A Whole New World (of Cocktails)
Fandom is a wondrous thing.
Fandom plus alcohol is an even more wondrous thing.
Sure, butterbeer and firewhiskey exist in the wizarding world. Muggle-friendly versions exist as well, for those who want to experience every single aspect Harry’s universe, sans magic or not. Harry Potter-themed cocktails, though, are a whole new world of experience and exploration. Character analyses are a fantastic way at poking through existing written material, discovering details from within the text to create stand-alone character profiles. After all, those profiles are the foundation for self-identifying declarations or head canons and why the entire Potter fandom reacted so positively to someone like Evanna Lynch taking on the role of Luna Lovegood.
So! In the spirit of the holiday season, and with the new year peeking just around the corner, MuggleNet staff members Ashley McCann and Jasmine Lee have rounded up the most intriguing thematic cocktails from the world wide web. They’ve recreated them and dutifully wrote down commentary for those recipes below. Onward to the boozy fun!
ASHLEY: I always wondered what this potion would taste like – would it be strange to say that this actually tasted lucky? This one was my favorite drink, hands down! I could drink this all night. It’s very good if you like sweet drinks. I used ginger ale instead of ginger beer to make this drink gluten free, but it still tasted excellent. It really felt like I was making a potion because the syrup reacted to the carbonation and bubbled up.The only thing I thought it was lacking was a rich golden color, and that was probably due to my substitution.
JASMINE: Oh. My. Dear. Lord. This drink is exactly how I imagined Felix to taste like. Well, apart from the “taste bits of your soulmate’s character” aspect. But that would’ve been weird. And a bit disturbing. Let’s move on. This iteration is seriously bubbly but has the perfect ratio of sweet to bite. I highly recommend using either Barritts Bermuda Ginger Beer or Fever Tree’s Ginger Beer. Additionally, I used brown sugar simple syrup in my drink, and that definitely upped the golden color of the cocktail.
Here’s the recipe to recreate Felix Felicis:
¼ oz. simple syrup (heat equal parts sugar and water until fully dissolved, then cool)
¼ oz. lemon juice
1.5 oz. ginger beer
Champagne or other sparkling wine (prosecco, brut, sparkling cider for the non-alcoholic)
Mix simple syrup and lemon juice in the bottom of a champagne flute. Add ginger beer and top with sparkling wine.
Warning: If you drink too many of these, you might start acting a little weird like Harry did while he was under the influence of Liquid Luck.
Holy. Moly. Ron Weasley, you make for one sexy, strong drink.
The components of this drink are all of my favorite things. Rye whiskey? Check. Sweet vermouth? Check. Campari? HOLY SWEET JESUS, CHECK. (I was on the verge of replacing the campari with either fernet or Luxardo bitters but then decided to buck up, shake my finger at my bank account, and buy the dang thing.)
The Ron tastes like a cross between a negroni and a whiskey smash, and thanks to the campari and sweet vermouth, the drink takes on a nice, dusty, rose color. If you choose any of the alternatives instead of cherry brandy, the Ron will turn even more red and get a bit sweeter.
The Backyard Bartender is responsible for the creation of this ginger drink:
1.5 oz. rye whiskey
¾ oz. cherry brandy (alternatives: grenadine, liquid from a bottle of maraschino cherries, or black cherry, raspberry, or boysenberry syrup or juice. I used raspberry brandy. Because the only good artificial cherry flavor is Starburst’s red candy.)
½ oz. campari
½ oz. sweet vermouth
1 oz. freshly squeezed orange juice
Combine the ingredients in a pint glass full of ice. Stir lovingly for 30 seconds (or more), and then strain into a mason jar. Make sure you give the ice enough time to melt; this one is potent.
