its characteristic green sign can be found in central locations in most Swedish cities.  

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