Norwegian Wood

November 24th, 2010  |  Published in aquavit, brandy, fall, liqueur, recipes, seasonal, thanksgiving  |  7 Comments

The name of this drink is rather apropos, given all the recent kerfluffle over The Beatles’ appearance on iTunes, but it also happens to be a damn tasty cocktail. I am (gasp! shock! horror!) not much of a Beatles fan—which is not to say that I don’t own a few of the later albums—a fact which may upset the creator of this cocktail. Readers who have been around for a while know that Dan and I are personally and professionally fond of Jeff Morgenthaler, who named this drink after his favorite Beatles tune from Rubber Soul.

We were first drawn to the Norwegian Wood when it appeared on Jeff’s site, being as we are big aquavit drinkers. Aquavit, a Scandinavian liqueur flavored with caraway, anise, fennel and spices, can be challenging to mix into a cocktail. We generally drink our aquavit straight, like whiskey, but Jeff managed to pull together a list of diverse ingredients that both temper and enhance the flavors of aquavit for a lovely, delicious fall cocktail that is absolutely divine after dinner. (And look, I even found a brown cocktail with a yellow garnish this time!)

1 oz aquavit
1 oz applejack
¾ oz sweet vermouth
¼ oz yellow Chartreuse
dash Angostura bitters

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass filled with ice and stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, garnish with a lemon twist and serve.

How to describe this… earthy, complex, lightly sweet and surprisingly refreshing. Though this is an entirely spiritous cocktail, the fresh flavors of the aquavit and applejack work to keep this drink very light. It doesn’t taste as though you are imbibing straight liquor, and the bright lemon essence is a lively note. This is not a drink for the faint of heart, though—it has a lot of depth, and those who are looking for a sweet, forgettable drink will not be well pleased to have this drink handed to them. Try this out on guests who enjoy whiskey or brandy; it makes a lovely alternative to an after-dinner snifter.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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  1. Wendy Miller says:

    November 24th, 2010at 4:20 pm(#)

    sounds delish! It’s also the title of a Murakami novel …

  2. Jeffrey Morgenthaler says:

    November 25th, 2010at 9:57 am(#)

    Well hot damn. I gotta say, that looks much more delicious than the ones I make! Love you guys – happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Rick says:

    November 25th, 2010at 11:25 am(#)

    This is easily one of my favorite cocktails Marleigh – I usually drain my Carpano and Krogstad making this each time I manage to find a bottle.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Marleigh says:

    November 25th, 2010at 12:16 pm(#)

    Skål, Wendy!

    Aw, thanks Jeff! Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, and thanks for the tasty cocktail.

    Cheers Rick, and Happy Turkey Day!

  5. DJ HawaiianShirt says:

    November 30th, 2010at 9:44 am(#)

    I’m gonna make this thing tonight.

  6. Marleigh says:

    December 1st, 2010at 12:29 pm(#)

    What’s the verdict, DJ?

  7. DJ HawaiianShirt says:

    December 1st, 2010at 12:37 pm(#)

    Very interesting, though I’m hard pressed to call it one of my favorites, like Rick.

    I was surprised to find that I couldn’t taste the Aquavit at all… instead it combined with the applejack to create a flavor that was almost like bourbon.

    It’s an absolutely fantastic fall/winter drink, and I really like it. Yay Morgenthaler!

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