Whiskey Tango Globetrot Podcast Episode 1: Iceland with Ólafur Darri Ólafsson

That’s right, after spending hours sweating over episodes of Serial, poring over hundreds of podcasts, and even working on a podcast as a producer, I’ve decided that it’s time to have my own podcast myself. And we’re getting real clever (not clever at all), and simply calling it the name of my website. So with that said, Welcome to Whiskey Tango Globetrot, the podcast.

Truth be told, of all my projects and undertakings to date, this is the one I’m most excited about. That’s because it’s really a culmination of everything that I’m passionate about. All my past projects felt like the lead-up to this, a storytelling platform where my love for the world, people, food and drinks all intersect.  

The premise of the podcast really hits at what I believe is the trust spirit of travel: Take listeners to some of the most interesting places around the world, to hear from some of the most interesting people in those places, and then, to bring the literal flavors of that destination back for listeners, with recipes they can make at home. Let’s go!

This first episode is literally cool, spotlighting the country of Iceland, which was one of my last trips abroad, and my favorite trip of 2018. In the episode I interview Ólafur Darri Ólafsson, or simply Darri.

Travel lovers, may recognize Darri from one of my favorite movies, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, as the drunk helicopter pilot. However, in Iceland, he’s a leading, multi-award-winning actor, and currently the lead in Trapped, an Icelandic drama series that BBC called one of the most exciting programs to watch last year. 

Listen, or download, my interview with Darri below, in which we talk all things Iceland, Darri’s journey as an actor, his advice for aspiring creatives, and more. Stick around to the end, too, when I share the Icelandic cocktail I came up with, which I’ve included the recipe for below.

But wait, there’s more! I also chatted afterward with Alana Hudkins, who heads up one of Iceland’s top cocktail bars, Slippbarinn in Reykjavík. We talked more about the spirits and flavors of Iceland, namely Brennivín, which Darri and I had a lively conversation about. Alana was kind enough to share some Iceland cocktail recipes below using Brennivin.

Subscribe to get alerts of upcoming issues. Meanwhile, you can see a couple cocktail recipes below from the Slippbarinn, as well as my own Icelandic cocktail recipe, which I featured on the podcast episode.

And there you also have the first episode of Whiskey Tango Globetrot. In my next episode I go to…Well, you’ll just have to subscribe to find out. Meanwhile, leave a comment and review if you listen, and let me know countries and spirits you think I should try out.  

Icelandic Negroni by yours truly

  • 1 oz. Brennivin

  • 1 oz. Aperol

  • 1 oz. Red Vermouth (I used Maurin Red Vermouth)

  • Rhubarb Bitters

  • Lemon peel, for garnish 

This Icelandic Negroni is my own Iceland cocktail creation. I tried a plethora of different cocktails with Brennivin, and some of them were okay, and others were pretty good, but nothing really stood out until I made this. This Icelandic Negroni feels like the Negroni for the non-Negroni drinker, almost as if it’s a gateway to more traditional Negronis, since it uses Aperol, rather than the more bitter Campari.  

Additionally, you’ll notice the mention and use of rhubarb in the ingredients list. While rhubarb is one of my all-time favorite cocktail ingredients, my reason for using it here is actually connected to Iceland. In Iceland, rhubarb is a treat similar to how it was where I grew up in the south. Similar to southerners, Icelanders use rhubarb in a variety of forms, such as rhubarb jam or cake, or quite simple for children to dip into sugar. Here, in this Iceland Negroni, rhubarb is in the form of bitters, though also present in Aperol. 

To make this Icelandic cocktail at home, you’ll add equal parts Brennivin, Aperol and red vermouth to a mixing glass with ice and stir for 10 seconds. Then strain it into a rocks glass with ice and garnish with a lemon or orange peel. And there you have an Icelandic Negroni!

Cocktail Recipes from the Slippbarinn

Svartafell (Courtesy of Slippbarinn)

  • 50 ml. brennivin

  • One egg white

  • 30 ml. lemon juice

  • 25 ml. raspberry syrup

  • 15 ml. montenegro amaro

  • 2 dashes rhubarb bitters (Fee Bros recommended)

  • Dash of cream

To make it, you’ll add all of the ingredients to a cocktail shaker and first dry shake (without ice), before adding ice and shaking vigorously . Then, fine strain it into a chilled goblet (because Iceland) and grate lemon and lime zest to garnish.

I Wanna Be A Dog (Courtesy of Slippbarinn)

  • 30 ml. brennivin

  • 25 ml. green chartreuse

  • 30 ml. lime juice

  • 10 ml. sugar syrup

  • Thyme, for garnish

Shake all of the ingredients together with ice in a cocktail shaker and fine strain into a chilled coup glass. Garnish with a sprig of flaming thyme.