Match of the week | Pickled herrings with lager and akvavit

Match of the week

Pickled herrings with lager and akvavit

If you're not into herrings this match might not seem desperately appealing but I promise you it’s an outstanding combination. It’s prompted by my recent visit to Copenhagen where the Danes eat herrings on an almost daily basis as part of their smørrebrød (selection of open sandwiches).

The herrings are prepared every which way but a favourite cure is a slightly sweet pickle which combines sugar, salt and spice and a herby note from the omnipresent dill. It would be challenging for any wine but with a light lager and an accompanying shot of frozen akvavit, a Scandanavian grain-based spirit, lightly wood-aged and aromatised with spices such as dill and caraway, it’s quite, quite perfect.

The aquavit we were served was the locally made Aalborg Krone, well worth picking up in duty free if you’re visiting Denmark, as is the Aalborg Jubilaeums. It’s also outstandingly good with gravlax (dill-cured salmon) and other strongly flavoured dishes like smoked eel.

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