A Themed Drink for The Dimension Door Podcast, Episode 24
There are several components of Episode 24 that combined together to inspire this cocktail: a golden apple, a sweet-talking golden tongued cleric, and a flaming sphere all play important roles in both the happenings of the episode and this drink.
Whether or not you're caught up with the happenings of The Dimension Door Podcast (although you should be!), this cocktail is perfect for autumn. The fresh, crisp apple garnish sets nicely against the warm, aromatic caramelized brown sugar. Hints of cinnamon add to the pleasant scent, and then the drink itself is just-sweet-enough with the flavors of butterscotch and apple blossom set against a backdrop of a slightly-smoky scotch. Drinking it is a bit like sitting by a bonfire and enjoying a caramel apple.
Keep reading for the full recipe and instructions to make this cocktail.
Orgeat (pronounced /ɔːrˈʒɑː or ˈɔːrdʒiət/) is a French term that originated in the Latin phrase hordeaceus, meaning 'made with barley.' It started out as a kind of barley water (a barley oil and water emulsion), but over time to improve the flavor almond, sugar, and other flavors were added. Now, orgeat no longer has anything to do with barley. Instead, orgeat syrup is an almond and sugar syrup, usually flavored with either orange blossom water or rose water. It's non-alcoholic on its own, although you can extend its life by adding a bit of liquor (usually brandy) as a preservative.
Orgeat is an important ingredient for a lot of Tiki cocktails, including the Mai Tai. It can also be diluted with water or soda water for a refreshing non-alcoholic drink (sometimes called orzata). You can also play around with flavors, using different nuts (such as pistachio or cashew) or infusing it with fruit or spices.
In recipes from as far back as the mid-1800s, orgeat was made with bitter almonds. However, it's far more commonly made with sweet almonds now. This is largely because bitter almonds are toxic, and potentially lethal in large quantities; they contain cyanide.
What I will be providing instructions for here is a pretty traditional orgeat recipe, using almonds and flavored with orange blossom water.
A Themed Drink for The Dimension Door Podcast, Episode 23
After you've had a chance to listen to Episode 23 of The Dimension Door Podcast, you'll understand just why this episode's cocktail is inspired by hair, domovoi, and hatch chilies.
Hair of the Domovoi is a twist on the Hair of the Dog cocktail that adds an underlying bite of chili heat to the traditional hangover drink. It's as white as the Irrisen landscape where the questers from Taldor have ended up, and combines smoke & heat with cream & sweet in a way that is evocative of the events of Episode 23.
Keep reading for the full directions to make this cocktail.
September is International Podcast Month (IPM), and I was fortunate enough to be able to participate by playing in a TTRPG one-shot run by the wonderful Russ Wilde, gamemaster of the Prism Pals podcast. This game was my first experience with the new Quest TTRPG system, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to give a bit of a peek behind-the-scenes regarding what goes into creating a character and learning to play what ended up being a simple, enjoyable, and incredibly wholesome game.
You can find the IPM Episode for this one-shot here. Keep reading if you're interested in learning more about what goes into character creation for Quest, or if you just want to learn more about the characters we played.
Throw-Back Thursday Presents:
by Naomi Novik
Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tale Adaptation
"Wait!" I said, as he began to turn away. "Why would you take me? You must know I have no magic, not really: I can't change silver to gold for you in your kingdom, if you take me away."
Witch-Trees of Irrisen
After 1,400 years of winter, nearly all growing things in Irrisen are long dead or locked in eternal hibernation. The great birches, elms, and oaks of the forests are bare of leaves, and only tall evergreens such as firs, pines, and spruces provide a green break to the endless blues and whites of ice and snow. The coniferous winteryew tree, believed to have been brought to Golarion from some far-off world by Baba Yaga, is absolutely essential to the survival of many species of Irrisen. Winteryews’ cones produce edible seeds year-round, and their bark, which grows back even in Irrisen’s frigid temperatures when stripped from the trunk, provides nutrition for other animals, including humans. Were it not for the winteryew, known colloquially as the “witch-tree,” no wildlife could survive in this wintry land.
In coming up with this recipe, I focused on flavors that come from bark, roots, and coniferous trees, as these all strike me as the types of ingredients which would be available in Waldsby. I chose the apple-based wassail for, not just because alliteration is fun, but because apples would be one of the fruits which might reasonably be imported into Irrisen without spoiling.
Keep on reading for step-by-step instructions to make Winteryew Wassail, and also a cocktail version of the drink that I imagine might be enjoyed on special occasions or by the more well-to-do in the Hoarwood region.