Spirits production in Norway dates back to the 16th century, when the virtuous men of the cloth made the first attempts at distillation. The distilled spirit was considered to be medicinal - "aqua vitae" - the water of life that provided relief and cure for most diseases
The distilled spirit that, above all, has long been regarded as Norwegian, is aquavit. The history of aquavit is thus, to a great extent, an account of how this alcoholic beverage has evolved into its current status.
Through the centuries, spirits production has developed into a modern industry, and many of the aquavits Arcus now produces have a history stretching back to the early 19th century.
Further details of the history of aquavit in Norway follow.