Reyka inspires inventive spirit with new bitters

Icelandic Reyka BittersThe team behind Icelandic vodka Reyka have released the first batch of a new version of their bitters made from natural Icelandic ingredients.

Available exclusively to UK bars, the first batch is made up of only 300 bottles, designed for serving in cocktails or in a simple serve with Reyka vodka and ice.

Icelandic Reyka Bitters were originally developed in collaboration with Brooklyn Hemispherical Bitters Company, but a new recipe has been created by master distiller Lesley Gracie whose other achievements include Hendrick’s Gin.

Lesley created the limited-edition bottling from botanicals sourced in Iceland after foraging and nosing her way through the country’s best naturally growing ingredients. The result includes moss, angelica leaf and crowberry juice.

Lesley said: “Icelanders are incredibly resourceful. It’s part of their everyday life. It’s a quality shared by many bartenders who are also inherently creative souls.

“We wanted to celebrate this shared trait and I believe we have come up with something that inspires them to unleash their imagination in a new way.”

To appreciate the new bitters, Reyka’s brand ambassador Joe Petch recommends serving two to three drops with Reyka Vodka on the rocks. “To get the full effect of both Reyka Vodka and the unique flavour profile of the Icelandic bitters which are driven by the flavours of moss, crowberry and angelica leaf, it’s best to keep it simple. Both have unexpected subtleties and when mixed, come together to form something quite special.”

To tie in with the UK launch, Joe took a group of London bartenders on a foraging expedition to make their own bitters. It included Luca Cinalli from the Nightjar, Ross Nolan from Purl, Sophie Mackay from House of Wolf, Chris Dennis from Trailer Happiness, Tim Pope from Mark’s Bar at Hix in Soho, Francesco Medici from Mr Fogg’s and Mateo Lazzaris from The Looking Glass Cocktail Club.

With future foraging expeditions planned, Reyka hopes to continue to inspire bartenders to use their ingenuity to create new and exciting serves.

The following are a series of cocktails that were created collaboratively during the foraging expedition.

Blood & Pine

50ml Reyka Vodka
5ml Solerno liqueur
15ml Pine syrup
5ml Gomme
3 dashes Icelandic Reyka Bitters
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters

Stir ingredients and strain into a tumbler with large ice cubes. Spray atomised pine oil over finished drink and finish with pine needles garnish.

Rosehip & Beetroot Mule

40ml Reyka Vodka
15ml Domaine de Canton liqueur
10ml Beetroot juice
20ml Rosehip syrup
20ml Fresh lime juice
7 drops of Icelandic Reyka Bitters

Shake the ingredients, strain into a tall glass filled with ice and top with ginger beer. Add the bitters and garnish with lime wheels.

Land & Sea

65ml Reyka Vodka
5ml Domaine de Canton liqueur
2 dashes of Icelandic Reyka Bitters
Ground Alexander seed

Wash the ice with kümmel liqueur then add them to the mixing jar. Add the ingredients and stir it down and fine-strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with a dried aromatic Saw Rack seaweed garnish.

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