Bistromania in Gamla Stan – Kagges

Gamla Stan in Swedish means old tow; and as many European capitals, Stockholm has one. The old city of Stockholm lies only a stone throw away from the city centre, on an island between Norrmalm and Södermalm. Old towns are usually very touristic, and so is this one as well. But mostly during the day. After the dark, Gamla Stan turns into a mecca for foodies and the wine curious. New, cool restaurants are popping up all the time, and Kagges on Lilla Nygatan is one of them. Continue reading “Bistromania in Gamla Stan – Kagges”

Wineweek 159: Gamla Stan at Night

Gamla Stan is the old town of Stockholm. In the past it was called the city in between bridges, as it is located on an island (Stockholm is built on 14 islands) stretching literally  from the bridge of the royal castle to the hectic junction of Slussen. This part of town dates back to the 13th century, and consists of alleyways, cobblestone streets, and medieval architecture. There is also a healthy mix of street art reminding you in which century you live.  And yes, it is touristic during the day, but after dark it is the playground of the locals, and one of my favorite parts of the city. Continue reading “Wineweek 159: Gamla Stan at Night”

Wineweek 140: Ja Må Du Leva Idag

Ja må du leva idag means live today in Swedish. Its the perfect phrase to describe this weekend in Stockholm. We were supposed to stay in, work, clean and organize stuff; maybe drink some wine and catch up on sleep. The weather forecast was promising rain, so why make plans. Well, the weather man was wrong. The weekend was Goddamn beautiful, and against all sense of responsibility and looming deadlines, I threw all my papers in the air and sprinted out into the welcoming Stockholm sun. As you can see from the pictures, it was worth it! Continue reading “Wineweek 140: Ja Må Du Leva Idag”

Vibes of Paris at Vinköket

Le Rouge is a restaurant in Stockholm, known mainly for its burlesque interior. I have always considered it more of a theme-restaurant. You don’t really go there for the food, but for the fun of it. No, I don’t really get it, but some people seem to like it. I have been there only once and all I remember is M looking very handsome acros the table (we weren’t dating  yet). However, there has been a change of events that has lured me to return. Le Rouge has opened a credible wine bar, Vinköket to liven up their upstairs entrance (the restaurant is in the cellar). So off course we had to try it out. Continue reading “Vibes of Paris at Vinköket”

Wineweek 134: Summer Nights are Here

This weekend it has been amazingly warm. The kind of warm that you don’t need a coat even in the evening. The kind of warm we all in the Nordics wait for all year. I am sure you get the point. At least you who live in the colder part of the world. Anything day that the temperature rises over 20 degrees Celsius is a win. To celebrate, we opened a bottle of Bonnaire 2005 and enjoyed it inside in the cool humidity of our cellar. Typical!  Continue reading “Wineweek 134: Summer Nights are Here”

Winter Cocktails at the Old Apothecary

Usually, I drink cocktails in the summer. I like them fresh and crispy; with flavors like elderflower, mint, citrus and ginger. And, I always end up choosing Gin as my base. I have become like a broken record when it comes to cocktails, always the same thing, just dressed up a bit differently. But I finally read about the winter cocktail menu at Pharmarium, and could not hold back my excitement for something new. Their quirky cocktails are a legend in Stockholm, and I just cannot wait to go for a seasonal drink. Continue reading “Winter Cocktails at the Old Apothecary”

Wineweek 76: Cherry Blossoms and More Exploring in Gamla Stan

Something special is in the air every spring when the cherry trees of Kungsträdgården (Kings Garden) blossom. The park is located in the middle of the city, right next to the “Harrods” of Stockholm, Nordiska Kompaniet. The park has about 40 something trees. They were a gift from Japan to the King of Sweden in 1998. Continue reading “Wineweek 76: Cherry Blossoms and More Exploring in Gamla Stan”

Wineweek 75: Exploring Gamla Stan

This week, things have been moving forwards. We have finally contracted with our new warehouse, ordered all of our summer wines, and organized transport. In a week, the new warehouse in Copenhagen should be bulging with wonderful wine. I can’t wait! What is a bit special about these orders is, that we have started taking in much more small batches. The aim has been not only to increase the selection, but also have some more high end stuff to sell via the monopoly. The papers for selling at the monopoly are still lying on the table, but the intention of sending them in is (ahem) high. Continue reading “Wineweek 75: Exploring Gamla Stan”

Cocktails and Ships at Bottles Pop-Up Bar, Stockholm

Imagine old wooden chairs and tables, figureheads and miniature ships. And imagine holding a rum cocktail with zesty lemon peel and a huge ice cube floating in the middle. There is no music, just steady murmur coming from the other tables and the clinking of ice against your glass. There is no rush, and the calm bar invites you to relax.

