Think great cocktails and food in Reykjavik, Iceland, not the musical abomination from Vanilla Ice (who brazenly ripped off the bassline in the great song Under Pressure from Queen and David Bowie). Sometimes you find fantastic places when you're wandering. That's exactly how Ms. Wulf Cocktail Den and I discovered Kol in Reykjavik.
I have no idea how to say "wonderful surprise" in Icelandic (all I learned was "takk," which means "thanks"), but that's exactly how I would describe our experience at Kol restaurant. When we entered Kol we had absolutely no idea it has a top notch cocktail program. Asgeir Mar Björnsson created the program. High quality ingredients (I was stunned to see such a wide ranging selection of whiskey in Iceland), expert proficiency behind the bar, and careful attention to details and presentation. The bar would do well anywhere in the world. The same goes for the restaurant, as the food and service are outstanding.
Kol divides its drinks menu for the type of drinker you are or want to be -- accessible, advanced, professional, and responsible. Don't focus on the categories, focus on the ingredients you might like. All of the cocktails we had were excellent, and I loved some of the names. For example, the Duck Season (duck fat washed bourbon, maraschino liqueur, lemon) had me channel my love of classic Warner Brothers cartoons and exclaim "Rabbit season!" like Daffy Duck.
After some conversation with the maître d', he was kind enough to give us a copy of Kol's cocktail book. Granted, it is in Icelandic, but if we can't figure it out we'll use Google Translate.
Like Iceland, Kol is expensive, but it is worth every single krone (the Icelandic currency). Your wallet might be under pressure there. Your taste buds and liver will not.
Takk to Kol!