AUDJORUNN'S COASTAL CONCOCTIONSAudjorunn (pronounced Ode-YOU-ren) Bibkestrand has been a bartender in Norway for 32 years."Americans call me Audrey," she says, and then erupts with her signature laugh which can be heard at either end of the ship. "I LOVE it when they do that!"
She single-handedly runs the midships bar Stefstarden on deck 7 of the M.V. Finnmarken, one of two new Millenium ships in the Norwegian Coastal Voyages fleet. From two p.m. to midnight, every day, for 22 days, Audjorunn is at hand to whip up exotic concoctions, schmooze with the guests, and make new friends. Then she is off for 22 days, then on again to reclaim her domain.
She's from Tromsø in the north of Norway, but currently lives in Narvik with her husband, a pastor.
"When he retires," she says, "we will sell the house and move back to Tromsø. I miss it. My family is there."
Audjorunn has worked for Norwegian Coastal Voyages for 12 years; she has been put on the newest ships each time one is launched. Several of her cocktail recipes are featured in the bar menus throughout M.V. Finnmarken.
"I use akevit a lot," she says, "to give a Norwegian flavor to my recipes. I never drink them myself, though." And then that laugh, again.
Watching her work is like having a ringside seat as a frenzied artist creates a masterpiece. Not a step is wasted, but she is a kaliedescope of movement and grace: Grab, twirl, grab, slice, twirl, pour, blend. Voilà, an Audjorunn specialty.
Here are the recipes for four of her favorite creations:
Kystopplevelse (Coastal Experience)
Cruice (created for the maiden voyage of M.V. Finnmarken)
Norwegian Coastal Voyages
The Millenium Ships
Durant Imboden's Norway Tourist Information