When I was going to visit a friend in Oslo everyone told me I have to go for a drink at Himkok. Many mentioned that it was on the list of best bars in the world and that they have very unique award-winning cocktails. Being a bit of a home bartender myself, I always like to see what flavors popular bars are fusing, and Himkok definitely delivered. Is Himkok the best cocktail bar in Norway? Here’s my review:
Location: HIMKOK is located at 27 Storgata street, right across from Oslo’s Folk Theater. The area is quite bustling with many restaurants and bars, as it’s also just a short walk from Oslo S (central station) and the financial district known as Barcode. The building itself is unassuming, with just a sign on the window to let you know you’ve arrived.
Normally HIMKOK encompasses multiple floors and a courtyard, where different types of drinks are served. For example the second floor serves ‘taptails’ which are pre-made big batch cocktails and the courtyard focuses on craft beers and ciders. However what you really want is the special cocktails on the first floor.
As you enter you’re warmly greeted by a host who leads you to your table. There are large couches for big parties, as well as smaller tables for one to two people. Immediately after sitting down we were poured ice water and given the menu to peruse.
The menu, in my opinion, is absolutely gorgeous. The first couple pages explain a little about the bar and its ethos, and the next 20 or so pages feature beautiful illustrations of their specialty cocktails. Like with any nice cocktail bar I go to, I usually start by just asking the server or bartender what they recommend. In this case I was told their most popular by far was called Beta.
Beta was their award winning cocktail from 2015 and features their own made vodka, horseradish infused aperol, and ginger, lemon, and carrot juice. As someone who loves horseradish I probably would have gravitated towards this drink even without the recommendation.
The drink arrived and immediately the pungent smell of horseradish wafted over me – most likely from the curl of the peeled root resting atop the drink beside a piece of candied citrus.
One word to describe HIMKOK’s beta? I would say…earthy. There was a bit of brightness from the lemon and sweetness from the carrot juice, but the ginger and horseradish are definitely the star of the show in regards to this drink.
My second drink was simply called Walnut, and it too was fantastic. This bourbon and rye based cocktail also features barrel aged campari and walnut infused sherry. I did notice that the large single ice cube was stamped with the name of the bar which is an attention to detail I’m always happy to see.
Let’s be real here, Norway is not exactly known for being an affordable place. And one of the top bars in the world is definitely not the place to go if you are on a tight budget. However, I did find the prices reasonable for Oslo in general, at about $20 usd per cocktail. This is around what I’d expect to pay at a fancy cocktail bar in Hong Kong or NYC.
In complete honesty I can say that I am a huge fan of HIMKOK in Oslo, Norway. From the atmosphere to the service, and especially the cocktails, I would definitely recommend having a drink or two here during your time in Oslo.
Location: Storgata 27, 0184 Oslo, Norway
Jet Set Together was not paid by HIMKOK bar in Oslo, Norway which was featured in this article, nor were we compensated with free food or drinks for a good review. This is just a bar I happened to drink at and write a review.