This weekend has been rather unproductive on my part, yet surprisingly eventful. It all started on Friday with a planned hunt for a liquorice drink. Why liquorice? This summer, a Norwegian ice cream manufacturer introduced an ice cream with the taste of liquorice. You either love it or hate it. I’m with the former crowd, and have a bite whenever I get the chance. Once, when I didn’t find the ice cream in any of the grocery stores in the neighborhood, I ended up making my own by mixing vanilla ice cream with crushed Tyrkisk Peber candy. It tasted – if possible – better than the original ice cream, but it was certainly a lot of work. It’s not everyday I make ice cream with a hammer.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve moved from beer to drinks whenever I’m out trying to gather the courage to try my luck on the dance floor, so the natural question to ask now was: Is it possible to get a decent liquorice drink in Oslo? Yes, it probably is, so why not make an evening out of it? Bar-hopping with the goal of getting the bartender to mix a good liquorice drink1. I liked the idea, and not only because it was my own.
So on Friday afternoon, Anniken’s sister and a friend of hers joined us for dinner, an exquisite Italian meal prepared by me because the girls were way to busy drinking wine and chatting. I’m a bit whipped, but in a good way. The first bottle of wine was opened at around six in the afternoon, and I’ll be blunt enough to say that the girls were rather tipsy when we went out at nine – a bit late, perhaps, but
we they had to watch the Norwegian X-Factor before we could leave, of course.
But I didn’t mind. Since watching people make fools of themselves on national television makes my physically ill, I had a good excuse to clear yet another level in StarCraft II while they watched X-Factor. Hans Olav – who would later join us downtown – used the time to take a quick nap, which turned out to be a semi-long one.
After X-Factor we moved down to Olympen. Hans Olav and I had not warmed up like the girls, and I decided to buy beers and Mojitos for us before the liquorice hunt started; drinks I tried to order from a dickhead bartender. OK, so you don’t serve Mojitos and, yes, I should probably move next door to Pigalle to get that and why do you, the bartender, suggest Gin & Tonic when I ask for something similar to replace the Mojitos with? Please don’t treat me like a damn idiot and have a lot of fun with the tip I didn’t leave you. Might I suggest being a little more polite next time some moron customer like me comes asking for a Mojito?
We didn’t stay too long at Olympen and instead decided to enjoy the view of Oslo from the highest point possible – at least the highest point possible that’s legal with a bar – the 34 SkyBar at the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel. At only 117 meters, it’s a midget (oh, I’m sorry – little building) compared to other hotels and sky scrapers around the world, but it’s the best we can do here in the land of trolls and polar bears.
Unlike the bartender at Olympen, the two in the hotel bar were both friendly and helpful, and they served Mojitos, glasses of water and even a specially made liquorice drink. “Specially made” might very well mean “what’s left at the bottom of the bottles I’ve got behind the bar”, but the drink was quite good with a taste that actually crossed three flavors in each sip: liquorice (score!), something undefined and then something neutral. Personally, I’d prefer a Summer Surprise over the undefined liquorice drink, but then again I might be biased.
By the time we’d finished the drinks, Anniken’s sister and her friend had to run for the ferry back to their peninsula, while the rest of us stayed for another hour, discussing the usual people normally discuss in a bar: Life, the Universe and Everything.
Even though the hunt for the ultimate liquorice drink was somewhat futile, everyone agreed that it had been a good night in good company. It’s certainly a hunt that should be continued at a later time, then with even more hunters. The more the merrier, you know!
I’m not going to bother you with more of the things that happened during the weekend right now those will be tales told some other time. If you read through all this; pat yourself on the back. Good night!