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15 March 2016 / leggypeggy

Smoked salmon and vodka in a drink?

Mecca Bar in Fairbanks

The long bar with scads of vodka choices—nine flavours of Smirnoff alone

A visit to the Mecca Bar was on our to-do list when we returned to Fairbanks after five nights in the Arctic Circle.

While the bar was across the street from our Fairbanks hotel, we were also ‘introduced’ to it through a documentary we saw on the coach trip north to Coldfoot. That film showed the making of the 800-mile-long trans-Alaska oil pipeline, along with some of the night life the crews enjoyed.

Mecca Bar was the only pub featured so four of us headed there after a trip to the ice sculpture competition (more about that soon).

Mecca Bar in Fairbanks Alaska

No missing the sign at the Mecca Bar

The Mecca Bar was everything we could have hoped for. A friendly and knowledgeable barmaid, a long bar displaying countless varieties of spirits, a pool table, an array of locals and an ambulance pulled up out the front (for someone who’d overdone the booze).

Taylor, the barmaid, filled our orders and stopped for a bit of a chat. We stood for a short time, but soon a couple of patrons offered us bar stools. Once perched, it wasn’t long before I spotted a bottle of smoked salmon flavoured vodka.

Of course, how could  I resist finding out more? Taylor said the vodka didn’t so much taste of smoked salmon, but that there was a distinctive after taste. She also said it was great in a Bloody Mary.

Smoked salmon Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary made with smoked salmon vodka—an Alaskan speciality

Obviously, us being from Australia and me being so intrigued was too much for Taylor’s hospitality, and before long she presented me with a Bloody Mary to try. She even crusted the rim with salt and pepper. What a champ. And what a drink!

If I wasn’t going to be travelling for the next two months, I’d be buying a bottle of this vodka, if for no other reason than to share it with adventuresome friends.

Thanks, Taylor, for such a warm welcome to a pub in Fairbanks and for your kind generosity. And your advice too. There is a slight after taste of smoked salmon.

If you’re ever in Fairbanks, stop by the Mecca Bar on Second Avenue and say hi to Taylor, and be sure to try a Bloody Mary.

P.S. If you’re feeling cold, stop by my cooking blog and read about a Brazilian drink—caipiriniha.

Taylor at the Mecca Bar

Taylor showing off the salmon flavoured vodka at the Mecca Bar


Friends at Mecca Bar

Poor John, me, Milly and Dick at Mecca Bar. We all travelled together in 2014 in Papua New Guinea. Photo by Taylor (thanks Taylor)


Leave a Comment
  1. Sangeeta Pradhan RD, CDE / Mar 15 2016 7:31 pm

    Intriguing! Never heard of anything like this drink, Peggy:)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Joanne T Ferguson / Mar 15 2016 7:35 pm

    Love the novelty factor and in learning something new!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. toutparmoi / Mar 15 2016 7:45 pm

    Sounds like fun! Did you get an after taste of smoked salmon?

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 15 2016 7:47 pm

      Yes, I did. Thanks for the reminder. I need to go back and mention that Taylor was right about the after taste.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. gerard oosterman / Mar 15 2016 8:06 pm

    You will be pleased to know the whole of the ACT is on a cup-o-tea to night. Lights are off, but someone took an extra spoonful of sugar, just as a dare.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Vicki / Mar 15 2016 8:29 pm

    Amazing story. One has to try these local drinks that’s for sure. Half the fun in travelling is eating and drinking like the locals.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 16 2016 3:33 am

      That is so true. I’ve tried a lot of local items here including reindeer sausage.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Midwestern Plant Girl / Mar 15 2016 9:57 pm

    Salmon vodka, huh? Well, not that crazy since folks around here use Clamato Juice (tomato juice w/clam). 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 16 2016 3:34 am

      I’ve heard of Clamato. Guess I’ll have to try it too. 🙂


  7. Maniparna Sengupta Majumder / Mar 15 2016 10:46 pm

    Salmon flavoured vodka! Sounds unique…absolutely new to me… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. pagedogs / Mar 15 2016 11:15 pm

    Alaskans love their smoked salmon. I’m glad that you stopped in at the Mecca. I lived in Fairbanks during the pipeline days and I hope the film you saw gave you some idea of the wildness of Fourth Avenue in those days. It was sheer craziness–nothing like the staid, sleepy downtown now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 16 2016 3:36 am

      Wow, what a wonderful experience you had. We’ve seen three films about the building of the pipeline. They give a sense of the craziness, but I know they go nowhere near conveying the true intensity of those days.


