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Jul 23, 2021

Bar inside forest in Sweden

Foreign Affairs News Desk
Emil Åreng, an award winning cocktail book author at Huuva Hideaway in the north of Sweden. Copyright Visit Sweden
Emil Åreng, an award winning cocktail book author at Huuva Hideaway in the north of Sweden. Copyright Visit Sweden

Hannah Brown in euronews

If you ever needed an incentive to get out into the great outdoors for a walk, Sweden has it. They’ve turned the whole country into one giant bar. The world’s largest in fact.

You’ll find 16 tables in Sweden’s most beautiful natural landscapes with drinks experts on-hand.

What is the Drinkable Country?

In Sweden, nature is everyone’s and anyone’s playground. Thanks to the unique Allemansrätt law – the freedom to roam- nature is protected as a place to linger as long as you do not disturb or destroy.

With the Drinkable Country, you can experience the Swedish way of life. Close to nature but with world-class food and drink on hand.

This follows the success of The Edible Country, launched in 2019, which saw Sweden turned into the world’s largest DIY gourmet restaurant, with recipes developed by Guide Michelin-awarded chefs.

“The DIY recipes enable visitors to explore Swedish nature through world-class taste experiences,” says Jens Heed, Program Director Food Travel at Visit Sweden.

“The country’s 100 million-acre pantry of fruit, berries, vegetables and crystal-clear spring water is open to everyone.”

The experience is a combination of ready-made beverages that reflect local nature and produce, together with drinks that visitors can create themselves with ingredients found in the surroundings, based on recipes provided by the beverage experts.

“The most fun part about foraging ingredients for cocktails is first of all […] it doesn’t cost anything to go out there, but it’s also like flavours you can’t find in the store.[…] It’s such different flavours and such diverse flavours,” explains Emil Åreng, the master bartender responsible for the recipes in the northern part of Sweden.

“The only thing you need is a picnic basket and some good boots. That’s it. You don’t need anything else.”

Cocktail experts on hand

The recipes have been developed by four different drinks experts, with each one coming from different regions of Sweden.

Rebecka Lithander represents southern Sweden. An acclaimed sommelier, Rebecka worked at the two-Michelin-star restaurant Daniel Berlin, where she raised the non-alcohol drink packages to the same high level as the food and now works at Mutantur in Malmö.

The tables on the west coast are represented by local cocktail spot Bar Bruno in Gothenburg. Bar Bruno is known for innovative cocktails in a cosy setting.

On the east coast, it is Stockholm’s world-famous bar Tjoget that will compose the drink menu. For the past five years, Tjoget has been on the list of the world’s 50 best bars.

Emil Åreng, a nationally and internationally acclaimed bartender and author of the world’s best cocktail book in 2016, represents the northern part of Sweden. Emil most recently worked at Cardier Baren at the historic Grand Hôtel in Stockholm, where he was Creative Director. He is now setting up his own bar, Facit in his home city of Umeå.

Huuva Hideaway

Huuva Hoideway in Swedish Lapland is home to the northernmost table in Sweden. The former reindeer corral is run by Pia and Henry Huuva in the tiny village of Liehittäjä. Despite only having 14 permanent residents, Liehittäjä has 22 saunas.

“We’re a Sàmi family so my husband and family living here, they are so skilled in the traditional Sami cooking. Not only cooking, it’s also the foraging and taking care of everything and being a part of nature, not taking, just borrowing,” Pia tells Euronews Travel.

“When we got the question of hosting this drinkable country, the bar, that was also really an honour and really funny to do this, because it feels like us. It feels like what we love to do. So we’re very proud of hosting one of the world’s largest outdoor bars.”

(with credit)

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