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Icelandic vodka brand Reyka celebrated the coming Summer Solstice last week with a cocktail party and demonstration by expert mixologist Eben Klemm at Gallow Green in New York. The rustic rooftop garden atmosphere provided the backdrop for the event honoring Iceland’s 24 hours of sunshine on June 21. Traditionally this means taking part in celebratory activities such as rolling in the dew, haunted ghost walks, and bonfires.
Klemm, a former research biologist, is best known for his innovative technique incorporating the chemical and physical properties of his ingredients into his bartending methods. Inspired by Icelandic Solstice traditions, he created special Reyka cocktails using unconventional ingredients including quail eggs, curdled milk, and herbs picked straight from the Gallow Green garden. As he began his demonstration, Klemm said, “When I think of Iceland, I think of all the elements.” He went on to use molecular mixology to create four inventive drinks representing the Reyka: the process of using lava rocks as filtration, 24 hours of daylight, face washing in the dew, and finally the bonfire.
Traditional Icelandic food including lamb tartar and potato chips with caviar were served throughout the night along with samples of Klemm’s mixed drinks as the celebration of Iceland’s freedom from the winter months continued.