Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I want to preface this by saying I’m not at all much of a drinker– and am also one of those people who celebrates today for Irish heritage and not so much for the idea of getting drunk. That said. We all love to get at least a little lit for St. Patrick’s Day, right? 🙂
My friend, Maddy, a fellow Arthurian fan (follow her on Instagram at @maddytamms!) has a much broader knowledge of cocktails than I do. So the two of us got rather tipsy on champagne one night and had a BLAST coming up with some fun Arthurian character-themed drinks to enjoy on everyone’s favorite drinking day! Now these drinks aren’t necessarily Irish, nor are they medieval. If you really want to enjoy some drinks Arthurian-style, you might wanna stop by your nearest pub and enjoy some nice, cold ale. But if you’re looking for something a little more creative that you can make at home for friends, here are some fun recipe ideas!
King Arthur: Hot Toddy
Let’s start with our High King, yeah? He’s a man of the winter and would enjoy something that warms the body after a long battle, or even just a long day. Seeing as it’s still quite cold in many areas this March, brew yourself a hot toddy to warm up! It’s such a simple drink: all you need is whisky, hot water, lemon and honey. Just boil the water, add the whisky (you can get your Irish touch in, after all), and add lemon and honey to taste. But if you wanna change it up a bit, here’s a recipe with a more flavorful twist!
- ½ cup boiling water
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 4 tablespoons bourbon
- 2 to 3 drops aromatic bitters
- 2 to 3 teaspoons honey
- 1 tsp whole cloves optional for garnish
- 1 slice lemon optional
- 1 cinnamon stick optional
- 1 star anise optional
- Pour ½ cup of boiling water into a mug.
- Add lemon juice, bourbon, bitters, and honey into the ½ cup of water. Stir until honey is dissolved.
- Poke whole cloves into the peel of a thick slice of lemon. Drop lemon slice into the mug.
- Add a cinnamon stick and/or star anise for garnish. Done and done!
Note from recipe: Glass mugs are a beautiful way to show off the beautiful amber color of this drink, but regular mugs work just as well (and add more of a rustic/medieval feel, especially if you’ve got any sort of Celtic-style mug.)
Queen Guinevere: Rosé, Gin & Pink Peppercorn Cocktail
We might as well name this “The Guinevere”, right? It just sounds like her. While the essence of our High Queen could easily be found in a simple, elegant glass of champagne, I think this drink really highlights the strength and complexity in her. Grab a pretty coupe glass and let’s get to brewing!
For the pink peppercorn syrup:
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons pink peppercorns (you can buy them online or at your nearest Whole Foods)
For the cocktail:
- 24 ounces rosé wine (the recipe suggests Bridge Lane)
- 12 ounces gin (the recipe suggests the Botanist)
- 24 ounces white grape juice
- 3 ounces cranberry liqueur (the recipe suggests Leopold Bros.)
- 3 ounces pink peppercorn syrup (recipe below)
- 12 ounces chilled tonic, to taste (the recipe suggests Fever Tree)
- Edible rose for garnish (you can use other edible flowers if you prefer; I just love the idea of a rose for Guinevere ❤ )
For the peppercorn syrup:
- In a small saucepan, combine the cane sugar, water, and pink peppercorns. Bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat and then lower the heat to a slow simmer, until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, steep for 20 minutes, discard solids, and let cool completely.
- In a large pitcher or punch bowl, combine the rosé, gin, white grape juice, cranberry liqueur, and pink peppercorn syrup. Stir until incorporated and chill in the refrigerator until you’re ready to enjoy. You can make this portion of the cocktail a day ahead and store it in the refrigerator; just give the mixture a good stir before serving.
For the cocktail:
- When you’re ready to serve the cocktail, fill your pitcher or punch bowl with ice, and add the chilled cocktail mixture. Quickly top with the tonic water, taste for balance, and give the mixture a gentle stir. Prep individual cocktail glasses and place one edible rose in each.
Note from the recipe: Leopold Bros. New England Tart Cranberry liqueur might be tough to find, but like their Rocky Mountain Blackberry liqueur, it’s worth it if you can score some. You can substitute Chambord black raspberry liqueur, but the flavor profile of the cocktail will shift slightly sweeter.
Sir Lancelot: Kir Mead Cocktail
Our French knight, the brave and charming Sir Lancelot, would enjoy something reminiscent of home. The Kir, a traditional French cocktail of white wine and créme de cassis (blackcurrant liqueur), sounds delish. But we can put a medieval spin on it and swap the white wine for mead! I think he’d enjoy sipping on this refined treat after a long day out in the jousting field.
- 6 ounces chilled dry mead (the recipe suggests Maine HoneyMaker Dry Mead but my personal favorite is either Carroll’s Mead or Bunratty Irish Mead.)
- 1 ounce crème de cassis
Just pour the mead into a wine glass and add crème de cassis. Et viola! Enjoy a little piece of history and French culture.
Morgan le Fey: Black Widow Martini
Our favorite dark sorceress of the British Isles deserves a drink that encompasses her great power (and often dark magic.) This devilish martini does exactly that. A typical Black Widow is made with black rum and crème de cacao– but we found a recipe with blackcurrant liqueur that’s a little more creative and much more suitable for Morgan!
- 2 ounces vodka
- 3 ounces crème de cassis
- 1 ounce kahlua
- 1/2 teaspoon activated charcoal: A fine odorless and tasteless powder made from selected natural hardwood trees that have been exposed to very high temperatures in an airless environment. It’s pure carbon specially processed to make it highly absorbent of particles and gases in the body’s digestive system. Basically, it gives the cocktail the deep black color as well as helps you detoxify. You can buy your activated charcoal on Amazon.
