Tjolahej Tjolahoppsan-sa from K-bar in Copenhagen

Tjolahej Tjolahoppsan-sa

As Swedish as it gets

What would a “Swedish” cocktail taste like? Swedish born bar manager at K-bar Helena Johansson had been contemplating this question for a couple of years before she came up with the perfect answer in the form of the K-bar signature “Tjolahej Tjolahoppsan-sa”.

Helena Johansson from K-barHelena remembers picking lingonberries in season as a kid and having them on the table for every meal and her dad had been telling stories about how they had Swedish Flagpunch every Thursday in the army for their weekly pea soup. Those two ingredients had to be combined in what she imagined to be a unique and genuine Swedish cocktail. It wasn’t until they started stocking Hernö Navy Strength gin in K-bar that she found a spirit that would let those ingredients work together in a way that created a greater whole while maintaining a certain Swedish flavor profile.

Tjolahej Tjolahoppsan-sa from K-bar in Copenhagen4 cl Hernö navy strenght gin
3 cl Caloric punch
4 cl lingonberrie juice
1 cl  lime juice
Shake alle ingredients with ice and strain into a rustique wine glass. Garnish with Pippi and thyme.

Tjolahej Tjolahoppsan-sa beautifully combines the dry and tart lingonberries with sweet vanilla and the earthy aromas associated with Swedish forest beds brought forth by the thyme and citrus. The name seemed only too obvious as nothing is more Swedish than this gyppers line from the theme song of Pippi Longstocking.

“I don’t have a specific approach to experimenting with new cocktails. I’m worried that would put limitations on the creative process. Most of my inspiration I get when eating out or having drinks other places and I stumble upon a couple of interesting ingredients to build on.”

Helena grew up in a little town outside of Malmö close to nature with a lot of animals. After high school she started working in Copenhagen and moved there eventually when she got tired of crossing Øresund to go to work. She’s been working at K-bar since 2006 working her way up from waiter to bartender and bar manager.

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Thomas Klem Andersen
I believe that true mastery eventually leads to original creation given the right conditions. I love creative cocktails that push the limits of flavor pairing. But I can't deny I have a personal preference for whisky and love everything that is clear and stirred.