Another unusual drink, this one somewhat simpler in construction.
1 1/2 oz aquavit (I like North Shore's very interesting, domestically made rendition)
1 1/2 oz Cherry Heering (really the only cherry liqueur that works for this, unless you make your own at home)
3/4 oz Cynar (bizarre, artichoke-y goodness)
Shake lightly and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange wheel, brandied cherry, or old skull. Gaze deeply and solemnly into the glass before knocking back.
It took a couple days for this one to percolate, but now the name seems perfectly obvious. Both aquavit and Heering are traditionally Danish and fit for a prince (Heering was an official purveyor to the Royal Danish Court). The entire thing is rather dark, somewhat bitter, lightly shaken, and highly profound--there's a lot of flavor to digest here.
I'm rather proud to call this one original, if a bit weird. When I shared this recipe with one of my bartending mentors and friends, his immediate reaction was "Wow, that might be a bit too strange for me." Take that as you will. I'm not saying it's for everybody, I'm just saying it merits a try if you happen to have these ingredients on hand.