Anatomy of a Concept Drink: The Mad King

Last week, when we knew we wanted to stack our house cocktail list with Game of Thrones cocktails, we all decided to draw cocktail names out of a hat and design a cocktail around the name.  So we threw a few GoT-related nouns and phrases into a hat, and we went around the restaurant distributing cocktail names.

Fair warning, guys.  It’s about to get nerdy in here.
television animated GIF
Concept drinks are no stranger to the Elixir Bar.  When we first started playing around with what the Elixir Bar would be and the cocktails we would have on it, we were mostly exploring flavors, ingredients, and drink styles as the central weekly theme.  But as time passed, we received the most positive feedback when we strayed from this for concepts like adapted fictional cocktails, cocktails based on our favorite albums of the nineties, and cocktails based on Quentin Tarantino movies.  So naturally, since GoT is premiering next Sunday, we all got pretty excited.  When it came time to draw names out of a hat, I picked two names,  “The Mad King” and “Whitewalker”.  For this entry, we’ll be focusing on The Mad King.

The first thing I did was refresh my memory, reading up all I could on who the Mad King was, how he died, why he was so crazy, etc.  Reading through GoT wiki entries on Aerys II Targaryen (a.k.a. The Mad King), I was reminded that it was the drinking of wildfire, the bright green fantasy equivalent of napalm in R.R. Martin’s universe, that drove him so mad.  He eventually became so obsessed with fire that he thought it would turn himself into a dragon, and he made plans to burn down King’s Landing with wildfire hidden all over the city.


Game of Thrones

I already had enough information to start making the cocktail.  We knew the cocktail had to be green, we knew we had to involve fire, and since the cocktail was designed for a king, we wanted the cocktail to feature Commonwealth Gin and be up in a coupe.  The rest was just a combining of flavors working together.  For the absinthe, we used St. George’s Absinthe Vert, as it was brandy-based and fully capable of lighting on fire.  To make the whole drink green we used Midori as a sweetener, and added a pinch of salt to mimic the flavor of salted melon.  To garnish, a small sprig of mint floating on top for aromatics.  If you’d like to taste this cocktail, it will be in the Elixir Bar all week.  And if you can’t make it in, here’s the recipe:

The Mad King – Parker Girard
1.5 oz Commonwealth Gin
1.0 oz Lemon Juice
0.75 oz Midori
0.25 St George’s Absinthe
Pinch salt
Mint sprig

Pour absinthe in coupe and set aside.  In a shaker, combine gin, Midori, juice and salt and shake with house ice.  Once mixed, set absinthe on fire in coupe, wait five seconds, and pour contents of shaker into the coupe to extinguish the flame.  Garnish with a small mint sprig.