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.