Home Sea Fare The Dark Side

The Dark Side

by James O. Fraioli
Sea Fare Cocktail
Photo by Jonathan Chovancek

By James O. Fraioli / Photography by Jonathan Chovancek

If you’ve ever visited Reykjavík, Iceland, in the winter, you know the sun doesn’t come up. It’s virtually 24 hours of darkness. Sometimes it can feel like that here in the Pacific Northwest—when the sunshine declines and the chill and rain appear. But no need to get discouraged. With summer and frequent boating in our rearview mirror, now is the perfect time to enjoy the “24 Hours of Darkness” cocktail. Inspired by the land of ice and fire, this crisp, savory, and palate cleansing drink is featured in my book: A Bartender’s Guide to the World: Stories and Cocktails from 75 Places, which I assembled with master mixologist Lauren Mote. Apart from Icelandic beer and white Russians, aquavit is quite popular with Icelanders. It’s a delicious liquor from Scandinavia with different styles across the Nordic nations and Iceland. The dry, distilled spirit is flavored with caraway and sometimes dill and coriander, making it an ideal companion to the white vermouth, Aperol, and citrus that rounds out this mid-proof cocktail. You can also dress up the drink in a dark moody glass to celebrate the ghouls and goblins that will pay us a visit on Halloween night.

24 Hours of Darkness

Makes 1 cocktail

¾ ounce white vermouth

¾ ounce aquavit  

¾ ounce Aperol

¾ ounce fresh grapefruit juice

¼ ounce fresh lemon juice

2 dashes grapefruit bitters

Garnish: grapefruit twist

To a shaker filled with ice, add the vermouth, aquavit, Aperol, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and bitters. With some force, shake hard for 5 seconds. Using a small fine-mesh bar sieve to catch the loose ice chips, double strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. For the garnish, remove a nice piece of peel from a washed grapefruit. Using a paring knife, trim the edge of the peel on all sides. Then twist to express the oil over the cocktail, drop the peel into the glass, and serve.

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