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Mage-Craft Cocktails, Part 2: Innistrad

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Read the first Mage-Craft Cocktails here.

What’s that saying about idle hands? They’re the devil’s playground, right? So we can keep our hands busy with holding cocktails and ward off the spreading darkness of Innistrad? Sign me up with the Church of Avacyn, baby! Or maybe I want to embrace that darkness and party with everyone’s favorite around-the-way-girl, Liliana. What’s she drinkin’ these days? I have been absent but not idle, enduring such hardships as “researching” this article. Now I find that we’re on autumn’s doorstep and that it’s a crazy, flavorful new day in the Werewolfhood. I love my job. And am so glad to be back with all y’all lovely people.

Lili is back and she’s bad. Badass, that is. She’s also a very busy woman, demon-hunting and all that. Not only does she need a drink, she’s already been putting it away. I mean, look at her new card. She can’t even walk straight. Uh-huh, missy! Somebody’s tipsy! Liliana and I went out for happy hour to catch up, and like the dangerous and worldly woman she is, she ordered:

The Corpse Reviver #2

The Corpse Reviver #2 is a classic cocktail that uses gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, lemon, and a few drops of absinthe to create a fragrant, elegant, but seriously boozy drinking experience.

Corpse Reviver #2

¾ oz. gin

¾ oz. Cointreau

¾ oz. Lillet Blanc

¾ oz. lemon juice

5 drops absinthe

Shake.

After we talked business (exporting Innistrad beer seems to be a good idea since Mirrodin only has this crap and Lorwyn subsists on Kool-Aid mixed with Pinnacle Whipped Cream Vodka), exhausted the latest Garruk and Jace gossip, got weepy over Venser, and perhaps made some snide remarks about Elspeth (though not as snide as the remarks Elspeth made about Chandra in the Llanowar Sentinel), we parted ways with promises to have another ladies’ night after we Ascend into Darkness.

Don’t. Go. There. Please, just do the more organic, culinarily responsible thing, and spray whipped cream directly into your mouth and chase with a cold glass of Smirnoff.

On the opposite end of our cocktail spectrum today is the libation of choice for Mr. Bloodgift. Check him out! Woooo boy, you hot like fire! He spends his time collecting tribute from a cult that absolutely kisses his ass. He probably then bullies those poor cowled guys who just gave him gifts. This is one hard-partying demon frat boy bro if I ever saw one. What’s in his really big goblet:

Diablo’s Blood

Coca-Cola

Red wine

Combine in equal parts.

So, just take some of these . . . 

 . . . and mix with this . . . 

 . . . chug, pump fist, and keep giving ’em hell, my friend.

Gavony province is the human stronghold of Innistrad. Go here for beer.

The brewery window. Fans of Avacyn Ale clamor outside.

Moving away from mixed drinks, we definitely see straight spirits, beer, and traditional liqueurs with a presence on Innistrad. Monks and other religious people are famous for their role in the evolution of alcoholic beverages. Take Benedictine, for example. Produced since the early 1500s, the Benedictine order in France has been making this liqueur, basically a sweetened herbal medicine, popularized by Catherine de Medici. Chartreuse also falls in this category.

Yes, Brother, I smell and taste God in this. Oh, now I’m seeing ’im, too . . . Two of Him, in fact.

Widow’s Kiss

1½ oz. Calvados

¾ oz. Yellow Chartreuse

¾ oz. Benedictine

Stir.

Grateful that in 2011 I can drink stuff like this. It makes the lack of travel by horseback/infestation of cars tolerable to my medieval mind.

Beer is another specialty of the good friar. The Church of Avacyn’s product has got to be something like Stone Brewing’s Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale. Stone’s heavy, ye-olde-looking dark bottles are even warded by gargoyles, said to protect churches and the like from—who else? Demons. Savor the flavor! Drinking beers like this will not fail to make you feel like you’re right there in Innistrad with a front-row seat to all the bloody, horrorific action.

Nephalia rhymes with Islay. Sorta.

Nephalia province is described as “coastal,” with “rocky promontories and sea caves” that “afford easiest access to its fog-shrouded ocean.” I hear maritime. I smell scotch!

My favorite scotches are the maritime single malts of Islay. This style is defined by flavors of smoke and sea. The process goes something like this: Barley is germinated in order to produce sugars for fermentation. That process must then be stopped, so the barley is dried. Peat is used to fuel the drying fires. Peat is what lends the distinctive smokiness to these scotches.

Innistrad appears to have plenty of swampy areas to provide peat resources.

Some folks can’t stand the flavor profile of Islay scotch, and on the other end of the spectrum are the rabid fans who won’t drink anything but. I recently found out that my beloved Laphroaig 15 has been discontinued. I was heartbroken, until I tasted this:

Caol Ila single malt scotch, served on a hand-carved ice sphere.

My new favorite. Caol Ila (pronounced “cow-ee-la”) is definitely still Islay, but it’s a bit more balanced than Ardbeg (a smoke bomb) and a tad less hot than Laphroaig. It’s got a ton of depth and I daresay the most nuance of Islay scotches I’ve tasted. Next time you sit down with Sorin Markov, crack a bottle of this and he’ll know you’re a worthy ally . . . or adversary.

Last but not least, poor Garruk! This guy needs a drink way more than Liliana. He’s been cursed and wounded, and probably feels pretty violated right now. He’s huge, and there are two of him, so that means two beverages:

This is for leather-jacket Garruk to drink while he’s lookin’ fly out on the town, interrogating townspeople and following up on leads 007-style while he tracks Liliana.

Penicillin.

Penicillin

2 oz. scotch

¾ oz. lemon juice

¾ oz. ginger-honey syrup

¼ oz. Laphroaig float

Shake, then gently pour Laphroaig over the top.

Bloodhound

Bloodhound

1½ oz. gin

¾ oz. dry vermouth

¾ oz. sweet vermouth

2 to 3 crushed strawberries

Stir, then strain.

And this is for sexy V-neck tunic Garruk, when he’s totally lost control and starts bashing face and spewing deathtouch puppies. It’s also a nod to his sweet side and green mana powers. Green, growing, strawberries? Sure.

Where’s my drink?! I ordered like . . . thirty seconds ago!! GWAARGAHARGHHH!!

Innistrad has brought us lots of tasty bits to chew on. And why not do so with a tasty, complementary beverage in hand? Remember, expanding your drinking knowledge is like becoming a better Magic player or a more well-versed Vorthos. It’s always a work in progress. Appreciate what you’re drinking, and your magecraft as well as your world will expand. Whether simply throwing down whatever’s lying around to get a buzz, or sipping slowly as you blind taste-test to see what vodka you truly like, appreciate. There’s a time and place for everything, but awareness and appreciation should be enchantments you keep up continuously. It’s worth the mana.

Mikaeus, the Homebrewer. I command thee: Ferment!

Until next time, dream big, think critically, speak thoughtfully, and drink adventurously. Always safely! If you have time to waste, check out these on-point-Innistrad-flavor links for Death + Company and Death’s Door. Cheers.

MJ

@moxymtg on Twitter

www.moxymtg.com

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