About byocks

I'm a visual artist with a passion for adventure stories, technology, and cocktails. When I'm not at my day job, I'm mixing drinks and working in my home art studio.

The Noble Pursuit (LoZ Cocktail)

So, earlier this year I picked myself up a Nintendo Switch and played through the most recent installment in the now 32 year old franchise “The Legend of Zelda; Breath of the Wild.” The open world adventure game gives lots of room for varied play styles through an elegant story. However one particular moment in the game stood out to me, it was the side quest in helping a bar tender create a drink known as the “Noble Pursuit” aka (in the game) the perfect drink.

As the game is designed to hit a demographic of both young and old it is described rather vague, leaving lots of room for interpretation. The only clues you get for flavor are in the line “The light, sweet taste…the cool sensation from each sip…it’s like drinking distilled motivation!”

In designing this drink I went through several iterations based on different aspects of the game’s desert region (where the drink is created/served) as well as the local ingredients for food in the game. Most notably for a cocktail I thought about the two common fruits in the game the “Hydromelon,” “Palm Fruit,” and “Volt Fruit.” The hydromelon has the appearance of a spherical watermelon, so I played with using the Japanese liqueur midori on my first few mixes. My second attempt was pulling from the Palm Fruit which was more or less a coconut (so coconut rum), which also proved to me unsuccessful). More commonly however, in the game’s desert you will find a volt fruit growing on a cactus. The volt fruit has the appearance of a cross between a pineapple and a lychee berry, so I thought a tropical pineapple juice base would be ideal. From there I took a look at the shelves on the bar for the shapes and labels of the bottles. None of them had any writing on them so I had to interpret from there as well.

After several unsuccessful attempts with mixing fruit flavors I ended up going for something that more ties to the original description of the cocktail. It is said to be “notably very strong” which I took to just mean “has alcohol.” As part of the side quest you have to carry a large block of ice across the sand, so it’s requirement of “a HUGE amount of ice,” wanted me to use one of my large ice cubes. Outside of that I was looking for something sweet and light on the palette, while maintaining a cool and refreshing flavor.

So, for the MoM version of “The Noble Pursuit” you’re greeted with a foamy golden color (similar to that of the game’s sand) and the aroma is a mild spicy ginger. On first sip you’re greeted with a little sweet foam from the shaken pineapple juice. On the mid palette you get a bit more of the ginger with your choice of bitter peaking through. On the finish you get the spice of the Jagermeister under the sweet brandy and ginger liqueur. As it settles you’re reminded of the alcohol as it warms you and motivates you to journey across the great desert!

Thought it may not be made of many “local Gerudo Ingredients” it’s a cocktail worthy of the name “The Nobel Pursuit.”

Alcohol Taste Rating: 6/10
Overall Rating: 8/10

The Nobel Pursuit (Loz: Breath of the Wild)

1 oz Ginger Liqueur
2 oz Pineapple Juice
1/4 oz Jagermeister
1 oz Brandy (or Cognac)
3 Dashes Aromatic Bitter (Preferably something floral)

Shake all with ice, and strain into a rocks glass over one HUGE ice cube.

DSCF7998

May be difficult for a young vai to consume.

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Spirit Review: Licor 43

So one product that has been on my long term “to try” list is the Spanish made: Licor 43. It is a 31% ABV (62 Proof) liqueur with a rich golden color and a slightly oilier viscosity than I was expecting. It’s on par with a thinned out Gran Gala by comparison when I poured it from the bottle.

On the nose it has very distinct fruit notes (perhaps mandarin oranges?) and is paired with a warm vanilla. In it’s flavor it is predominantly a vanilla liqueur, but you are greeted with a bouquet of sweet citrus, be fore it mellows into a flavor very similar to a melted vanilla ice cream.

Licor 43 is a unique product that you likely won’t find a matching flavor for elsewhere. It goes down super smooth, and leaves you with a warm sensation of a homemade cookie. I’d be interested in mixing this with various whiskeys or a neutral spirit like vodka in order to complement it’s rich flavor. Perhaps the use of a cinnamon or maple syrup would do it justice.

