The Stone Crush Cocktail

Brennivín Aquavit is known as the "black death" due to its austere ebony label. In this cocktail it's complemented by cucumber and a hoppy Pilsner.
Photo by Aaron Graubart

Courtesy Chaim Dauermann, head bartender, The Up & Up, New York City.

Iceland

Brennivín Aquavit

Also produced in Iceland, caraway-accented aquavit is particularly embraced in the country, where it’s the national drink. This bottling, playfully dubbed “the black death” due to its austere ebony label (and perhaps an aquavit-induced hangover or two), is nuanced and refreshing, with a mild, savory scent that suggests dill, fennel seed and pine. Brennivín Aquavit ideal to pair with herring or other savory bites.

Nordic By Nature: Six Spirits and How to Mix Them

The Cocktail

The Up & Up was one of the first bars in the U.S. to carry Brennivín, and it continues to showcase the spirit in a wide range of drinks like this one. Cucumber and a hoppy Pilsner pleasingly accent the herbaceousness of the aquavit.

Ingredients
  • 3–4 slices cucumber, plus additional slices for garnish
  • 1½ ounces Brennivín aquavit
  • ½ ounce Dolin Blanc Vermouth
  • ¼ ounce Rabarbaro Zucca amaro
  • 1 ounce Stiegl Goldbräu Pilsner
  • 1 piece lemon peel
Directions

In mixing glass, muddle cucumber slices into juicy pulp. Add next three ingredients and ice. Stir well. Add the beer.

Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Twist lemon peel over the drink to express its oils, then discard. Garnish with remaining cucumber slices.

Published on January 10, 2018
About the Author
Kara Newman 
Spirits Editor

Kara Newman reviews spirits and writes about spirits and cocktail trends for Wine Enthusiast. She's the author of several cocktail books, including Shake.Stir.Sip. and NIGHTCAP: More than 40 Cocktails to Close Out Any Evening, which debuts in September 2018. Email: spirits@wineenthusiast.net



SUBSCRIBE TO
NEWSLETTERS
The latest wine reviews, trends and recipes plus special offers on wine storage and accessories