nordic snapper

Mother’s Day — or as most people seem to do — Brunch with Mom Day. I’m a fan. Well, that’s not exactly correct. I’m a fan of my mother, I like breakfast, I enjoy a good buffet, but I’m not the biggest fan of brunch. However, I am a fan of any excuse for morning cocktails (unless you’re in Vegas, then you need no excuse, because Vegas) and Mother’s Day brunch really provides us with the perfect excuse. With that in mind, allow me to introduce you to the Nordic Snapper!


Settle in my friends and listen to a tale of intrigue and mystery! This is a tale of daring do and ne’er-do-wells who don’t settle for the same brunch drink every time they drink for breakfast. Get ready to have your mind blown in the world of morning cocktails and the transition from the Bloody Mary to the Red Snapper and finally to the Nordic Snapper!

Actually — yeah, sorry — it’s really not the most exciting thing in the world. But it does involve lore! And rich people. So there’s that.

black pepper

Deriving historical truths about cocktails is a murky job at best, but it is fun. If we turn back the pages of time to the 1920s, we see young Fernand Petiot at Harry’s New York Bar (in Paris, naturally) inventing the Bloody Mary. Petiot eventually moved to heading the bar at the St. Regis Hotel when Vincent Astor bought the hotel (it’s nice to be loaded) and decided the name “Bloody Mary” was a tad gauche for his fabulously wealthy clientele, so he insisted Petiot change the name to Red Snapper. And voila, the Red Snapper! Except take out the vodka and replace it with gin — by this time, Petiot was in New York and vodka wasn’t easy to come by, while gin was.

That’s an awfully long way to go to say that the Nordic Snapper is just a Red Snapper with aquavit instead of gin. Still though, fun story!

add tomato juicepour cocktail

As it’s a celebration of Mother’s Day, I might as well recount a (slightly unconfirmed, but not less true) story that my mother told me. My bedstemor (grandmother) would hang out drinking aquavit straight, while sitting in her backyard (that’s the 100% true part), and would eat fresh tomatoes when she had a chance (that’s the part I’m sure I’ve heard, but can’t officially confirm). Hence, I know if she was still around, she’d fully approve of the Red Snapper.

Now onto a new brunch cocktail for you, the Nordic Snapper!

Nordic Snapper
Prep time
2 mins
Mix time
2 mins
Total time
4 mins
Recipe type: Drinks
Servings: 1
  • 2 oz. aquavit
  • 2 oz. tomato juice
  • ¼ oz. lemon juice
  • ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • Pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • Lemon wedge
  • Olives
  • Glass type: old fashioned
  1. Add everything except olives and lemon wedge to your shaker with ice.
  2. Shake.
  3. Almost like a Polaroid picture.
  4. With mom.
  5. Finish and put lovingly down to rest.
  6. Like mom did for you.
  7. Add ice to your old-fashioned glass.
  8. Pour amazing cocktail into glass.
  9. Garnish with lemon wedge and olives.
  10. Toast to your mother.
  11. If your mother is like mine, have another.
  12. Then one more.