- 1 ounce ginger beer: Just a splash gives the cocktail a tiny sparkle and extra sweet taste.
- Blackberries or apple slices for garnish
- Shake: Pour the vodka, cream de cassis, activated charcoal, and Kahlua into a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for 1 minute and strain into a martini glass.
- Garnish: Splash the top of the cocktail with ginger beer and garnish with blackberries. (You can also garnish with apple to give Avalon vibes and add flavor!)
Sir Gawain: Absinthe or Emerald Isle Cocktail
That’s it. Just absinthe. Its eerie green hue makes for a perfect representation of the Green Knight, and Gawain would have probably craved something like this after his Green Knight quest. Said to give hallucinatory affects that can often be pleasurable, absinthe with a cube or two of brown sugar might be just what you need if you’re on a trying quest of your own this month. Maybe you’ll even see the Green Faerie!
- 2 ounces absinthe herbal liqueur
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 2-4 ounces water
- Pour 3/4 of a full shot of absinthe in a sundae glass.
- Put a brown sugar cube on a spoon with holes in it and rest it on the rim of the sundae glass.
- Pour the remaining 1/4 of the shot of absinthe onto the brown sugar cube, light the brown sugar on fire (put the flame under the spoon).
- Let the flame burn for a minute while the brown sugar drips into the glass and caramelizes. Stir the caramelized sugar into the glass.
- Add the water to the glass, stir again, and serve.
Emerald Isle Cocktail
Now seeing as absinthe can be hard to find and it’s not for everybody, you might instead get really into the St. Patrick’s Day Irish spirit and try the Emerald Isle Cocktail, named after Ireland, herself. It’s just as green as absinthe, perfect for Gawain’s famous belt, and packs a hard punch. It’s a strong minty drink I find quite befitting for an Orkney warrior like Gawain.
- 1 1/2 ounces gin
- 1 teaspoon crème de menthe liqueur
- 2 dashes bitters
- In a cocktail shaker, pour the gin, crème de menthe, and bitters. Fill with ice cubes.
- Shake well.
- Strain into a cocktail glass. Serve and enjoy.
Note from the recipe: Be careful not to add too much crème de menthe! It could overpower the gin and knock the whole drink off balance.
Lady of the Lake: Witch’s Brew Lemonade
Minus the straws and the fact that lemonade wasn’t around in the Iron Age, I could totally see Nimue sipping from this after a long day of spellwork. The dark blue represents the depths of the Lake from which she lifted Excalibur and gifted it to Arthur. The purple, I feel, represents her personality so well. And rosemary is an ancient Celtic symbol of wisdom and remembrance. Pretty befitting for our Lady of the Lake, I think. ❤
- 2 ounces Empress 1908 Gin
- 2 ounces sparkling lemonade
- 2 ounces Blue Curacao
- 1 rosemary sprig
- Fill a tall glass with ice. Pour the Empress 1908 Gin and top with sparkling lemonade.
- Very carefully and slowly pour the curacao into the glass, letting it settle on the bottom.
- Garnish with a rosemary sprig. Enjoy!
Sir Percival: Sidecar
This boozy cocktail pretty much sums up Sir Percival in a drink. Its bursting citrus flavor from both the lemon juice and orange liqueur remind one of our Grail knight’s bright, summery personality. It’s so cheerful and light and sweet, with a hint of tartness. ❤ If you want to go one step further, you can also substitute blood orange juice instead of lemon juice, which will give it a deeper red hue (pictured up top) that’s reminiscent of Percival’s famous red armor. (And in many adaptations, including mine, his red hair. 🙂 )
- 2 ounces Cognac
- 3/4 ounces orange liqueur (Cointreau or Triple sec)
- 3/4 ounces lemon juice or blood orange juice
- Rim the glass with sugar. It’ll help bring out the sweet tart flavor even more.
- Shake in a cocktail shaker. Take the brandy, Cointreau and lemon juice and shake it together in a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Strain into a glass and add ice cubes. Strain the drink into a cocktail glass. Serve with a lemon twist or orange twist. Some people like to squeeze the orange twist into the drink so the oils add a perfume.
Lady Blanchefleur: French 75 Royale
I’m a sucker for Blanchefleur and as she’s a lead protagonist in my stories, I figured I’d include a drink for her. ❤ This cocktail is so fitting for her; it’s sophisticated, classy, seemingly simple and yet beautifully complex, just as she is. While it’s made with gin, the dry sparkling wine adds elegance. And the lemon juice and orange bitters add a lovely flavor that pairs nicely with floral tones, which the lavender gives. (I also tend to associate Blanchefleur with lavender for some reason, so the lavender syrup and the drink’s overall color make me think of her immediately.)
- 2 cups Victoria Spirits Empress Gin
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3/4 cup lavender syrup (see note)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon orange bitters
- 4 cups dry sparkling wine
Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher. Stir gently, then bottle, seal and refrigerate or stash in ice.
To serve: Pour into a chilled champagne flute or drink it straight from the bottle. Makes 8 cups or about 10 servings. It can be bottled into 6 ounce bottles and stored in the fridge for 1-2 days.
Note from the recipe: To make lavender syrup, bring 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 4 tablespoons of dried food-safe lavender and reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain out lavender. Bottle, seal, label and refrigerate for up to two weeks.
I hope you enjoy some of these delicious boozy treats! Have a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day! And to all my fellow Irish peeps– Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona duit. ❤