Smorgasbord IKEA: SKAL! Drink like a pseudo-Swede

1 part vanilla-flavored vodka

1 part Kahlua (or other coffee-flavored liqueur)

2 parts cream

1 part sour cream

Mix cream and sour cream together until smooth, then add to alcohol over ice. Nothing Russian about this drink, those bastards.

Playing Checkers With Death

12 shots of vodka splashed with lingonberry syrup

12 shots of Swedish aquavit splashed with elderberry syrup

Chess board

Jump. Drink. Check. Mate.

Swedish Fishing

4 parts gin

1 part elderberry syrup

Pinch of fresh dill

Pickled herring

Pitted green olives

Stuff olives with pickled herring and return to olive brine. Shake the first three ingredients with ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with herring-stuffed olives.

Frozen Wild Strawberry

Crushed ice


Frozen strawberries

Lingonberry syrup

Combine all in a blender to taste, blend, then sip while dreaming of past conquests and missed opportunities.

Viking Raider

1 part Pernod (or Sambuca, other anise-flavored liqueur)

1 part Swedish aquavit

splash of elderberry syrup

Swedish salted licorice

(Part 2 of our Smorgasbord: IKEA series.)

Lingonberry and elderberry syrups take up a lot of space on the IKEA grocery shelves, for good reason. The tart, cranberry-like flavor of lingonberries is perfect when dropped into a glass of sparkling water, while the elderberry will produce a more fragrant, softer spritzer that's sweeter and more delicate. Both are also incredible ingredients for cocktails. IKEA's lingonberry syrup is powerful stuff, so works best with bland liquor like vodka, while elderberry's subtle herbacious, floral perfume works best with gin (and some gins use elderberry as one of the botanicals that give that British quaff its flavor).

Experiment, but here are a few recipes to get you started at your next Swedish-themed happy hour or crayfish party:

The Allen Wrench

1 part lingonberry syrup

1 part vodka

Squeeze of lime

Soda water

This is a simple, refreshing quaff suitable for quenching the mighty thirst and incipient frustration that results from furniture assembly.

Bergman Royale

3 parts inexpensive Champagne or sparkling wine

1 part elderberry syrup

Like the actress, this cocktail is subtle, multi-faceted and will melt the hearts of even the most grizzled North African nightclub owner.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

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