Barbershop Medicine & Relaxed Lax


Holiday time! Oh, it’s on! There will be parties aplenty, special cocktails to make and meals to prepare! The multi talented Elin over at TRAVEL * FOOD * COOL and us were chatting the other day about special things to make for celebrating the holidays. As Elin is over in Canada (we still owe them a thank you for Celine Dion, Bryan Adams and whisky) and we’re in Sweden, we wanted to do a joint post on the history of native Canadians and Swedes, especially from the north.

Gravlax combines the Canadian love of salmon with the Swedish love of cured fish. In Scandinavian countries, smoked salmon is not as popular as Gravlax (which is actually a Swedish word, lax=salmon) and after trying this easy recipe that Elin used, you will see why. Gravlax is a super luxurious item to serve and is a snap to make. You get to relax while it’s being cured. (Note: you do need a little patience, you have to wait about 48 hours before you can eat it. Think of it as a “While You Work” recipe.) Relax though, this recipe is also great to make ahead. It freezes really well. You can make it this weekend and put it in the freezer for holiday events, defrost in the fridge. Bonus, partially thawed Gravlax is actually easier to thinly slice. Elin wants to give a big shoutout to RecipeTinEats, it’s their recipe she used.

Our contribution to this post is a cocktail called Barbershop Medicine, by Jake Stavis. We chose this drink because it combines Canadian whisky with Swedish aquavit, and binds it all together with earthy ginger beer and fresh citrus juices.

Aquavit is the most common spirit during Swedish Christmas celebration. It’s basically a vodka with spices such as caraway and dill. Usually it’s consumed as a schnapps on its own but it also works beautifully in cocktails. In this recipe we used O.P. Andersson, a Swedish aquavit made with caraway, fennel and anise. It’s an organic spirit, making it extra conscientious to consume.

Whisky has been produced in Canada for several hundred of years. It’s typically made with corn which gives it a smoother feel and taste compared to some other whiskys. This also means it’s perfect in cocktails. We used Dark Horse whisky which is actually rather a rye whisky, although it also contains a small amount of corn bourbon and an even tinier amount of sherry! It’s a delicious whisky to use in the Barbershop Medicine cocktail.

It’s a shame we didn’t get to enjoy the cocktail together with Elin’s lax. Hoping that will happen one day though, would be awesome to meet you in person Elin! Meanwhile we follow you at Instagram @travelfoodcool and on your web page of course. Also, all credit to you for all the lax photos in this post!

Barbershop Medicine



1,5 oz Canadian whisky
0,5 oz aquavit
0,75 oz lemon juice
0,5 oz orange juice
2 bar spoons simple syrup
ginger beer to top up with



Shake all ingredients except the ginger beer with fresh ice. Strain into a glass over a large ice cube. Top up with ginger beer according to taste.


Double rocks

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