Nordic Flavours | Gravlaks

This upcoming week will mark the end of an eventful october, and ending on a high note , with Prague, Amsterdam and Oslo all on the agenda.

First up on monday is Prague Bar Show. This will be the second time for me, but the first time presenting, which is extremely exciting!
I’m doing a seminar called Breaking Traditions | Nordic Flavours in mixology, which talks about nordic ingredients and flavours, as well as how to use them behind the bar, and what challanges you might face using traditional drinks such as beer and aquavit in new ways.

As part of my presentation, I will serve different tasters, and one of them will be gravlaks/ cured salmon paired with one of my favourite aquavits.
Even though there are a lot of excellent suppliers for gravlaks, I decided to continue an old family tradition, and make it myself – although I changed the recipe somewhat to match the pairing with the aquavit.

Gravlaks is super simple and delicious, and the best part when you’re making it yourself – you can choose the flavourings!

What you need

2 x 500 g salmon pieces ( Make sure they are equal in size not just weight)
100 g Sea salt
100 g granulated sugar
1 bunch of fresh dill
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp All Spice
3 tbs Becherovka

Instructions

1. Clean the salmon, making sure there are no scales and bones, then rinse with water. Dry with paper towels.
Mix salt, sugar and spices in a bowl, then pick the dill from the stem and place in a different bowl. I prefer not to chop it, but thats just my personal taste.
Cover a baking trey, or cutting board with cling film, however – do not cut it, just leave it on the roll. This way you can easily wrap the salmon afterwards.
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2. On the cling film, place a layer of dill equivalent of the size of your salmon, and then sprinkle the salt/sugar/spice mix on top. Drizzle the Becherovka over your salmon fillets, before placing the first salmon piece on top of the spices. Normally I would use aquavit or cognac for this, but seeing how I’m serving this in Prague, I wanted to use something local. I also think that the flavours of the Becherovka will match very well with the aquavit I’m serving.
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3. After placing the salmon on top of the spices, add a new layer of dill and the salt/sugar/spice mix, before placing the second salmon fillet on top of that.
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4. Cover the second salmon fillet with the last layer of dill and salt/sugar/spice mix, before wrapping it tight in cling film.
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5. Leave it on a trey or a pan in the fridge, as it will leak, for 3-4 days, turning it over every 12 hours.
When it’s time to serve, just wipe off the dill and spices, then slice it and enjoy!

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Five Beers | Haandbryggeriet

Last weekend was spent in my hometown Oslo, and one of the perks of being back was obviously the beer. Even though I don’t drink beer as often anymore, I still enjoy tasting, even if it is just a couple of sips.

Norway has an amazing craft beer scene, and one of the local breweries just outside Oslo is Haandbryggeriet. They make, in my opinion, very interesting brews and I am particularly fan of these

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The bar with no ice | White Lyan

Much overdue, I finally managed to stop by White Lyan for some cocktails. I was very curious about this concept, quite a ballsy statement, with no ice and no citrus.
No need to worry though – the drinks are delicious!

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Moby Dick Sazerac

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Layered Negroni

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Bone Dry Martini

 

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Monkey Ball

 

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Beeswax Old Fashioned

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WL2

White Guinness

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A day in Stockholm

Yesterday I was in Stockholm for the day, which is much to short for such a wonderful place.

Nevertheless, even a few hours was enough to visit a few new (to me) places

Le Rouge | Brasserie style restaurant with amazing decor. They also have a cocktail bar, Le Bar, on the upper floor which everyone told me I had to come back for.
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Nosh and Chow | I love this townhouse style restaurant. Decadent and stylish, with an amazing bar on top. One of my favourite spots in Stockholm!
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Photos by westerntaste.com, tripadvisor.co.uk

 

Monkey Business

This  barspoon from Monkey Shoulder – I love it!
You would think that it’s really fragile, being retractable, but its really not. Perhaps not your everyday barspoon, but I’ve used mine for travels and such, and for that it’s perfect.

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On a different note, I’ve seen this at Selfridges several times, however I’ve never tried it. I think I have to change that. Chinese tea picked by monkeys – why not?

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Hanging out with old pals & new friends

Even though I must admit to being on the tequila train lately, whisky was my first love when it comes to spirits. Don’t get me wrong, I still love it, but lately, I find myself going back to the usual suspects, rarely having time to explore new (to me) whiskies.
On the rare occasion, where I do have time to stroll around the whisky-trail, it might look something like this

Old Malt Cask Series | St.Magdalene 28 Y (50% abv)IMG_1320

Hazelburn 8 Y Sauternes Wood (55,9%abv)
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Adelphi’s | Liddesdale 18 Y (46%abv)
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The one and only | Mortlach 16 Y (43%abv)
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Gordon & MacPhail Private Collection| Mortlach 1957 (43,5%abv)IMG_1335

1970 Glenlivet 39 Y Lonach (41,8%abv)
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Benromach Traditional (40%abv)
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Glengoyne Single Cask 13 Y (56,1%abv)
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Not a bad night right?

 

Snapshots | BCB Day 2

There is no doubt in my mind – the BCB is truly the greatest bar show in Europe, possibly the world.

Admittedly, the two days were quite hectic, but where else can you meet so many friends and fellow bartenders, see so many great seminars and try so many amazing products in one place?

Here are some snapshots from the second day.

Sea buckthorn is the way to go / AndalöBerlin 2

I am in love with this producer / Lantenhammer2

Tiki Tiki – Great mugs!! / Cocktailian3 4

Great concept / AMA – Ask Me Anything Lounge with Alex Kratena5

Seminar with the one and only, femme fatale Camille Vidal / St. Germain6

Shrubs – Yes please! My favourite was the Lavendel / Schusters Spezialitäten7

Tommy’s Margaritas for everybody!! We LOVE Julio / Julio Bermejo8

I love this packaging! Oh, and the liqueur is amazing as well / Tempus Fugit Spirits
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Sexy times calls for Sexy Bitters / KSR 10

Hello old friend, haven’t seen you in a while / Espolòn Tequila11

The new Sinatra Select barrel seen from the inside / Jack Daniels12

Aged Cocktails / Martini Gran Lusso with Simone Caporale & Giuseppe Giuseppe Gallo13

World Class with Friends / David Rios, Laura Schacht, Alex Kratena, Aki Eguchi, Simone Caporale, Rudi Carraro, Atalay Aktas
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Creating ‘Holy Shit’ Moments / World Class with Alex Kratena & me as a guestBerlin 2

Snapshots | Berlin Bar Convent

Here are a few snapshots from the first day of Berlin Bar Convent.

World Class 2014 – The Inside Job / Alex Kratena

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Laura and I were guests at the seminar, talking about our experiences competing in World Class.
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Wonderful german walnut liqueur / LantenhammerIMG_0009_Fotor

Coffee is a must! /Kaffeemafia
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When in Germany / Thomas Henry
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I love this Mastiha / Finest RootsIMG_0055_Fotor

Silent Party / BacardiIMG_0051_Fotor

Legacy|Norway

I had such a nice day with my Oslo crew last night!

Richard “Chille” Man and Jimmie Hulth came over from Stockholm and introduced Bacardi and the Legacy competition, and although there were a few hiccups (lost luggage) – we had an amazing day tasting the different stages of Bacardi Superior, some amazing cocktails and last but not least, thanks to the one and only David Cordoba,  Bacardi Elixir and Mulata.

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There’s no doubt in my mind, the next Bacardi Legacy winner might be one of these amazing bartenders!
Watch out guys – the norwegians are coming

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Now it’s time to unpack, repack and then on to the next one! See you in Berlin!