It may have taken several years, but Erik Odsell delivered in a big way with his sophomore record Human. Released back in June, the album is the follow-up to this 2015 debut solo record Searching For Lost Boys Island. That album garnered some much-deserved attention in his native Sweden, which he is again receiving now since the release of Human.

The new record focuses on the current state of the world, but it is also Odsell’s musings on issues personal to him, such as ageing, the fear of losing those close to you, and what it means to be human in this day and age. Musically, the album is more electronic than its predecessor, but what the two records have in common is their stellar melodies, hooks, and the relatability of the lyrics.

Like many other fine musicians, Odsell is a man who enjoys a drink or two when the time is right. Today, he has been so kind as to offer us his very special Top 10 list, of his best, or most memorable drinking experiences. Make sure you enjoy responsibly!

1. “I’m not really a beer man, but I have to mention the post-show beer. When getting off the stage after a concert, that cold beer in the dressing room is something special. You sit there in the sofa, with your bandmates, discussing what a great show it was (or complain about bad monitor sound (laughs)), but either way that cold beer sure feels good.”

2. “For the last 15 years, I’ve really been into gin more than other spirits. So over the years I’ve tried a lot of different sorts of gin, different sorts of tonic and mixed myself an awful lot of gin drinks. I’ve also come to realize the true joy of mixing a great gin and tonic, put on a record I really love on my vinyl player, and then just enjoy the whole album from start to finish while sipping on a great drink.

“You’ll get a perfect gin and tonic experience if you mix a drink out of Le Tribute Gin and Le Tribute Tonic. Sure, it’s expensive but it’s worth it! Put some juniper berries, some rosé pepper, some pink grape peel, and some fresh rosemary in it and lots of ice. Enjoy it while listening to Elton John’s self-titled album from 1970. A truly great album, a masterpiece, and a great drink. You won’t be disappointed.”

Artwork for the album ‘Human’ by Erik Odsell

3. “As a gin enthusiast I’ve always been a sucker for dry martinis. However, I’ve never really enjoyed the olive so you ought to make it ‘Gibson style’ instead. A favourite of mine is the following:

“Pour as much Dorothy Parker Gin as you like in a shaker with lots of ice. Then pour just a dash (a really, really small dash) of dry vermouth in the shaker also. A lot of martini connoisseurs say that it should be Noilly Prat, but I actually prefer Martini Extra Dry (plus, it’s a lot cheaper, win-win). Shake it until it’s really cold. Serve it in a martini glass with lemon peel and pickled onions. Put your feet up in the sofa and put on some Sinatra, Dean Martin, or Ella Fitzgerald on the vinyl player. For example, Ella’s album Live at Carnegie Hall 1973.

“When I drink Dorothy Parker Gin I always think of the old Dorothy Parker quote: ‘I like to drink a martini. Two at the very most. After three I’m under the table. After four I’m under my host’ (laughs).”

4. “Make a bramble with Swedish Hernö London Dry Gin. You mix 50 ml of gin with 50 ml of lemon juice. Shake it with ice and sugar syrup (or just use icing sugar instead. It works just as fine as sugar syrup). Pour 2.5 ml of Crème de Mûre in a glass with crushed ice and then pour the gin, lemon juice, and the sugar into the glass. Put on a great pop or disco album on the vinyl player and enjoy!”

5. “If you ever travel to the south of Sweden you have to visit my old hometown, Lund. And when in Lund, you have to visit Mat & Destillat. When I lived in Lund, Mat & Destillat was almost like my second living room. My friends Fredrik and Kenneth, behind the bar, are great bartenders (they have both won a lot of awards) and I guarantee they will make you fall in love with new cocktails you didn’t know you liked.”

6. “When you live in the southern part of Sweden, Copenhagen, the capitol of Denmark, is just a short train ride away. Copenhagen is a great city with lots of great restaurants and bars. My favourite one is Ruby. If you’re in Copenhagen, you have to visit this great bar, located in an old apartment, in the very heart of Copenhagen.”

7. “I travel a lot to LA and every time I’m in town, I want to have some drinks at Chateau Marmont’s bar. I’ve always been a sucker for pop, and rock history and I love the vibe at Chateau Marmont.”

Erik Odsell in 2021

8. “And while we’re talking about great drinking experiences in LA, I have to mention going to Rainbow at Sunset Strip. Every time I’ve been there I always feel like I’m born 20 years too late (laughs). However, I have also experienced some pretty wild parties at the Rainbow so I guess some of the magic’s still there (laughs).”

9. “As I’m born in Sweden, you know, close to Finland (laughs), I do enjoy taking a cold bath in the ocean during wintertime, preferably close to a sauna. But to make the experience better (or bearable if you struggle getting into the water) I usually pour myself a homemade ‘Besk’ which is a typical Swedish schnapps made out of hard liquor and wormwood. Drink it ice cold, feel the “warmth” inside your body and then throw yourself into the cold water. It will sure make you feel alive!”

10. “If you have a reason to celebrate champagne is, of course, always a safe bet but let me give you an advice to make it even better. Instead of drinking just champagne, make a French 75. You mix 50 ml of gin with 50 ml of lemon juice. Shake it with ice and sugar syrup (or just use icing sugar instead. It works just as fine as sugar syrup). Pour it into a highball glass and fill it up with champagne. You can’t go wrong from there.”

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