Himkok translates to ‘homecooked’ – and that says a lot about what happens here. Everything that can be made at Erk Potur’s Oslo bar pretty much is developed onsite. In fact, the first thing you notice when you enter the main bar is the distillery which pumps gin, aquavit and vodka into taps that form the centrepiece of the back bar. Bar manager Maroš Dzurus’s cocktail list is a showpiece for Norwegian culture and its flavours, with Himkok working seasonally with local producers. Expect to see aquavit maturing in barrels at the bar, house-frozen ice and bank on tasting cocktails with local ingredients like sea buckthorn and cloudberries. Though of all the wonderous mixes, perhaps the Himkok classic, Birch, is the must-try – it’s the bar’s Dry Martini twist, with house-made Old Tom Gin, sweetened with meadowsweet and birch sap.
But Himkok is not just a smart speakeasy-esque bar with stills. There is so much more. Out the back is a more casual space that focuses on local ciders and beers and upstairs is a third bar which serves classic cocktails on draft – a barbershop completes the package. This year, thanks to a 33-position rise up the ranking, Himkok is given the Nikka Highest Climber Award 2023.