A black glass with orange peel garnish

24 Hours of Darkness Cocktail

Lauren Mote’s Iceland-inspired cocktail combines tart grapefruit, aquavit, vermouth and rhubarb apéritif for an invigorating drink that pairs well with long nights.

Inspired by international flavours the world over, award-winning cocktail artist Lauren Mote and co-author James O. Fraioli have assembled a collection of glamorous drinks for every destination. A Bartender’s Guide to the World reps its share of cities in Lauren’s native Canada – for a taste of Winnipeg or Toronto, pick up our new issue – but the 24 Hours of Darkness draws influence from Reykjavik, a city where ancient mythology mixes with sleek Scandinavian design against world-famous (and volcanic) scenery. As Lauren writes of her wintertime expedition to the almost-Arctic circle,

The sun didn’t come up at all— there was twenty-four hours of darkness. I had been expecting the drinks to be as explosive as the geography, but as it turned out, the philosophy was quite simple: use in-season flavors, celebrate local (a lot of local beers), and enjoy with friends.

As well as beer, celebrating the local in Iceland often looks like a glass of aquavit – a distilled spirit popular in Scandinavia that varies by region in style and taste, often flavoured with dill and spices like caraway and coriander. Lauren uses it in a riff on the Paper Plane (a trendy bourbon cocktail made with lemon juice), instead mixing white vermouth and aquavit with the citrus to create an elegant cocktail that retains a simple philosophy.

A black glass with orange peel garnish

24 Hours of Darkness


  • ¾ ounce white vermouth
  • ¾ ounce Icelandic aquavit (like Brennivín)
  • ¾ ounce rhubarb apéritif (like Aperol)
  • ¾ ounce fresh grapefruit juice
  • 2 dashes grapefruit bitters like Bittered Sling Grapefruit & Hops
  • grapefruit twist garnish


  • To a shaker filled with cubed ice, add the vermouth, aquavit, apéritif, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, and bitters. Using some force, shake hard for 5 seconds. Using a small fine-mesh bar sieve to catch the loose ice chips, double strain into a rocks glass filled with cubed ice.
  • For the garnish, use a peeler to remove a nice piece of peel from a washed grapefruit. Cut the sides into a diamond shape. Add a lengthwise slit to the center of the peel, without cutting through to the edges, and rest it on the rim of the glass.

A dark green cookbook on a cream background

Excerpted from A Bartender’s Guide to the World: Cocktails and Stories from 75 Places by Lauren Mote and James O. Fraioli. Copyright © 2022 Lauren Mote and James O. Fraioli. Cover and book design by Terri Nimmo. Cover and book photography by Jonathan Chovancek. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
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