Yes, it’s that time year. The festive season in full swing, trees are up, holiday tunes are pumping out in every store, as if on cue and on steroids. If like me, this year got away from you, like a thief in the night, you may be scratching your head. Is there a conspiracy theory nobody told me about? Is the moon secretly orbiting the earth much faster?
Life is coming at us full force, in every direction. Whilst we can’t control the speed at which this happens, we can appreciate this time of year and be thankful that we are alive, healthy and celebrate life. Revel in the Moment is my mantra!
So to help you celebrate this time of overindulgence and making merry, here are 3 seasonal Game of Thrones inspired Winter cocktails sure to keep your bones and heart warmed up over the winter months.
THE WHITE WALKER
Characteristics: chilled, sinfully decadent, wonderfully sweet and creamy
Medicinal benefits: nutmeg keeps your brain sharp, cinnamon lowers blood sugar
Tip Use Agua faba a starch syrup made from garbanzo beans to make this vegan-friendly
This drink is a rift on Egg Nog, a firm favorite amongst the Brits. It was enjoyed by Aristocracy during medieval times as a drink of the wealthy due to the expensive alcohol ingredients. Eggnog is based on a ‘posset’ which was a traditionally a hot drink made of spiced milk and often egg curdled with Sherry, Madeira wine or ale. It was popular during the winter months, as a cold and flu remedy. Eggnog contains cinnamon or nutmeg. Both have health benefits. Nutmeg is made from the seed of the fragrant nutmeg (Meristic fragrant) tree. The spice has a distinctive pungent fragrance and a warm slightly sweet taste. It contains natural organic compounds called myristicin and macelignan, which is known to shield your brain against degenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s. No wonder the White Walkers always appear ultra poised and focused. Egg nog also contains cinnamon which can lower blood sugar levels and reduce heart disease risk factors though, I don’t think the White Walkers need to worry about this, seeing as they don’t seem to have a heart. I like to use Cognac as its more flavourful in my opinion standing up to the sweetness of the drink, although dark rum is also an option.
White walkers were born of powerful untested magic, originally from Essos they were created to protect the Children of the forest. I like to think, presumably of noble blood. There is something sinfully wicked about those tall, mean looking beasts and the drink is deliciously decadent due to its creamy nature. I can imagine the night king and his warriors sipping one of these drinks, triumphantly after the battle.
2 oz. Cognac
2 drops of Vanilla extract
1 oz. almond milk
grated nutmeg and cinnamon
2 drops of orange blossom water
2 oz. cream
1 oz. simple
Shake and strain into a coffee mug. Grated nutmeg
How to make it
Combine milk, cloves, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and cinnamon in a saucepan, and heat over lowest setting for 5 minutes. Slowly bring milk mixture to a boil.
In a large bowl, combine egg yolks and sugar. Whisk together until fluffy. …
Stir in Cognac, cream, 2 teaspoon vanilla, and cinnamon nutmeg. Refrigerate overnight before serving.
MELISANDRE THE RED WOMAN
Characteristics: sexy, tart, bitter & spicy
Medicinal Benefits: Pomegranate is full of powerful antioxidant and lowers cholesterol
Garnish: Jalapeno pepper
Tip: Pomegranate seeds can be frozen to make a cool garnish.
This seasonal Pomegranate Martini is an ode to Melisandre, often referred to as the Red Woman. She is the Red Priestess in the religion of R’hllor, the Lord of Light, and a close counselor to Stannis Baratheon in his campaign to take the Iron Throne. This drink is dark, mysterious and sexy just like her. There is much dispute over where and who invented the Martini but it’s safe to say the drink was invented in the middle to late nineteenth century. Gin originated in the Middle Ages and the drink has was originally considered more of a herbal medicine It was developed based on the older Flemish liquor, jenever which is derived from Juniper Berries. Gin became popular in London when William of Orange, leader of the Dutch Republic, occupied the English, Scottish, and Irish thrones with his wife Mary.
Pomegranates ruby-colored seeds are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that can help treat heart conditions like high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Studies show that drinking pomegranate juice can reduce the build-up of fatty deposits in arteries also. No wonder Melisandre looks so sultry and youthful when she unveils her red cape. I can picture Melisandre enjoying this martini, before retiring for the night, plotting on her next bout of mischief and witchery.
2 oz. Gin
1 oz. pomegranate juice
6 drops of burlesque bitters
3/4 oz. simple syrup
3 small sliced jalapenos,
3/4 oz. lemon
Combine ingredients, Shake & strain into Martini glass. Top w sliced jalapenos
Dragon Glass Cuckoo
Characteristics: bold, tart, bitter & citrus Medicinal Benefits: Persimmons are known to have antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties
Sage is good for digestion and stomach pain
Garnish: Sage Leaf
Tip: Smack the sage to release the oils into the drink
The small folk in Game of Thrones like to say that dragon glass is made by dragons, while Masters say it comes from the fires of the earth. Ideally, this drink should be served in a volcanic glass, where dragon glass is supposedly from.
To create a smoky earthy flavor for the dragons, I used Tres Papalote Mezcal /which is made from the heart of the agave plant, called the piña, much the same way it was 200 years ago. Mezcal gets its smoky flavor during the production process. The hearts of the agave plants, piñas, are cooked in pits in the ground. The cooked agave is then crushed, combined with water, and allowed to ferment.
The Mezcal holds up to the bold exotic persimmons, also referred to as the ‘The Fruit of the Gods”. This winter fruit is native to China, according to myth so were dragons.Persimmons resemble an unripe tomato but light orange in color. They are also common in Japan and were introduced the US in 1856. Low in calories and fats, this fruit contains all kinds of medicinal benefits packed inside them, including their ability to improve eye health, reduce signs of aging, prevent various types of cancer, and take care of your skin.
So when you are next feeling overwhelmed with Christmas shopping lists, cooking and finding balance in your life, remember to take a moment to reflect and pause with a cocktail in hand. These three cocktails will get you through the winter season and are a sure way to impress your dinner guests
Cheers Nandini Natasha Austin