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Aquavit is not known for playing well with others. The Scandinavian liquor is flavored with caraway, anise, and fennel, among other herbs, and tastes a tad medicinal by itself. So Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Clyde Common had his work cut out for him when he was asked to create a drink using the spirit, but as always, he rose to the challenge.
Meet the Norwegian Wood, a Yellow Chartreuse, applejack, aquavit, and bitters concoction that some patrons say is the best the Clyde Commons cocktail whisperer has offered yet.
The concoction brings an herbal and bitter balance of spirits that tastes like the sort of civilized aperitif that previous generations may have sipped. Aquavit adds an almost mineral element to the drink, while the applejack sweetens the deal to blend harmoniously with the woodsy sweetness of the Chartreuse. The honey that Yellow Chartreuse is known for blends in seamlessly, with its herbal, floral side emphasized by the savory herbs of the aquavit.
Think of licking a tree branch that has a little sap dripping off the end, and you've got the general idea. The Norwegian Wood tastes like it should be surrounded by mahogany and old books, or at least festive snacks and quality company. Add both, and you've got yourself a classy evening.