This one was rather… unpleasant… in many different ways. The first thing I noticed was that the color, a murky pinkish color, was rather unappetizing. This cocktail was unbearably sour and both looks and tastes like medicine. I didn’t even use as much gin as the recipe called for! I get the reasoning behind the other drinks, but not this one; it just didn’t seem very “Hermione” to me (other than that you may need to have an acquired taste to handle it). (Another MN staffer, Rachael Dechert, agreed, musing that she would’ve expected a Hermione drink to be more classic, like a Gin Rickey.) Adding pineapple juice to the mix makes it a little more tolerable, but this was still my least favorite concoction.
If you’re brave enough, try out this recipe found on Backyard Bartender:
1.5 oz. sloe gin
1 oz. gin
¾ oz. Pama pomegranate liqueur
½ oz. red grapefruit juice
1.5 oz. brut champagne (or prosecco)
Combine the ingredients in a pint glass full of ice. Stir lovingly for 30 seconds (or more), and then strain into a cocktail glass.
I’ve been eagerly looking up recipes that would utilize the Lady Earl Grey gin I’d infused a couple of weeks ago. Imagine my absolute delight when the Backyard Bartender decided on using a tea-infused gin as the base for Neville’s character cocktail.
I upped the Pimm’s to 1.5 ounces instead of 1. Mmmm, yummy. It’s very light; I wonder if it’s because my gin was Lady Earl Grey instead of manly Earl Grey.
1.5 oz. tea-infused gin
1 oz. Pimm’s
¾ oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
¾ oz. simple syrup
Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake and strain into an ice-filled glass.
Dang, Luna, you cray, girl. A mojito with a veritable moonshine kick? YUM. Next time, I think I’m going to scale back the lemon juice to either half or ¾ of an ounce so as to let the mint and moonshine really take center stage.
Click here for the recipe.
8 mint leaves
1.5 oz. unaged corn whiskey (MOONSHINE. It’s moonshine)
1 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
¾ oz. simple syrup
Place the mint and simple syrup in your shaker and muddle. Add the lemon juice and moonshine, fill the shaker with ice, and shake and strain into an ice-filled glass.
Dumbledore’s Lemon Drop
To be honest, this is my go-to drink when I’m out on the town. Both Dumbledore and I have a rather uncommon love for lemon-flavored candies, and I’m sure he would love this drink, too. The strong taste of lemon overpowers any taste of alcohol, making it a smooth drink. The sugar around the rim creates a candy effect. Garnish with a sugar-dipped lemon wedge for extra sweetness! A traditional Lemon Drop cocktail recipe looks something like this:
Sugar for rimming
3 oz. lemon-infused vodka
1 oz. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Rim chilled cocktail glass lightly with lemon juice and sugar. Shake vodka and lemon juice with ice, then strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon wedge.
Snape’s Wit Sharpening/Dulling Potion ← Ashley
Leviosa’s LiveJournal brings this recipe to us and gives the option to create either a sharpening or dulling potion for before and after exams. Well, since I just finished my exams last week, I opted for dulling. Once again, I left out the ginger beer, used ginger ale instead, and added vodka. This was probably the prettiest drink of the bunch; the color was great, and the lime gave a wonderful contrast to the bright yellow liquid. This smelled fantastic and tasted even better—not too sweet but not too citrusy. The lime and pineapple makes an interesting combination that definitely wakes up your senses while at the same time dulling your worries and stress! The recipe to brew this potion is simple:
6 oz. ginger beer
3 oz. pineapple juice
quarter wedge of lime
Fill mug with ice. Pour ginger beer and pineapple juice in mug. Serve with wedge of lime.
To turn this brew into a wit-dulling potion, add 1.5 oz. of vodka
Fred and George Weasley
WOW, this is a strong drink. It smells really good but tastes just awful. Like the Hermione cocktail, this tastes like medicine to me. I got a few other people to taste this one, too, and one person described it as “bad in a really great way.” I guess that’s why it fits with Fred and George—they’re awfully fun. This is the flashiest drink on the list, also very fitting of Fred and George. The pop rocks are such a good idea to add flair, but I’ve got to be honest, I’ve always hated pop rocks (they scare me!) I give this recipe major points for being creative, but the one suggestion I would make is to replace the vodka with strawberry moscato to give it less of a medicinal taste. The original recipe can be found here:
1 oz. vodka
½ oz. Chambord
½ oz. Peach Schnapps
Splash of pineapple juice
Strawberry pop rocks
Fill martini glass with cold water and place in freezer for two minutes to chill.
