Olssøn BarbieriOB

Himkok

Himkok is nothing less than the world’s most sustainable bar. Located in the heart of Oslo, it's also the capital's only bar-distillery, producing all their spirits in-house with a zero-waste philosophy. They produce more than 80% of the spirit they serve at the bar and specialise in cocktails that are inspired by Norwegian ingredients and culture.

We have collaborated with the Himkok team to develop their products with a customised bottle that reflects their empirical and creative counter-culture. Rated on the top 50 list of best bars worldwide for the 3rd year, their spirits are in high demand all around the world. The goal was to make the bottle feel like an extension of the bar itself, promote the collaborative spirit of Himkok and allows for line-extensions.

Himkok is Norwegian for 'moonshine' and is a generic term for small scale distilled alcoholic beverages made from indigenous ingredients reflecting the customs, tastes and raw materials available in each region.

“Something local” is also a Norwegian term for moonshine signifying another aspect of Himkok while speaking directly to the fact that the products are distilled with local botanicals. This phrase represents a canvas for the inspiration behind each product, which can be literal to the content, but also explore different aspect of Norwegian culture.

Himkok is located in Storgata 27, Oslo. In the late 1800s the building was an industrial warehouse for pharmacy appliances. The link to the pharmacy (also a big part of the cocktail history itself) is apparent in both the white lab coats worn by the bartenders and in their logo. The references to late 19th century apothecary bottles is coherent with the bar and its identity, paying homage to the building and its nature where old traditions are mixed with new technology making past and present coexist. 

Apothecary/Chemistry bottles

"Shop furniture" was the name for bottles which were produced by many glassmakers for use by druggists and drugstores as bulk containers to dispense bulk herbs, powders, liquids, and many other chemical and medicinal products. Used as early as the late 18th century.

These glass containers were permanently labeled by silk screening, gold foil elements and often used Latin (or Latinized) abbreviations making them hard to understand.

The labels were placed in a recessed area of the bottle with a thin covering of glass placed over the label. This type of labeling first began in about 1862 when it was patented by William Walton of Newark. The indentation and the glass label covering greatly enhanced the longevity of the label and is referred to as a "label-under-glass." Because of their durability, and because they were reused , many have survived.

Particular attention was put in the choice of materials, weight and production techniques to create a product in line with Himkok’s sustainability goals. The cork is in eco polymer and untreated beech wood engraved on the sides, sealed with a paper label with 3 different recipes. Spray coating and silkscreen are made with organic ink, allowing the bottle to be recycled as is.

Combined with a different bottle colour and the timeless aesthetic of apothecary bottles, the illustration provides a constantly evolving storytelling portraying different moods and categories and elevates Himkok to its authoritative position as a bar and distillery forging its own path. The Himkok logo is embossed on the shoulder, together with the address at the bottom. An additional area is embossed for the silkscreened label. The simplicity of the label signals a staple product.

The bottle is tall and slim, carrying a sense of pride and elegance. The proportions makes the bottle perfect for mixing, and it only weighs a little over 650 grams (spirit bottles often weight from 750g to 950g). Because of legal limitations we couldn't claim the weight of the glass bottle alone, so instead we embossed the full bottle weight. This is an aspect overlooked by the industry that tend to use heavier bottles to communicate quality.

The first product is a Blank Aquavit. The snake play an important role in both the identity of Himkok and the profile of the product. The “moonshine bite” take the shape of the Huggorm (Vipera Berus) – the only Norwegian venomous snake. Additionally the snake has a rich symbology and mythology that connects medicine, alchemy, eternity, wisdom and purity.

Snake symbology

The snake can symbolize eternity and continual renewal of life. The snake’s venom is associated with the chemicals of plants that have the power to either heal, poison or provide expanded consciousness through divine intoxication. Because of its herbal knowledge the snake was often considered one of the wisest animals, being (close to the) divine.