Bottles Pop-Up bar is all about the drinks. It is run by three Stockholm bartenders with merits from Little Quarter, Shibumi and Lilla Nygatan. The Pop-Up bar has an interesting concept, it moves around within the Gamla Stan restaurant scene, and the theme changes with every venue. Right now it is located in the Victory Hotel (the Congress Center) and houses a theme loyal to the venue style. I have previously written to you about Tweed, the semi-speakeasy cocktail bar inside the hotel (review here). Bottles current style is similar, however it feels less clubby and more genuine. Other venues will include restaurants (by the same owner) in the Gamla Stam/ Lilla Nygatan are: Pubologi, Djuret, Svinet, Lejontornet, Tweed and Burgundy.

I was at Bottles for some afterwork drinks with fellow Yelpers. We arrived early, around 6pm and had no trouble finding a seat. Ok, we even had a reservation, but we would have found a seat nonetheless. We were offered a drinks menu with around seven different cocktails that all were named after ships of past and present. Ingredients included all of the usual suspects: rum, gin, tequila and bourbon. I was perhaps a bit disappointed that the spirits used were quite main stream: Bacardi, London Dry and other big brands (very un-hipster). The mixers were the ones to set the mood with tastes of rosehip, marinated fruits and ginger ale. Every cocktail was named after a boat and had a story, which the bartenders introduced when serving the drinks. I had a Carina II with variations of old wine (tasted a bit like fortified wine), grapefruit and champagne, and a Rumbullion with Bacardi, Havanna Club, Captain Morgan, Barbancourt and Gunroom and Sour. Both cocktails were very good and fit the historic atmosphere of the hotel.

All in all, a fun concept with spiced with tasty drinks and great service. I am already excited about where the bar moves next and looking forward to exploring what kind of drinks the other venues have to offer.

Bloody Mary Bliss at Geronimos FGT

I must confess, I have never been a true fan Bloody Mary. Tomato juice and celery, not my favorite combination and I have not always been convinced that it actually does much to balance (or hide) the flavor of alcohol but sometimes rather enhances it. However, as I have discovered with many drinks (and foods), it is not until you actually taste it ‘well made’ before you realize that you have been wrong all along.

A few weeks back, I received an invite from my friends at Yelp to join them for some cocktails an early evening at a bar, Geronimos FGT, in the old town of Stockholm that is, trying at least, to build a name for themselves with among other things an excellent Bloody Mary. Despite the choice of drink, I went, as it is the good company that was most important. Also, I heard some rumors that Geronimos Bloody Mary is well worth a try. The bar is underground, decorated with stuffed mounted animals and other ornaments from the prairie. There is a lot of space to sit down and even a nice chambre séparée, so this place is good for groups. A stage in the corner suggest that there are also bands playing now and then. All in all a nice looking bar, not perhaps my style, but still nice.

The entrance
The entrance
The stage
The stage
Chambre Separée
Chambre Separe
Some mood lighting
Some mood lighting

The menu is some sort of mix fast food Mexican and American food with some inspiring details. There is slightly more effort put into using herbs, spices and good produce than at the your average taco stand. However it is still simple enough dishes for an honest after work meal. We ordered one Bloody Mary special (a Bloody Mary with a hamburger sticking out of it – yes, you read it right, a hamburger), some tacos and a burger. We also tried the Mexican Mule (a tequila-version of a Moscow Mule). The cocktails were great! The Bloody Mary tasted like a spicy gazpacho and the Mexican Mule was fresh with lime and ginger. To my disappointment, the Bloody Mary started tasting a bit too diluted after a while, I think it had a bit too much ice in it and it was perhaps not properly mixed as the alcohol flavor came through strongly at times . Next time round I will have a Virgin Mary as I think it will actually be tastier. The food was as expected, good but not great. Value for money wise it is ok for Stockholm, but be aware that some of the dishes (like the tacos) are quite small.

Tiny Tacos
Tiny Tacos
The Bloody Mary Special
The Bloody Mary Special

All in all mission accomplished: my feelings towards Bloody Mary have perhaps softened a bit and I am curious to try out some more if I see potential. So please don’t be shy to share all of your favorite Bloody Mary hangouts in the comments box. I heard of some place in New York that had a stick of crispy bacon accompanying the celery in the Bloody Mary. That sounds awesome! What comes to Geronimos, I might be back. Taco Tuesdays, with 25 SEK tacos, sounded like something that could tickle my fancy.