Sweden Turns Itself Into the World's Largest Open-air Bar

Sweden is taking the idea of locally sourced ingredients to a whole new level, essentially turning itself into the world's largest open-air bar.

Swedish officials have set up 16 socially distanced tables in locations across the country where visitors can forage the surrounding area for ingredients, using those locally sourced finds to mix up truly one-of-a-kind cocktails under the expert guidance of some of the world's top bartenders.

"The country's 100-million-acre pantry of fruit, berries, vegetables, and crystal-clear spring water is open to everyone," Jens Heed said on behalf of Visit Sweden.

A couple of tables have been set up in Swedish Lapland, near spots known for their canoeing, fishing, and forest walking. Another table in western Sweden is sandwiched between two of the country's largest lakes, just a couple of hours by car from Gothenburg. Sweden has what's called "the right of public access," an open invitation for everyone to roam the outdoors as long as they do no damage.

For its latest effort, dubbed the Drinkable Country, Sweden partnered with bars, including Tjoget in Stockholm, to create several recipes inspired by the four seasons. Tables have been strategically placed at locations such as the southernmost beaches and northernmost mountaintops.

Tjoget manager Leo Lahti, described the effort as "a completely new and fascinating way to experience cocktails and to discover the country and its natural environment."

American travelers, however, will have to wait to partake in the fun – at least on the ground in Sweden. Nonessential travel to Sweden from most countries outside the European Union is banned until Aug. 31.

But Swedish officials have shared several of the cocktail recipes they've developed for the program, offering a chance to mix up a refreshing summer concoction wherever you are in the world.

Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. She loves historic plaques, wandering new streets and walking on beaches. Find her on Facebook and Instagram.

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