This month I'll share with you something I always keep in stock for myself.
As you get into this hobby, you'll undoubtedly try a cornucopia of unanticipated flavors. Some will rest better than others, populating your ever-expanding web of molecular gastronomy and poor life decisions.
From these experiences, we settle on a few simple truths:
1. Campari is a waste of time and ruins almost every drink it's used in, even the ones where it's supposed to be the star. Like a drunk Aunt that just can't seem to get past the idea that men can paint their nails and still bench 250.
2. Bad Irish Whiskey is basically dirty water.
3. People have too many opinions about wine, and sommeliers are guessers with better guesses than you.
4. Stella Rosa may be carbonated, but it's tastier and cheaper than your 20-year old vintage mahogany aged piss.
5. Midori ruined my childhood.
6. Fireball is better than you remember. ...You're still drinking antifreeze, though.
7. Disaronno is the king's amaretto.
8. Jose Cuervo is garbage, liquid and business.
9. The existential dilemma of watching your hair fall out while every other member of your family rocks a full fop is a fate worse than death.
10. Viking Blod is a damn fine mead.
For those uninitiated, Mead is an ancient drink derived from blending raw honey and water and yeast. Sometimes you warm the water and mix in the honey, sometimes you do it with room temp water and honey and a jug and a little dance for arm day, but the mixing is common. The mixture is called a Must, and additional ingredients have been introduced over the ages. Energizers and yeast nutrients, cinnamon sticks and diced grapes, dried orange peels and black tea.
Those who follow me in other venues know my own process in this old world, and I can tell you that this can be both a precise art and a crime of passion; my tastiest recipes and most refined flavors came from the most basic places - the more you add to these ideas, the more opportunity for it all to go horribly wrong. 1/2 a pound too much honey, one too many cinnamon sticks, a must without diced grapes, or a bag of the maligned Mangrove Mead yeast, and the only thing to possibly save this honey wine is a cool, dry dungeon and TIME.
Viking Blod is everything I want out of a mead.
It is warm in color and palette, and you can taste the fine honey notes. They percolate at the beginning, middle, and end, and there is a subtle "wine" taste. That latter normally wouldn't be my jam, but everything else is so good that I don't care. In fact, after a glass or two, I don't care about much.
This stuff is strong. Clocking in at a whopping 19% (38 proof) per glass... This isn't your momma's wine. I appreciate a concentrated burst of efficiency. If I want a tasty buzz while I sip, and I don't want to down a bunch of hard stuff, I can trust that a full wine glass of this and I'll be set. Two in and I'm happily done; warm and tingly on the couch laughing at dumb anime and catching only snippets of Geralt's lines (god bless you, Henry Cavill). Replace your dessert with this and you'll be dandy.
If you're looking for this bottle of concentrated hopes and dreams, you can find it at more and more local wineries and liquor stores, and it ain't even that expensive!
...that's it. It's good. Good day.
Professional Game Master musician, music teacher, game designer, amateur bartender, and aspiring fiction author.
1st Saturday: Lore Drop
2nd Saturday: Monster
3rd Saturday: GM's Corner
4th Saturday: REST DAY