Snaps & Rye: An interview with Jacqueline Skott


We caught up with Jacqueline Skott, co-owner of new Danish concept Snaps and Rye, to talk Danish food, mulled wine, and what to match with herring.

Where does the name “Snaps and Rye” come from?

It first came up about 4 or 5 years ago when we first had the idea to open a Danish restaurant. We always wanted the word “Rye” in it because of the rye bread. So we just went through things as we didn’t want “Rye” on its own. Then suddenly one of us said, “Rye and Snaps” and then the other one said, “Snaps and Rye” and then that was it. You know when it just has that ring. It’s funny though because now a lot of places have opened with names that are like “something and something”, that describe what they do – Burger & Lobster for instance.

Can you tell me a little more about what decisions you made when it came to your drinks list?

It’s very different in Denmark, you go out for a couple of open sandwiches and you’ll always have a beer or some schnapps. It changes the flavour of the food, so matching with drinks is quite normal. You’d have some aquavit or maybe some wine as well. I always choose wine. Normally a glass of Riesling or a glass of red, as it depends on what I’m eating. We just thought that’s what we wanted to bring.

Do you think the flavour pairings of what you drink are important?

Absolutely, the Tilia Malbec changes the flavour of our smoked herring, for instance. The fruitiness of the Malbec really brings out the smoky character of the herring. Food and wine pairing is so important. It’s part of traditional Danish culture: whatever they drink has to work with the food.

Do you have anything special planned for Christmas?

Christmas will be roast pork and red cabbage. It’s the traditional Danish Christmas meal to have pork and duck with herring as a starter. Then roast pork, red cabbage and brown potatoes. Which are new potatoes (boiled), then fried in sugar so they caramelise. They are amazing. Then of course, the Glogg, which is the Danish equivalent of mulled wine. We’ll be making it ourselves with wine from Bibendum.

How will you be serving the Glogg?

We’ll be serving it alongside Ebelskiver, which are like little doughnuts or pancakes. They are basically little balls filled with apple. We’re going for classic Christmas flavours and I can’t wait to have some.

Where does Danish cuisine fit into the Scandinavian trend?

With Noma being the best restaurant in the world, I think Danish food has suddenly got attention, specifically concerning our ingredients. Our cuisine is really seasonal. It’s sustainable – using natural ingredients. It has that real Nordic cleanliness. The rye bread is very important.  I think a lot of people think rye bread is very dark and dense, almost like eating shoe leather, but ours, with all the seeds is very moist and it’s so much better for you.

Is your menu a more modern take on Danish food?

It’s still simple, that real honest food. We’ve used lean mince in our meatballs for instance. It’s traditional in the chicken salad to have asparagus, but we don’t want it in ours right now because it’s not seasonal. Come May it’ll be back in.


26th November 2014

Company No. 2550982 | 109a Regents Park Road London NW1 8UR | Call: 0845 263 6924 | AWRS Number: XVAW00000101595

Drink Aware - know the facts