CHEF GUNNAR GISLASON CREATES SOLSTICE-THEMED RECIPES FOR
A TASTE OF ICELANDIC CULTURE, CUISINE & COCKTAILS
On June 21, Iceland’s midnight sun returns once again with Summer Solstice, and Icelanders far and near will celebrate with traditional gatherings of friends and family, bonfires and music, and the best array of Icelandic food and drinks. Whether in Iceland or the USA, one can experience a taste of this Icelandic tradition to kick off summer a little differently…and with this year’s Solstice occurring on a Sunday, Reyka Vodka has worked with famed Icelandic chef, Gunnar Karl Gislason of Restaurant Dill in Reykjavik, to develop Solstice-inspired brunch dishes and cocktail recipes that bring the flavor of the celebration to life.
- Traditional smørrebrød: Reyka Vodka and dill cured salmon, DILL-skyr, pickles, horseradish, salad and bread
- Wood fired eggs: Duck eggs baked in wood fire oven, spicy sausage, cabbage in duck fat and angelica
- Fried Icelandic pancakes: Cottage cheese, sorrels, radishes and dirt smoked arctic char
- The Clear Reyka Bloody Mary: Reyka Vodka, clear tomato jus, lemon, spices, celery, ice
- Summery Reyka Beer Float: Reyka Vodka, lime, ginger syrup, white ale
- Smokey Reyka Bay:Smoked Reyka, Birkir, bitter, lemon, egg white and sea weed dust
- Sveitabrúðkaup: Reyka, elderflower syrup, lemon, cherries, nectarines, elderflower cordial
“With Summer Solstice occurring on a Sunday, and the enthusiasm people have for Sunday brunch, I was inspired to create these Summer Solstice brunch recipes for people around the world to enjoy a taste of Iceland – our culture, our cuisine and our Reyka Vodka,” shared Chef Gislason. “Enjoying a hearty meal is a great and fun tradition, and helps prepare one for the day of celebration ahead.”
Chef Gislason, whose restaurant Dill, opened in Reykjavik in 2009 and has been named Iceland’s “Restaurant of the Year” each year since, is renowned for his contemporary cooking that celebrates Iceland’s pristine ingredients and artisanal producers. He co-authored, with Jody Eddy, NORTH: The New Nordic Cuisine of Iceland. More than a cookbook, NORTH is a celebration of Iceland itself – the inspiring traditions, stories and people who make the island so unique and so magical. The book boasts beautiful color photography by Evan Sung that captures Gislason’s recipes and techniques, as well as the country itself. The book is currently available in the USA and around the world via Amazon.com.
“We are proud to welcome Chef Gunnar Gislason to the USA, and to share his delicious creations with our friends here as part of our Summer Solstice celebrations,” remarked Trevor Schneider, Ambassador for Reyka Vodka. “Gunnar is an incredible talent, and his recipes, both for Solstice and from his NORTH book, are a perfect and unique way to celebrate the beauty of Iceland while welcoming summer.”
Iceland is a magical land where fire and ice co-exist, where sprawling natural wonders meet modern marvels in art and creation, and where the darkest of winters are eclipsed by the brightest of summers. Reyka Vodka is born of this unique and inspiring country – volcanoes and glaciers, vast fields of lava rock, towering waterfalls of spring water and some of the cleanest air in the world. This terroir and the craftsmanship of the team at Iceland’s first distillery, yields the unique profile and character of the award-winning Reyka Vodka, which received the coveted Vodka Trophy by the prestigious International Wine & Spirits Competition. Produced in small batches, the unique character of Reyka Vodka can be attributed to the natural purity of the Icelandic spring water, the small batch Carter-Head Still, lava rock filtration, the geothermal energy (produced from the heat of volcanoes) used during the production process, and of course, the clean Icelandic air.
THE COMPLETE SOLSTICE-INSPIRED RECIPES BY CHEF GUNNAR GISLASON
(Food recipes are for 6 people)
Traditional Smørrebrød | Reyka and dill cured salmon, DILL-skyr, pickles, horseradish, salad and bread
1 ½ lb salmon
½ cup chopped dill
½ cup sugar
½ cup salt
½ cup Reyka Vodka
Carrots, celeriac, parsnips
1 quart water
3 quarts vinegar
1 quart sugar
2 pine tree sprig
Water, vinegar, sugar and pine tree are combined in a pot and heated until boiling point then put in pickling jars and cooled down to room temp.
All vegetables are peeled and cooked in lightly salted water, make sure there is still a little bite in it. Then take it out of the boiling water and place it in a pickling jar filled with the pickling liquid.
Peel the horseradish and then grate over the whole course. More is better.
Just some of your favorite salad on top. Seasoned with some oil, vinegar and salt.
6 slices of freshly baked rye bread
Wood fired eggs | Duck egg´s baked in wood fire oven, spicy sausage, cabbage in duck fat and angelica
2-3 duck eggs cracked in a small pan that has been coated in butter
2-3 slices of spicy sausage
1 ½ cups thinly sliced cabbage
¼ cup duck fat
¼ cup vinegar
Seasoned with salt
Everything folded together and put in a vacuumed store for minimum day, best after 3 weeks.
1 cup spinach
All folded together
Pickled Angelica Stalks
½ cup angelica stalks
3 tablespoons vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
Cook up vinegar and sugar and poor over finally chopped circle of angelica.
Herbs and Fresh Angelica
Make a nice salad of mixed micro greens and finely chopped angelica leaves. Season with oil and salt.
Fried Icelandic Pancakes | Cottages cheese, sorrels, radishes and dirt smoked arctic char.
2 ¼ cups milk
½ cup wheat
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ cup butter
All mixed together in a hand blender and baked on a very specific pancake pan.
Cottage cheese salad
2 cups cottage cheese
¼ cup oil
1 cup smoked and chopped arctic char
¼ cup chopped dill
A lot of chopped sorrels
Some chopped charlotte onions
All folded together and seasoned with some salt. Then put the cottage cheese on the pancakes and wrap them up.
Slice very thin in some ice water. Then dry on some paper season with some oil, salt and vinegar.
Sweet and Sour Dill Oil
½ cup dill
2/3 cup oil
Put in a mixer and mix until steaming hot. Put in a box and cool for 12 hours, strain.
½ cup sugar
½ cup apple vinegar
Put in a pot and heat to boiling point. Cool down.
Mix 3 part dill oil to 1 part sugar syrup
Clear Bloody Mary
6 parts clear tomato juice
2 parts Reyka vodka
2 bar spoons sriracha
2 bar spoons lemon juice
2 bar spoons soy sauce
1 bar spoon apple vinegar
All mixed in shaker with ice and then strained over celery granité.
2 cups celery juice
2/3 cup sugar syrup
Summery Beer Float
1 part ginger syrup
1 part lime juice
1 1/2 parts Reyka vodka
Shake and put into a long drink glass over lots of ice. Garnish with lime zest and topped with white ale.
1 part smoked Reyka vodka
1 part Birkir
1 part fresh lemon juice
1 part sugar syrup
3 dashes h12 bitter
1/2 egg white
Shake ingredients only, and then shake with ice. Strain over big block of ice and top with dried and powdered seaweed.
1 ½ parts Reyka Vodka
2 black cherries, each cut in half
1/2 nectarine in slices
1/2 parts lemon
1/2 parts elderflower essence
Blend Reyka Vodka, berries, fruit and lemon juice and let stand for 2 hours before serving. Strain and shake with elderflower essence. Fill up a long drink glass with the same berries and fruits, and pour in the drink. Top with elderflower cordial.