Order a cocktail at Oslo’s Himkok and in all likelihood you will be shaken and stirred.
The first winner of the World’s 50 Best Sustainable Bar Award, distills all its own vodka, gin and aquavit on-site and, what’s even better is that they’re all made with locally grown potatoes that are just that little bit too wonky to be sold commercially. The waste to taste theme doesn’t stop there, as a tie-up with a nearby dairy means regular deliveries of whey which the crack team of bar staff use to give a selection of the cocktails an extra creamy feel.
If spirits aren’t your thing, and maybe you’re more of a beer drinker looking for a locally produced tipple, then these guys have that covered too. Literally just down the road, the two breweries they co-own are brewing 20 seasonal, organic ales.
Yet another local farm is helping add more unique flavours to the drinks list at Himkok in the form of flavoured wines, all created with its own homegrown fruit; gooseberry and elderflower and ice plum are just two.
A growing cohort of conscious cocktail makers have come to realise that citrus is the bar equivalent of meat – leaving a deep environmental stain. At Himkok it’s all about the natural acid hit, with rhubarb, green apples and redcurrants providing that essential bite some drinks need. That’s not to say some lemons and limes don’t make it through the door. It’s just that those that do are zested, peeled, squeezed, diced and sliced to the max. Juices are oxidised and distilled and peels used to create perfumes.
Just as they transform the locally grown, slightly blemished potatoes into first class spirits, Himkok also takes the herb trimmings from the nearby garden centre and infuses them into those self-same spirits. And when they themselves create ‘waste’ they’re sure to find a home for it. So, the surplus chick peas left behind after they’ve drained the cans of the aquafaba to use as an egg white substitute, are donated to local Indian and Turkish restaurants.
For those feeling peckish there’s a full vegetarian and vegan menu.
And if the guys making the drinks have a smile on their face, it’s not just because they won the Sustainable Bar Award. Health insurance, nine-hour max shifts and full distilling and brewing training are all standard.
Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is a sustainable bar and a very worthy winner of the first Sustainable Bar Award at The World’s 50 Best Bars.