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Iceland Mag

Food & Drink

Brennivín cocktails are all the rage - here are the best mixed drink recipes with Iceland's signature liquor

By Matt Eliason

  • Finding the right blend Brennivín's distinct flavor provides a challenge for mixed cocktails, however, Joe Spiegel and the Brennivín America team have found the perfect concoctions for your next party.

Iceland's signature drink is making a splash in North America. Now available for purchase in 15 retail locations and 19 bars and restaurants in the United States, the word is spreading fast about this exotic drink. 

"Distinct" and "powerful" are two words often used to describe the Icelandic aquavit, which was originally used to mask the taste of shark meat at Iceland's winter festival Þorrablót (Thorrablót). And with the Icelandic drink growing in popularity in the USA, Joe Spiegel, founder of Brennivín America, realized the importance of combining the "distinct" and "powerful" Brennivín taste with the appropriate flavors.

After experimenting with a number of options, Brennivín American has concocted some amazing cocktails for everyone to try the next time they are out at a bar, or mixing a Brennivín drink for friends and family members at home.

Brennivín Cocktail Recipes:


Black Rose

Created 2014 by Jeff Grdinich of The Rose, Jackson Hole, WY

1.5 oz Brennivín

1.25 oz Lillet Rose

0.25 oz Kina D’Avion d’Or

Method: Stir / Strain

Glass: Coupe

Garnish: None


Brennivín American's new label embodies the Icelandic spirit

Iced Coffee

Created 2014 by Jeff Grdinich & Brittany Fells of The Rose, Jackson Hole, WY

1.75 oz Brennivín

0.25 oz Galliano Ristretto

0.5 oz Cruzan Blackstrap Rum

0.75 oz Grapefruit Juice

1 Barspoon Demerara Syrup

Method: Shake / Strain

Glass: Double Old Fashioned with Crushed Ice

Garnish: Mint Sprig


Brennivín Bouquet

Created 2013 by Jacqueline Pruner

1 oz Brennivín

1 oz Lavender & Wild Rose Liqueuer

Method: Shake

Glass: Martini

Garnish: Edible Flower

40% alc/vol A close up look at the label, which features an outline of Iceland's landmass.

Brennivín Melon

Created 2013 by Jacqueline Pruner

2 oz Brennivín

¼ slice of watermelon, seeds and rind removed

Method: Shake with ice (pulverizing watermelon), strain out ice.

Glass: Martini

Garnish: Watermelon slice with rind/seeds.



Created 2014 by Jason Moore of Brennivin America

2 oz Brennivín

1 oz Lillet Blanc

1 oz Tangerine or mandarin orange juice, preferably the Ojai Pixie Tangerine

2 dashes citrus bitters

Method: Shake

Glass: Coup

Garnish: Orange peel


Harry's Old Fashioned

Created 2014 by Harry Scheff

1 oz Brennivín

1 oz Rittenhouse Rye

1 dash bitters

½ barspoon simple syrup

Method: Shake

Glass: Double Old Fashioned

Garnish: Orange peel


Sæmundur: The Knowledgeable

Created 2014 by Warren Bobrow (Cocktail Whisperer)

2 oz Brennivín

½ oz American Fruits Sour Cherry Cordial

1 oz Mint simple syrup

1 oz soda water

2-3 drops Bitter Truth lemon bitters

Method: Shake Brennivin, Sour Cherry Cordial, mint syrup and bar ice. Strain into Collins glass filled with hand cut ice. Top with soda water and bitters.

Glass: Collins

Garnish: Sour cherry pierced by a long straw


Here is a list of Brennivín's retail and bar locations in the United States.  

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