Iceland Just Discovered Cocktails

A land of very long winters, Iceland has only just begun to discover cocktails, according to Men’s Journal. Having gone through a dark period of prohibition from 1915 to 1935, just like the United States, the Nordic country is playing catch up. If they weren’t aware of Toddies and Smoking Bishops, what have they been drinking?

Although spirits were reintroduced in 1935, beer strangely remained outlawed until 1989. Until recently, “the extent of cocktails consisted of mixing vodka or Brennivin (a clear, unsweetened schnapps) with Coca-Cola,” or dunking a shot of vodka into non-alcoholic beer. 

Now that the island of 300,000 people is opening its eyes to the wonderful world of cocktails, things are changing. Orri Gunnsteinn, who tends the bar at Sushi Samba in Reykjavik says, “Icelandic bartenders and mixologists have also started following new trends in other big cities, such as New York where the craft cocktail movement is currently so strong.”

Who knows? The country could emerge as the next mixology powerhouse, or at least the most friendly. 

“Iceland is a great place to go out of your comfort zone and try something new,” says Thordur Sigurosson, head distiller of Reyka Vodka, an Icelandic brand. “People here are friendly and if there is any place in the world where I would have to pass out in the streets it would be Reykjavík.” Bring on the drinks, then. [Men’s Journal] [Photo: Flickr/Victor Montol]