After spending a few days in Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stockholm, I got a pleasant surprise -- a suntan. Ok, I really turned more of a darker shade of pale, but for me that's a suntan. Just as the unusually sunny weather in those cities gave my skin a pinkish color, trying aquavit in its native countries gave my taste buds some fun. The Scandinavian Suntan evokes memories of the fun Ms. Cocktail Den and I had during our journey. It is inspired by a drink I had at Ruby bar in Copenhagen.
Combine in a shaker with ice, shake with the joy of a Scandinavian who's able to experience almost constant daylight during the summer, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Orange peel garnish optional.
As aquavit is a quintessential Scandinavian spirit, it had to be the base of this drink. It literally means the "water of life," and the Scandinavian Suntan is a lively cocktail. If you want a true pink color that resembles my idea of a suntan, use clear aquavit; I used Aalborg Taffel in the pictured drink. Campari, a widely available Italian amaro, isn't from Scandinavia, but its sharp citrus flavors complement the aquavit nicely. While in Copenhagen I noticed the Danes seem to love all things Italian, so it actually makes sense to use Campari in the drink.
The combination of aquavit and Campari makes the Scandinavian Suntan undeniably pink, and the fresh grapefruit juice enhances the color and flavor. Don't let the color fool you. The Scandinavian Suntan is a pretty strong drink, but the super simple syrup keeps it from knocking you into the Baltic Sea (metaphorically speaking, I swear).
So who's up for some liquid fun from the Scandinavian sun?