Overall I’d say its a 7/10 for my personal use. I was expecting a little more of a burn, and a little less sweet, but it is overall a decent liqueur for the price.

Licor 43

Better than 42, but not the answer we were looking for.

 

Jack-in-the-Box

So earlier in the week I found myself craving some apple brandy (or at least the blend that is Applejack). It’s been almost 4 years since I last had some, and despite being a little over my current budget I decided to pick some up. After trying a few new brandy cocktails from my recipe book, this one jumped off the page as a good choice for a hot summers day (when it’s still spring).

Like most drinks shaken with pineapple juice the final pour creates it’s own unique frothy garnish. The drink begins with a light and sweet apple aroma, but it is very subtle. For the taste profile it begins with a similar light apple flavor that the aroma presents with, moves to complex pineapple juice on the mid palette, and finishes with the “grain spirits” flavor from the Applejack’s blended component. The finish is really the most complex and re-inviting flavor. Applejack as a whole doesn’t actually contain a ton of apple brandy, and it instead feels almost like a weak whiskey than a complex flavored brandy. I have found that in other recipes that add a little syrup and a little more citrus bring out the apple flavor a lot more, so a variation on this with a half ounce of lemon juice and a half of simple syrup could round out the cocktail a bit more. As is though it’s not a bad cocktail, but it does have room to improve. At the very least it needs 3 dashes of bitters rather than 1.

Alcohol Taste Rating: 6.5/10
Overall Rating 7.2/10

Jack-in-the-Box

1 1/2 oz Applejack (or other apple brandy)
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
Dash of Lemon Juice (1 fresh wedge)
Dash of Aromatic Bitters

Shake all with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass, or over ice in a rocks glass.

Jack in the Box

“You don’t know jack!”

Water Tribe’s Frozen Vodka Blizzard

I had thought for sure I had lost this recipe, and then I found it sitting in the drafts for the blog and I was pleasantly surprised. So picking up another bottle of bottom shelf blue raspberry vodka, I knew it was time to remake this drink for a new post.

In my continued efforts to create a set of 4 distinct cocktails based on the Avatar: The Last Air Bender series. Previously I brought you Uncle Iroh’s Pai Sho Earth Tea, and today the series continues, with the “Water Tribe’s Frozen Vodka Blizzard”. Designed to feel like an iceberg floating onto of cartoon blue waters this is a great summer drink to cool off and get tipsy at the same time.

A refreshing blue color makes for an inviting modern style cocktail. The smell is strong of the candy blue raspberry flavor of the vodka. Your first sip will begin with the cool ice on top (not a lot of flavor comes through initially). The cocktail hits to a tart flavor on the mid-palette thanks to the cranberry and lemon juices. Then the finish is where you’re punched with the candy blue raspberry with very little alcohol burn (as it seems more sweet).

Like the other drinks I’m working on for this series it’s mostly about the look and a bit less about the taste. That said however, this is a great starter for the 4 cocktails.  Despite the volume of vodka it’s a very sweet and refreshing cocktail and is easy to toss together larger batches for a party. Just be sure you bring your trusty boomerang with you.

Alcohol Taste Rating: 3/10
Overall Rating 8/10

Water Tribe’s Frozen Vodka Blizzard

3 oz Freezer Chilled Blue Raspberry Vodka
1 oz Cranberry Juice
1/2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Blue Curacao
1 oz Simple Syrup
2 Dashes Orange Bitters
(Optional: Additional 1/2 oz Blue Vodka)

Combine all ingredients in a blender with ice. Blend until ice is broken into very small pieces. Serve in a pint glass. Optional Float additional 1/2 of Blue Vodka

Frozen Vodka Blizzard

“It’s the quenchiest!”

Alpine Glow

You know how sometimes you’re just in the mood for something. Well, today I was in the mood for some brandy. It is that mood which lead me to find the “Alpine Glow” which according to my records is a drink I’ve actually made once before (just not for the blog).

