A last gasp for the last skål of the year

An old cocktail gets a new twist—making it the perfect drink to ring in your New Year

Andrew Penn Romine

Askeladden's Last Gasp

Photo: Andrew Penn Romine
Yellow Chartreuse gives Askeladden’s Last Gasp its lovely color—and a bite that compliments the caraway of a Norwegian aquavit.

Most seasonal cocktails are heavy on the holiday spices—that ubiquitous ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg combo. As the New Year’s celebrations approach, it’s far too easy to just reach for the champagne. While all those things have their place in the holiday festivities, I propose a new cocktail for your New Year’s toasts: Askeladden’s Last Gasp.

In Norwegian folklore, the Ashlad (Askeladden) is the perennial heroic underdog, the hearth tender, the youngest brother who always wins when others fail. The Last Word is a venerable pre-Prohibition gin cocktail, rediscovered and popularized in the modern era by bartender Murray Stenson for Zig Zag in Seattle.

Askeladden’s Last Gasp ditches the classic gin for that favored Nordic spirit, aquavit. Aquavit’s signature caraway and dill flavors blend well with the herbaceous bite of Yellow Chartreuse. The lime juice and maraschino are perfect foils for each other and mellow the drink to dangerously quaffable levels.

Serve it up in a chilled cocktail coupe and experience the thrill of an icy adventure through winter woods. Have no fear, Aske­ladden’s Last Gasp will warm you up on the inside soon enough!

Notes: I’m fond of Old Ballard Liquor Company’s signature Riktig Aquavit for this drink, but since the spirit is sadly not being produced anymore, it’s become very difficult to find. The classically Norwegian Linie Aquavit makes a solid substitute, however, so not all is lost. Any aged aquavit will probably be delicious in this—if you use something else, please let The Norwegian American know how it turned out!

While this recipe calls for Yellow Chartreuse, you can also use the green variety for extra pungency.   

Askeladden’s Last Gasp

3⁄4 oz. Norwegian-style aquavit
3⁄4 oz. Yellow Chartreuse
3⁄4 oz. fresh lime juice
3⁄4 oz. maraschino liqueur
sprig of fresh dill (garnish)

Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh dill.

Andrew Penn Romine is a writer and animator living in Seattle. When he’s not wrangling words, superheroes, robots, or dragons, he likes to dabble with craft cocktails. You can find out more at andrewpennromine.com and on Twitter @inkgorilla. 

This article originally appeared in the December 28, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American

The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.