The Barents Sea Collins is an interesting drink. Created by New York City bartender Jason Littrell, this highball closely resembles a Tom Collins, but it switches up the base spirit for the unexpected. Rather than rely solely on gin for the base, it’s split between vodka and aquavit.
The drink gets its name from the fact that the Barents Sea separates Norway—of which aquavit is the national drink—and Russia, which is famous for its production, and consumption, of vodka. This makes the Barents Sea Collins a potable tour of the area. Because of this, it’s best to use spirits that come from those two nations: Littrell uses Linie Aquavit, a historic Norwegian brand, and Stolichnaya Vodka, arguably Russia’s most famous spirit.
The draw of the Barents Sea Collins is in its simplicity and its gentle flavors. While aquavit is packed with notes of caraway and other botanicals, the Linie Aquavit is subtle in this drink amidst the vodka, lemon and simple syrup. However, the aged spirit does lend some color and nuance to the drink, while the vodka keeps things light and easy.
If you want to make the highball but don’t have those particular brands on hand, feel free to experiment with your favorite vodka and aquavit. But don’t stray away from either spirit—substitute either liquor with something like gin and it won’t be the same drink.
- 1 ounce Linie Aquavit
- 1 ounce Stolichnaya Vodka
- 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 3/4 ounce simple syrup
- Club soda
- Garnish: lemon wedge
Add the vodka, aquavit, lemon juice and simple syrup into a shaker filled with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a highball or Collins glass filled with fresh ice.
Top with club soda.
Garnish with a lemon wedge.