Like many modern cocktails the name makes pretty much no sense in regard to the presentation, the color, or the aroma of the cocktail, but that shouldn’t stop you from trying it. This is also not really a brandy drink as much as it’s a rum drink with brandy, but hey being rum biased myself I’m perfectly fine with that.

With the case of many tiki style drinks the float of rum causes the flavor to shift halfway through the drink. A visually pleasant sandy brown (which may change with the use of a red dyed grenadine) with a dark floating section of the rum with a lemon twist is very inviting for a short glass. It’s aroma is dominated by the rum, but if you squeezed your twist it should bring some citrus aroma to that as well. Your first half of the drink will greet you with a sweet tropical rum with an aftertaste of brown sugar (which is impressive for a drink that doesn’t contain any). After you’ve sipped off most of the dark rum float and cleansed your palette with some crackers, that’s when the real taste comes through. It starts with a sweet orange, hits a general sweet and mostly indistinguishable taste on the mid palette (likely rum and sweet/sour), and finishes with a citrusy brandy flavor. Even with the float this is a cocktail for those who’s palette leans on the sweet side. Since starting this blog I’ve always leaned sweet, but I do appreciate the complexity of something like an old fashioned or a Manhattan. However, this drink plays right into my love for sweet things, especially on a warm day. It may be far from perfect, but I’m actually surprised I haven’t included it on my regular menu (as it contains many common ingredients). So is the “Alpine Glow” worth it? Yes and no. It doesn’t leave you with a great impact, but it IS a great drink for a midweek cocktail.

Alcohol Taste Rating: 7.8/10 then 6/10
Overall Rating: 8/10

Alpine Glow

1 1/2 oz Gold Rum
1 1/2 oz Brandy
1/2 oz Orange Liqueur
1/2 oz Grenadine
2 oz Sweet and Sour
3/4 oz Dark Rum
Lemon Twist

Shake all except garnish and dark rum. Strain into an iced tumbler. Float the dark rum and garnish with a lemon twist.

DSCF7837

“It Glows…until you drink the rum off.”

Heart of Darkness (Shot)

I have been working on this drink design almost as long as the blog has been in existence (about 4 years?). While it has gone through several significant changes over the years, I’m finally ready to present it as another MoM original! It was my purchase of Heering Cherry Liqueur which allowed for the final breakthrough in making this drink possible. It’s sweet but strong taste of fresh cherries is what gives this layered shooter it’s distinct color and flavor.

So unlike many of the drinks on this site, this one is a bit more ingredient specific. While I’m sure you could substitute one ingredient for another, I feel it would be a disservice to yourself or your guest to cheapen out on anything here. Like most layered cocktails and shots the presentation on this drink is top notch. For a layered shot you’re only aroma will really be your top layer, so in this it’s the Kraken Rum (but since that’s my favorite you’ll see no objections for me). Shots go by quick, so tasting notes are a little tough. You’ll get a hit of rum, followed quickly by mild cherry, and a nice finish of sweet raspberry. I find that the key to a great shot is one that doesn’t burn all the way down and make you hate yourself. The Heart of Darkness starts pretty mild (as far as layered shots go) and remains pleasant the whole way down. If you’re looking for something for your next party to impress your friends with, give this a try. Especially if you’re wary of trying a layered drink (as the raspberry makes the daunting task a breeze).

Alcohol Taste Rating: 6/10
Overall Rating: 8.8/10

Heart of Darkness (Shot)

1/4 oz Sweet Lime Juice
1/4 oz Chambord (or other raspberry liqueur)
1/4 oz Cherry Heering
1/2 oz Kraken Black Spiced Rum
1 Fresh Raspberry

In a (modern style) shot glass place a single raspberry. Slowly pour over each ingredient starting with the sweet lime juice and finishing with the rum. Serve with a tooth pick to spear the raspberry and eat it then down the shot.

“Stake through the heart, pretend I’m a vampire!” -David Mitchell