  9. Made in Rome / Mar 16 2016 12:24 am

    Brunch in a glass. Brilliant! I wonder if Alaska exports this to other states?


    • leggypeggy / Mar 16 2016 3:42 am

      Oh gosh, I never thought of brunch in a glass. Maybe I should have one for breakfast! No idea if they export.


  10. spearfruit / Mar 16 2016 12:26 am

    Peggy, sounds like you had a wonderful time! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Worlds Biggest Fridge Magnet / Mar 16 2016 4:02 am

    Nah. Nope. Never. Not on your nellie!
    Smoked Salmon Vodka?
    Oh my word…..

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Carol Ferenc / Mar 16 2016 4:54 am

    This looks and sounds like my kind of bar, Peggy. Glad you’re sampling the local, um, cuisine?


  13. Alexander Lautsyus / Mar 16 2016 5:41 am

    You had nice experience and impressive journey. If you like Bloody Mary you can do it from any kind of vodka. It doesn’t make any difference. But Bloody Mary is not really northern beverage. You have to drink pure vodka with hot food (not spicy but pretty warm). Then you never be cold. Lol…

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 16 2016 12:05 pm

      We have had a wonderful time. Thanks for the tip about having vodka with hot/warm food.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Brian Lageose / Mar 16 2016 2:52 pm

    Glad you’re having a swell time, and I would be all over that drink in a heartbeat I love Bloody Marys and I always try variations when I run across one. Speaking of, were heading to New Orleans in a few days, where one of the German restaurants has a Bloody Mary with a smoked sausage and slice of fried bacon IN the drink. It’s salty and delicious, and you get a snack at the end!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 16 2016 4:03 pm

      Well, have one for me. We went back to the Mecca Bar tonight and I was offered a DuckFart—Kahlua, Baileys and Crown. Nice combo and warming.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Brian Lageose / Mar 16 2016 4:35 pm

        That sounds quite tasty as well. In fact, I think I might have those ingredients somewhere around this house. Excuse me while I slip away and concoct a potion… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Mar 16 2016 5:29 pm

        Enjoy. I hadn’t heard of Crown—a Canadian whiskey. Not sure we get it in Australia.


  15. Liz / Mar 17 2016 6:34 am

    What an exciting and thrilling life. I hope one day I shall travel like you!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Curious to the Max / Mar 17 2016 12:55 pm

    Vodka now explains why some of your northern light photos were out of focus and why you said the lights appeared white to the “naked eye” . .

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Ray / Mar 18 2016 4:46 am

    At first, I was a bit disgusted by the concept of a “smoked salmon vodka.” But, using it as a mix for Bloody Mary makes sense. A Bloody Mary has a bit of a kick to it, anyway, with regular vodka. So, smoked salmon vodka must tone it down a notch I’d imagine. Is this vodka exclusive to Alaska? Or do they import it into Canada, like British Columbia, Yukon or the Northwest Territories? I really hope so!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 18 2016 2:38 pm

      I reckon it’s only use is for a Bloody Mary, but that was a darn good use. 🙂

      Don’t know if it’s available outside Alaska. Let me know if you find it.


  18. Lynz Real Cooking / Mar 18 2016 2:17 pm

    Wow looks like a fun time Peggy!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. highland hind / Mar 20 2016 8:38 am

    Fairbanks here I come!
    I have experienced caipirinha in Brazil but discovered it doesn’t taste as good anywhere else!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 20 2016 8:53 am

      I’ll tell them to save you a seat. And I agree about the caipirinha—not quite the same outside Brazil.


  20. milliethom / Mar 23 2016 2:12 am

    It looks like a great bar in which to unwind at the end of a hectic day of sightseeing. And, oh, that’s some drink, Peggy! I’m not sure about the smoked salmon after taste, mind you. I love salmon … but as a drink? I imagine the salmon itself is sheer perfection, and a Bloody Mary goes down well. I think it’s perhaps one of those things I’d need to try before giving an opinion. I could well be very pleasantly surprised.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Mar 23 2016 2:32 am

      Hi Millie (waving furiously), I confess—I WAS pleasantly surprised.


      • milliethom / Mar 23 2016 8:14 am

        (I’m waving madly back, Peggy.) Sorry for being ‘absent’ for a while. I’ve been trying to get on with my book. I only popped back to do a couple of posts around Mother’s Day and I seem to be still here! Your Alaska posts are great, and I’m turning green.

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Mar 23 2016 2:30 pm

        Thanks so much for stopping by, but get back to your book. I don’t want to be blamed for holding you up. 🙂



  1. Warm hearts re-connect in a cold climate | Where to next?

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