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New Book on Iceland Marries Drinking and Drawing

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Beautiful Skgafoss at night with at lot of stars and the northern light. (Naphat Photography/ Moment/ Getty Images)
Skgafoss at night with a lot of stars and the northern light. (Naphat Photography/ Moment/ Getty Images)

 

Art might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the Nordic country of Iceland, but one of its artsiest traditions could be catching on soon at a bar near you. Yes, we said bar.

“Drink and Draw,” as it’s called, involves imbibing your favorite cocktail (or three) while simultaneously sketching a picture on a specific theme. Think of it as an adult version of the coloring that you might do at an invisible tea party with your five-year-old niece.

(From Made of Iceland by Reyka, photographs by Snorri Sturluson, published by powerHouse Books)
(From ‘Made of Iceland’ by Reyka, photographs by Snorri Sturluson, published by powerHouse Books)

 

Instead of leaving your work on the bar or chucking it before you leave, said sketches are often made into little booklets and published. It’s actually a big deal in Iceland to do something like this—and it turns out that one in 10 Icelanders is a published author (that’s more than anywhere else on the globe). The reason? Annually, Icelanders take part in what’s called the “Christmas Book Avalanche,” in which most of these handmade books get published and given away as gifts.

Now, award-winning spirit Reyka Vodka has decided to release a book full of these types of sketches—with the added bonus of each one being photographed by Icelandic photographer Snorri Sturluson (best known for his work in the music world). The resultant Made of Iceland: A Drink and Draw Book was released last month via powerHouse Books.

reyka_drawings_single_p_0016
(From ‘Made of Iceland’ by Reyka, photographs by Snorri Sturluson, published by powerHouse Books)
Strokkur geyser on Iceland (Roc Canals Photography/ Moment/ Getty Images)
Strokkur geyser in Iceland (Roc Canals Photography/Moment/Getty Images)

 

But it’s not just a bunch of amateur doodles by people who’ve had a few. The book also acts as sort of a guidebook to Iceland’s music, food, fashion, and art scenes. Hell, you could even just grab a plane ticket over there, enter the nearest watering hole, and try for yourself.

The book retails for $24.95, and you can buy it here. Try out some of these recipes from Made of Iceland, if you’d like. Below, we’ve got a spin on the classic Tom Collins, but with a basil kick. In addition, we’re also giving you an Arnold Palmer-style cocktail.

 

Basil Collins

1 1/2 parts Reyka Vodka

3/4 part lemon juice

1/2 part simple syrup and club soda

2-4 basil leaves

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker, except soda. Shake, double strain into a Collins glass, top with soda, garnish, and serve.

(From Made of Iceland by Reyka, photographs by Snorri Sturluson, published by powerHouse Books)
(From ‘Made of Iceland’ by Reyka, photographs by Snorri Sturluson, published by powerHouse Books)

Spicy Palmer Tea

1 1/2 parts Reyka Vodka

1 part Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur

3/4 part fresh lemon juice

6 parts unsweetened iced tea

Combine all ingredients into cocktail shaker. Shake, garnish with lemon, and serve.

(From Made of Iceland by Reyka, photographs by Snorri Sturluson, published by powerHouse Books)
(From ‘Made of Iceland’ by Reyka, photographs by Snorri Sturluson, published by powerHouse Books)
(From Made of Iceland by Reyka, photographs by Snorri Sturluson, published by powerHouse Books)
Cover of ‘Made of Iceland’ by Reyka (published by powerHouse Books)