As part of my preparation for an upcoming reporting trip to Iceland, I recently had the pleasure of attending a Taste of Iceland lunch prepared by chefs Gunnar Karl Gislason of Reykjavik’s Dill Restaurant, and Mads Refslund of ACME here in New York City. Stomach groaning with anticipatory hunger while waiting for the reception to begin, and belonging to the ilk of folk unable to make easy small talk when flying solo at social events, I wall-flowered onto the nearest bar stool and gratefully accepted the luncheon’s signature cocktail, a citrus and elderflower-infused vodka libation topped with champagne and dubbed the Modern Royale. Daniel Brancusi, event bartender and U.S. brand ambassador to Reyka vodka, one of the hosts of the week-long Iceland-focused event, uses a blend of fresh grapefruit, lemon, and lime juices to give the drink a revitalizing lift tempered by faintly sweet and floral elderflower liqueur. Likewise, the bracingly clean crispness of the vodka is balanced by the mellow bubbly, making for an exceptional day-drinking cocktail meant to both soothe the nerves and stimulate the senses—I can vouch for both!
Friday Cocktails: Modern Royale