Mexican Donkeys and Pippi Gonzales at Slippbarinn
After visiting Reykjavik 10+ times in the past few years, I’ve learned that the cocktail culture is strong and some of the most creative and tasty cocktails are being mixed right here. One of my newly found, favorite places to stay in Reykjavik, the hip Marina Hotel by Icelandair, also has a great cocktail bar- Slippbarinn. Both are located down at the old harbor in the middle of the action in Reykjavik and are a perfect place to gather for some of the best cocktails in Iceland or anywhere.
The Slippbarinn is run by master mixologists who won’t serve you just any average cocktail, such as the mojito, rather they have set their standards much higher and offer an impressive selection of cocktails made from fresh infusions of local ingredients and their house-made syrups.
If you visit Slippbarinn, open your mind and your tastebuds and let the guys behind the bar work their magic. My go-to cocktail is typically a margarita, but instead of going with a drink I can get anywhere outside of France, I went with their recommendation of a Mexican Donkey which tasted like an upgraded version of a more commonly served cocktail, the Mexican Mule. I watched the bartender craftily mix together tequila, fresh lime, agave, and ginger, and then after a good shake, he topped it off with some fizz from ginger beer. No doubt, I would have this drink again, but with so many uniquely crafted options on the menu, it is hard to order the same drink twice.
After several trips to Slippbarrinn, I’ve found that the cocktail menu can change frequently, so if you visit often you will get the chance to explore new creations from the resident drink geniuses. During my recent visit to Slippbarinn, they had updated their menu and I opted for another tequila-based drink, the Pippi Gonzales. Although I am not normally a fan of cocktails with vegetables in them, especially cucumbers, I trusted the bartender and found the Pippi Gonzales to be surprisingly refreshing and enjoyable, but not in a girly-day-at-the-spa sort of way. The Pippi Gonzales is a mix of tequila blanco, dill akvavit, cucumber, lemon, and dill infused olive oil, and like nothing, I have had before.
The atmosphere at Slippbarinn is equally enjoyable with vintage, trendy decor, comfortable seating, unique nooks for private conversations, and a floating fireplace to snuggle up next to. In the evening, the Slippbarinn is typically full and people spill out into the exterior, which has a great view of the harbor. It is highly recommended that if you want a spot in the evening, make a reservation in advance.