Skip to main content

Forget USA: Cheer for the Other Red, White, and Blue at the 2018 World Cup

iceland versus peru soccer
Hj’u009artur Hermannsson (Iceland) and Miguel Trauco (Peru) during an International Friendly match at Red Bull Arena on March 27, 2018 in Harrison, New Jersey. Steven Ryan/Getty Images

If you’re an American and you follow soccer, it was probably heart-breaking to see the U.S. Men’s National Team not qualify for the World Cup this year. No matter how bad the team might be, there was always hope that a miracle would happen. This World Cup, there will be no American miracles.

There is, however, an opportunity to still cheer for the red, white, and blue when the World Cup rolls around this summer. Better yet, it’s an underdog story — and who doesn’t love one of those?

The underdog in question: Iceland.

Yes, the island nation of just over 334,000 people is on its way to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and one of its most famous exports (after Björk, naturally), Reyka Vodka, wants you to cheer for Iceland’s flag colors of red, white, and blue since you can’t cheer on the U.S. this time around.

Starting April 18, Reyka Vodka (which is made in Iceland from glacial spring water, lava rock filtration, geo-thermal energy, and distiller a rare Carter-Head Still) will start selling a new line of “Go Iceland” gear for all fans preparing for the upcoming games, featuring everything from shirts and sweatshirts to the necessary-for-soccer scarf to koozies, flags, and bumper stickers. (You can check out some of our favorites above, or peep the full collection here.)

“Games are always more fun when sharing the experience with friends and fans, and rooting for one’s favorite team,” said Trevor Schneider, ambassador for Reyka Vodka. “Just because the U.S. team is not participating in the big game doesn’t mean those fans should be benched and miss out on the fun.”

Know nothing about the Icelandic national soccer team? Don’t worry, most people probably know nothing, as this is the team’s first World Cup appearance. We do think you’ve probably seen this clip of their announcer losing his damn mind during the win against Austria in 2016, though:

Soccer Commentator Goes Nuts After Iceland Win

If that doesn’t do it for you, check out their Viking chant. If it doesn’t get you pumped up, nothing will.

Iceland performs ultimate 'Viking war chant', throws epic homecoming party for Euro 2016 team

For those wanting to be super fans: Tthe colors of the Icelandic flag, while the same as ours and other countries around the world, stand for very different things. The red represents the fire of volcanoes, the white represents the snow and ice, and the blue the Atlantic Ocean which surrounds the island nation.

Sam Slaughter
Sam Slaughter was the Food and Drink Editor for The Manual. Born and raised in New Jersey, he’s called the South home for…
The 19 best frozen drinks for impending heat waves
The heat is coming, are you ready? You will be with these 19 delicious frozen cocktail recipes
A toast with two Sure Sure cocktails

A good frozen drink is bliss served cold. From the snow cones and ICEEs of youth to the frigid cocktails of adulthood, these beverages serve a couple of major purposes. One, they take the sting out of a scalding day. Two, at least if you're of age, they add a bit of playfulness to the cocktail circuit, not to mention a welcome buzz.
What is the secret to a good frozen drink?
For the record, you can make just about any drink into a frozen cocktail. You simply need good crushed ice (made at home or procured from a store — or even a fast food joint like Sonic) and, oftentimes, a little more sweetness to balance out the added water content. Remember, the ice is going to melt, meaning dilution will ensue.

Texture is another issue, and the smoothest drinks are made by way of a good blender. Make sure you have a solid model and start on a lower setting to begin with. You can always blend more, but once you've blended too much, you're out of luck and missed your chance at that snow-like consistency.

Read more
7 delicious whiskey mixers that aren’t Coke
Jack and Coke is a classic, but sometimes you want to mix it up a little
Whiskey being poured into a glass.

We all love a Jack and Coke. Of course, we do. It's a classic cocktail staple, and that's a beautiful thing. But some days, we're craving something different. Something out of the ordinary. Some days, we seek the bar stool less traveled, if you will.

Before you roll your eyes and think that there's some new trendy drink mixer on the market made of some magical organic fruit no one has ever heard of, don't worry. Most of these whiskey mixers are refrigerator staples you probably already have. While you should pour most whiskeys into a glass and sip them neat or on the rocks, a nice and simple cocktail with a handy mixer can be just as tasty. So grab some whiskey, your favorite whiskey glass (rocks or highball glass), and one of these best whiskey mixers.

Read more
A guide to the many gems of Santa Barbara wine country
Want to check out one of the most exciting American wine scenes? Go to Santa Barbara
Brewer-Clifton vineyard view.

California has it good. From pristine coastlines and great weather to remarkable wine regions, it's hard not to love the place. Santa Barbara in particular touts all of the above and is, among other things, one of the most buzzed-about American wine areas at the moment.

It's home to great winemakers and bottles that won't break the bank. The scenery is stunning and it's all headquartered around a couple of big cities. That means you can taste by day and explore town by night.

Read more