The Red Keep
"The Red Keep has never fallen. It won't fall today." That line always gave me a chuckle, because it was a bit of an ongoing joke during the series Game of Thrones. A character would say something wouldn't happen, but that's exactly what would end up happening. In this particular instance, Cersei Lannister, the reigning Queen, is so blinded by her own arrogance, she can't see the city falling in front of her. It all just reminds me of the past few years, watching a world in denial of reality, while they're being constantly slapped in the face with truth. Maybe these shows aren't as much "fantasy" as we might like to believe.
Hello my thirsty readers, and welcome back once again! It's been awhile since I shared some tasty tipples and tales with you all, so I found a new theme to play around with. If you might recall, early in the pandemic, I posted a Star Wars themed cocktail every Sunday, because I was honestly loosing track of the days at that point, but it helped us escape a world that didn't look so pleasant. There's always something fun and whimsical about theming cocktails on a television show or movies series. You allow yourself to become lost in the reality of that world, rather than your own, and this time is no different.
I have to admit, I'd never watched Game of Thrones during the entire 8 season run of the show. I have a habit of doing this with popular shows. I decide I don't care, and that's the end of the discussion. Although, there was always something intriguing about this one, and people were always recommending that I give it a watch. With the new series, House of the Dragon, premiering, I decided to knuckle-down, and give the entire series a full viewing, before the new one was out. I spend every free moment I had, for about three weeks, binging the entire 8 seasons. When I was finished, I understood the fanatical following, and I was hooked. The way the writers took the book and broke it into episodes, with perhaps the most frustrating ending in television history, made me see what all the hype was about. This show truly deserve its place among the other great television shows among which it's often compared. Long may it reign.
Of all the places in the world of Westeros, I thought a place of great comfort, and great drinking, would be a good place to start on our boozy, medieval adventure. The seat of the Seven Kingdoms, and the residence of the ruling king or queen, is the Red Keep. As the story gods, Aegon the Conquoror built the Red Keep from red stone, to remind the people of the fire he used to roast his enemies. That way, they would always remember the price of defiance. It's a pretty terrifying thing to think about indeed, being burned to death by dragons. I always liked to think of the Red Keep maintaining that lovely red hue, from all of the wine spilling from its windows, during the most rowdy of events.
As Cersei said those bold, foolish words, dragon fire was burning down the castle all around her. That would have been a terrible thing to experience, but you can't help but smile, when someone so arrogant gets what's coming to them. Can you think of anyone today who thought they were above the law, but are now finding out justice comes for us all? Maybe you'd just be happy watching the new series with a drink. I have just the thing for you my friends.
The Red Keep
2oz Bourbon (If you've been reading along for awhile, you know I have affinity for particular brands. I used Wild Turkey Rare Breed, as I felt it called for a nice level of depth.)
.75oz Mulled Red Wine Reductioin
.25oz Maple Syrup
1oz Guava Nectar
1oz Cranberry Juice (Be sure to use 100% cranberry juice for this, not cranberry juice cocktail.)
.75oz Lemon Juice
3 drops Almond Extract
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Shake and strain into a wine glass.
Express and discard a lemon peel.
Mulled Red Wine Reduction
1 cup Merlot
1 cup White Sugar
1 Cinnamon Stick
3 Allspice Berries
3 Orange Peels
In a saucepan, combine all ingredients and allow to simmer until the flavor of the spices is fully incorporated.
Allow to cool, then strain and use.
A few sips will have you feeling like a lord or lady in no time! Well my friends, it's once again time to say goodbye, but I'll be back at it very soon. Until then, enjoy toasting The House of the Dragon, living in reality, loving one another, and above all things, keep shaking!