Merry holidays from the DM's Den and from behind this smoking, ashen bar.
2020 has been a doozy, and I'm not sure how many more apocalyptic memes I can circulate before the existential dilemma finally reaps my soul.
So instead, I turn to music and art.
Painting has been happening on a daily basis and I have to say, it is one of the few things that has kept me sane in this chaos. Like taking back the shreds of my being from the claws of a world on fire, and gently sewing them back together, one stroke at a time.
And when I publish an LP; a tiny Digital Album of music I made, inspired by deep campaigns and vibrant adventurers, I take back a few more strands.
And when I mix something and hand it to a friend (even if physically distanced), watch them take a sip, and see that smile creep across their face, I am elevated. To know that I made a difference, even just for a little while. A few more strands are pulled back to my heart.
I enjoy creating things. And though I struggle with the higher nuances in cooking food, the liquid chemistry of a good drink is endlessly energizing to me. There is something special about it.
It is an act of service to another.
To mix a drink for someone involves empathetic listening, mixing with care and intent, and being open to feedback. Shot for shot and sip for sip, every flavor and subtle shift is an opportunity to make someone a little happier. It's a good feeling to know you have someone in your corner that's going to make something special for you, because they give a damn.
So today, in this time of reflection, family, and gratitude, I offer you three "gifts." Drinks with a slight theme, but if the flavor serves it, I'll gladly abandon said theme. Confused? That's okay; imagine how a toddler in the cold desert born of a celestial retcon when dividing by 0 felt when three old guys triangulated his position on their shamanic GPS and decided to throw money, weed, and burial herbs at his feet.
Yeah. You heard me.
The Three Kings
The following drinks are presented as shots and I highly recommend that you imbibe them as such.
When a wound on a tree penetrates through the bark and into the sapwood, the tree secretes a resin. Myrrh gum, like frankincense, is such an artifact. It is yellow at first, but darkens with white streaks as it ages.
Myrrh resin has been used throughout history as a perfume, incense and medicine. Myrrh mixed with posca or wine was common across ancient cultures, for general pleasure and as an analgesic.
When consumed, though, it evokes a musty, smoky flavor and maintains a beautiful amber color. It is these notes that inspire this beautiful shot.
1/2 oz Stella Rosa Platinum Wine
1/2 oz Rye Whiskey
1/4 oz Honey liqueur
1/4 oz Drambuie
+ Wary of Rye, but it makes the shot
+ Blends with honey notes, smoky without choking
+ Platinum is a smooth cloak
+ Really nice finish, smooth
Gold is gold. It's gold.
For this one I chose the complete aesthetic: flavor AND visual. It only took a short tasting to finalize this beauty. Bacardi Gold Rum, Honey Liqueur, and Drambuie form a sweet and savory and smooth potion. And though too much of this would ruin the total, a splash of Gold Tequila makes this something special.
The Gold Recipe
1/2 oz Gold Rum
1/2 oz Honey Liqueur
1/2 oz Drambuie
Splash of Gold Tequila
Notes: Since this is equal parts, you can increase each equally and still get the same effect, though I recommend not exceeding 1/2 oz of the Gold Tequila.
Frankincense, also known as olibanum, is made from the resin of the Boswellia tree. It's supposed to have a woody, spicy smell, and people like to rub it all over themselves in ointments, or make tea with it, or even inhale the stuff.
My first exploration into this was exciting.
Pulling out all my weird nature liqueurs: Lavender, Birch, Rose, Elderflower, Honey.
Initial notes: Rose and Birch go really well together. Lavender is SUPER POWERED - just a 1/4 oz and it will overpower your palette in this mix. The Honey Liqueur is lovely...and has a tendency to be the main thing you taste in this mix, even with only a splash. At the end of it all, the Elderflower gets nearly lost.
So I did more research into the flavor palette when one tastes Frankincense.
A memory of pine.
Creamy and sweet.
I think I might know what to do this time. Prepare thyself.
1 oz Irish Cream
1/2 oz Honey Liqueur
3 dashes Orange Bitters
Splash of Grand Marnier
+ Irish Cream and Honey are AMAZING
+ Seriously, best thing I've had for awhile.
+ Many notes of subtle flavor as it flows (nothing on blast)
+ Honey subtle at the finish
+ ...Still finding notes long after.
In my fantasy restaurant, you'd order this as a sequence of three shots. Myrrh, Gold, Frankincense. With time between to enjoy them. Don't muddy these as full drinks.
See you at the table.
Professional Game Master musician, music teacher, game designer, amateur bartender, and aspiring fiction author.
Honestly, I write what I want when I want. Often monster lore, sometimes miniature showcases, and the occasional movie/show review.