Letters: Is my 54-year-old akvavit OK?

Dear Mr. Dowd

My husband found a bottle in the bar cupboard that he received in 1953 -- Taffel Akvavit, Dedanske Spritfabrikker Aalborg D.D.S.F. Is this still any good for drinking? Does it have any great value?

-- Linda Cully-Pines

Dear Linda:

That's a tricky question. There's only one way to know if it's drinkable since you probably don't know how many temperature changes the Danish liquor has undergone in its 54 years of existence, or how much direct light it's been subjected to. Both go a long way toward the condition, even if it has remained sealed.

As to value, I simply don't know. The recipe for Taffel Akvavit has remained unchanged since it was created in 1846. If it's a standard 84-proof, clear liquid, it's probably just an old bottle of liquor. If it's anything else, you may want to contact Danish Distillers, the maker, to see if there's anything special about your bottle.

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