Pour all ingredients except candy in a shaker with ice.
Rim martini glass with strawberry pop rocks. Pour in contents of shaker.
This is a nice, classic cocktail that screams “regal,” which definitely makes this suited for a Slytherin drink. I really love mint, and I loved this drink; it was very refreshing, and I jump at every chance I get to use some of those mint leaves growing on my kitchen windowsill. However, my opinion may be biased because I was, after all, sorted into Slytherin. The ingredients and directions, found on Little Pink Blog, are very simple:
4 mint leaves
1 oz. rum
2 slices lime
3 tsp sugar
3 oz. champagne
Muddle mint leaves, limes, rum, and sugar in shaker until sugar dissolves
Strain into champagne flute. Add champagne. Garnish with mint
ASHLEY: The only thing I can say about this drink is that it definitely tastes, well… blue. I used a blueberry flavored vodka that was colored for the visual effect. If I were to make this again, I would probably soak the blueberries in vodka beforehand. I left the blueberries intact, just personal preference. Maybe I didn’t appreciate this as much as the other drinks because I’m not a Ravenclaw, but it was still pretty good.
JASMINE: I went with Ashley’s advice and soaked the blueberries with the (plain) vodka. I muddled more blueberries at the bottom of my glass before pouring the tonic water and blueberry-addled vodka on top. It’s still “meh” at best. I actually had the highest hopes for this one (mainly because muddled fruits are my jam), but I’m thinking the bitter tonic water threw something off in this equation. There’s something compelling about this drink, and I definitely would revisit it, with the addition of some sort of syrup or muddled herb or… something.
Taste this one (als0 found on Little Pink Blog) for yourself, and let us know what you think:
1 oz. blueberry vodka
2 oz. tonic water
Muddle 10 blueberries in glass
Add ice, vodka, and tonic water. Top with 4 blueberries
The Spitting Badger
Yes, I realize this drink isn’t technically a House cocktail, but it still has the spirit of the Hufflepuffs via their mascot, so haters to the left, please. This shot is interesting. It’s not quite a Lemon Drop, even though it’s got all the elements there. This was one of the smoother vodka shots I’ve ever thrown back, but I don’t know what the lone sugar cube is doing in this particular drink.
Click here for the original recipe:
½ oz. vodka
½ oz. lemon juice
1 sugar cube
Add sugar to the rim of a shot glass and drop a cube of sugar into the bottom of the glass. Pour vodka and lemon juice into a stainless steel shaker over ice and shake until completely cold. Pour into the prepared glass and serve.
Ooooh, PEOPLE. Tequila and Jasmine are normally mortal enemies, but elderflower liqueur/syrup does a great job at creating a bridge between us. (Elderflower tastes a bit like lychee.) This was the BEST in the lineup. Basically a smooth margarita but effervescently fizzy because of the elderflower and the shaking. I am currently sipping on it as I write and will absolutely revisit this one on a regular basis.
1.5 oz. silver tequila
1.5 oz. St. Germain (substitute: I replaced the St. Germain elderflower liqueur with elderflower syrup.)
1 oz. lemon juice
Add everything to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake (hard!) for a full 20 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass.
*Full disclosure: there are many Harry Potter cocktail and drink recipes floating out there on the Internet. For some reason, however, the majority of them call for some sort of crème de X or cream and absinthe. I’m down with the absinthe but not the crème de whatever. For anyone who is interested, though, the Backyard Bartender has an excellent concoction. Similarly, there was a recipe for a Gryffindor shot, but that coupled jager with peach schnapps – *dry heave*.
And we out! What d’you guys all think? Will you be trying any of the cocktails that we’ve rounded up? Or just live vicariously through the MuggleNet staff?