Historians think that distilled spirit was available in Norway as early as the mid-14th century; sources recount the use of
“aqua vita” as a medicine around the time of the Black Death.
The earliest mention of Norwegian production of distilled spirit is often dated to about 1530. The Danish nobleman, Eske
Bille, was the superintendent of Bergenhus and in a letter dated 13 April 1531 he apologises to Archbishop Olav Engelbrektsson
in Trondheim that he is unable to send more “aqua vita” because he has run out of the herbs needed to make this exclusive
In light of this, the Dane, Eske Bille, is accordingly given the honour of producing the first Norwegian distilled spirit.
From the mid-16th century, distilled spirit was more common, particularly in coastal regions. It was, nevertheless, the imported
drops from France and Holland that were sought after by the well-off classes, whilst the general public had to make do with