How to make Swedish styled snaps

John Duxbury shares his favourite Swedish style snaps recipe with The Local.

How to make Swedish styled snaps
A Swedish Christmas or family dinner will likely involve snaps. Photo: TT


Makes: 1 (700 ml) bottle

Time needed: 5 minutes (plus a week for the flavours to infuse)


700 ml (1 bottle) vodka

1 tsp aniseeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp caraway seeds

1 tsp sugar (preferably raw cane sugar)

1 un-waxed lemon, peel only


1 – Mix everything together in a wide jar.  

2 – After a few hours, remove the lemon peel.  

3 – After 3 days, strain into a sterilized* bottle.

4 – Leave to mature for at least a week before tasting. If you find it too pungent, dilute with more plain vodka.  

*Sterilize by washing a bottle then placing it in an oven at 120C for 5 minutes.


Cold and with a song sheet. One has to deserve a snaps – therefore, Swedes sing a song appropriate to the season before ingesting the beverage.


Halve the quantities when you make this for the first time and experiment with the herbs and spices until you find a combination that you like. Try to peel the lemon in one long spiral to make it easier to fish out of the jar later. Mix everything in a large jar rather than a bottle, as this makes straining the mixture that much easier. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flavours to find your favourite.  

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, Editor and Founder of Swedish Food

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