The wings are used to mark progress or advancement of an alchemical solution toward perfection. Crowns mark the final stage of a spirit or solution: perfection, completion, ascension.

In alchemy the snake is also interpreted as Mercury ( = spirit), and then the symbol can suggest that the final “rendering” of the spirit, by death or enlightenment, will produce the pure, perfected, incorruptible spirit ( = the standard promise of the philosopher’s stone).

Painting top left: "Adam and Eve" (1628) by Peter Paul Rubens

2020
Stavanger Ysteri
The cheese maker that made it to Maaemo
2020
Ambijus
The Lab is our terroir. A range of alcohol-free wine alternatives.
2019–
Rekedal Pølsefabrikk
Traditional, family driven sausage factory in Follebu
2019–
Nykr
Handmade and ecological skincare made by Cecilie F. Egeberg
2019–
Himkok
Oslo is the home of the world's most sustainable bar
2019–
CF18 Chocolatier
A Norwegian engineer-turned-chocolatier
2019
Gullmunn Spritfabrikk
The creation of Marthe Bøhn, pioneering in a male-dominated business
2018–
Holmen Crisp
Bringing back the joy of baking to a gluten-free living
2018–
"Du, jeg, og Erik"
A naked and vulnerable first novel by the photographer Morten Andenæs
2018
Tales of (33cl)
These are the tales of Vodka, Gin and Rum
2018
Pins
A selection of our projects made into pins
2018
Oslo Tre
Good and honest buildings sustainably produced in wood
2018
Sepoy & Co
Indian tonic, made in India, by Indians
2018
Tales of (70cl)
A captain, a barman, a mule and two lucky friends
2017
Gilde Juleaquavit
Celebrating 30 years and giving honour to a master distiller
2017
Snåsa Water
Creating a contemporary vessel for the most humble of all drinks
2017
Løiten Aquavit
It all started when small farm distilleries around Oslo got together
2017
Babylife
Ecological mother & baby products from Norway
2017
Hellstrøm Sommer
Medicinal plants are at their strongest if collected on Midsummer night
2016–
Backe i Grensen
The last standing family-owned department store in Oslo
2016
Malbrum Parfums
Norwegian parfumes by Kristian Hilberg and nose Delphine Thierry
2016
Balholm Handverkcider
Craft cider from deep inside the Sognefjord
2016
Balholm Epledram 6666
The story of the gardener and his 6666 apple trees
2016
Balholm Fruktvin
The Medieval Scandinavian wine was made of fruit
2015
Lysholm No 52
After 52 trials of the recipe, distiller Ivan Abrahamsen was satisfied
2015
Cantina Zaccagnini
In Norway, this is called the "Pinnevin" – the 'stick wine'
2015
Territoriet Winebar
An unpretentious wine bar with serious wines in the center of Oslo
2015
Hellstrøm Gløgg
A traditional Scandinavian winter beverage of warm wine with an infusion of spices
2014
Karin+Sondre=Sant
When you find the other half - a wedding invitation
2014
Fiin Gammel Portviin
In 1923 a deal with Portugal ensured port wine to Norwegians in exchange for cod
2014
Hellstrøm Juleaquavit
Recovering pagan agricultural symbols for the spirit of Christmas
2013
Pietro di Campo
A range of wines inspired by Italian gestures
2013
Ferdinando Principiano
One of the first natural wines in Norway
2013
Bamsrudlåven Gårdsis
Mysen is famous for Jan Garbarek – and now ice cream
2013
Bodega La Serrana
A rural organic wine from Bierzo
2012
Cuvée S
Shakespeare, Sonia Delaunay and concrete poetry in a bottle
2012
Animasjonsdepartementet
Oslo-based production studio doing animations, films and installations
2012
Alberto Fenocchio
Creating a sense of place through local decorated ceramics
2012
Hellstrøm Aquavit
A Michelin starred Chef and his Aquavit - redefining a category language
2012
Villa Cafaggio
Pioneering the use of premium Italian papers to elevate wines in BIB