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.

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May be difficult for a young vai to consume.

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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.

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

La Jolla

I felt today that after a long time I was due for a brandy based cocktail, and the La Jolla is both classy and refreshing all the same. It is simple in color and presentation, but a really impressive experience all around. The drink recipe itself doesn’t call for any garnishes (which is really a shame) so I’ve opted to add in an orange peel for my aroma and tasting notes.

To the nose you get a pleasant orange (mostly from the peel added, but some from the juice too). The slight oakiness of the brandy also comes through on the nose. Its taste begins light and sweet, moves quickly to a slightly sour (but not overpowering) lemon, and finishes with a unique battle of banana and brandy. The finish is really what stands out to me here. It’s banana, then brandy, then banana, then brandy again, and it goes back and forth 2-4 times as it settles. This is a surprising event while drinking and it really makes you want to go back for more.

If you’re looking for a diversion from the standard summer cocktails, you might want to give this a try.

Alcohol Taste Rating: 7/10
Overall Rating: 8/10

La Jolla

1 1/2 oz Brandy
1/2 oz Creme de Banane
1/4 oz Orange Juice
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
(Optional Orange Peel Garnish)

Shake liquid ingredients with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

“I keep wanting to put in ‘i’ before the ‘a’ in Jolla”

Au Currant Sidecar

Today we’ve got a tasteful and tasty spin on the classic sidecar recipe. Although given your working set of ingredients you may have to substitute here and there (as I did).  I want to start by highlighting my use of a VSOP Brandy in place of Metaxa (a Greek Brandy with a stronger “winey” flavor). You MAY be able to use both Brandy and some Sweet Vermouth to achieve a similar flavor to the Metaxa. The former being much easier to find than the later depending your your location, and that difference will give you a slightly different flavor profile. In addition my use of Cassis Syrup over Creme de Cassis will make my overview of it lean sweeter than it would be normally. A common variation also calls for Chambord rather than Creme de Cassis.

So, I love this drink for 2 main reasons. First is the use of the sugar rim (which is something I wish I saw in more cocktail recpies); and second is the incredible finish that keeps you going back for more. With its deep red color, you’re greeted with an incredible forward aroma of what almost smells of agave nectar. With a sip from the sugar rim you begin with a sweet and simple flavor, move to a subtle currant and lemon, then finish with a richly sweet and oaky finish. The finish is what really caught my attention with this drink. Early in your sip is just feels like a fruity sweet drink, but the complexity of the oak from the brandy to the subtle orange of the Grand Marnier makes this damn near perfect! I do wish there was more to the front and mid palette here, but I’m willing to compromise for something this good!

Alcohol Taste Rating: 7/10
Overall Rating: 9.8/10

Au Currant Sidecar

1 1/2 oz Metaxa (or VSOP Brandy)
1 oz Fresh Lemon Juice
1 oz Orange Juice
1/2 oz Creme de Cassis (or Chambord)

1 oz Grand Marnier
1 tsp Superfine Sugar
Granulated Sugar
Lemon Wedge
Lemon Twist

Rub the edge of a cocktail glass with the lemon wedge and rim with granulated sugar. Shake liquid ingredients and superfine sugar with ice (approx. 15 seconds). Strain into prepared glass. Garnish with a Lemon Twist.

Au Currant Sidecar

“Au Perfection!”

Trade Winds

Well as long as we still have a full month of summer, let’s keep the tropical drinks flowing!

The Trade Winds is a wonderfully aromatic cocktail with citrus and raspberry notes. It has a dark and mysterious burgundy color with an inviting lemon twist within. The drink starts sweet, moves to a tart raspberry, then finishes with a sour brandy flavor. A great sweeter drink and well balanced it’s easy to recommend as a light starter.

Overall Rating: 8/10
Alcohol Taste Rating: 6.5/10

Trade Winds

3/4 oz Light Rum
3/4 oz Brandy (Apricot Brandy Used)
3/4 oz Raspberry Liqueur
1 oz OJ
2 oz Sweet/Sour
Lemon Twist

Shake and strain liquid ingredients into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

trade winds

“It will blow you away!”

Sidecar Royale

Today we’ve got a classy cocktail with a solid flavor. The Sidecar Royale has a classic sandy color with citrus and herbal aromas. It starts on a mildly sweet note, moves to a sweet brandy taste, then finishes with an earthy herbal and brandy bite. If you have or can find some Benedictine you might want to give this one a try. The original recipe calls for either brandy or cognac, but in my bar all I have is flavored brandies. I figured Apricot would fit this drink quite well (and it did). Although a more pure brandy would have the same flavor profile as my mix.

Overall Rating: 7.5-8/10
Alc. Rating: 6/10

Make it Again? Yes. Worth trying with cognac

Sidecar Royale

1 oz Brandy (or cognac)
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Benedictine
1 1/2 oz Sweet/Sour
(Optional Rim with sugar)

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

sidecar royale

“Tasty with a side of Benedictine.”

East India Cocktail

Today’s cocktail is one that I’ve been sitting on for quite a while, but have still wanted to make. The “East India” is mildly fruity and mildly bitter. I’m always impress at pineapple centered drinks as well as the froth up in a similar way that cream or milk does in desert style drinks. While the drink calls for Brandy, my bar isn’t stalked with the standard, but instead I have both apricot and blackberry brandies. Given the pineapple flavor I chose my apricot as I imagined it to be the best possible complement. Although given the name of the drink I’m surprised I wasn’t using my Bombay Dry Gin (maybe next time). I also think that Orange Bitters might have been a better choice here.

The drink starts sweet with a light bitter in there as well, but as it reaches the back of your tongue and throat you get more of the alcohol. While I’m not certain that the flavors present were due more to the original recipe or my use of Apricot Brandy, the unique complexity of this drink has certainly made me want to try it again. I also feel like the lemon twist could have been more dominant if there was a dash of lemon juice in the mix as well, but then again I don’t think this drink even needs a sour element.

Alcohol Rating: 3-4 of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 (with possible variations)
Worth Making Again? Yes

East India

1 1/2 oz Brandy (Apricot Brandy Used)
3/4 oz Cointreau (Triple Sec Used)
2-3 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
2 oz Pineapple Juice

Shake and Strain. Garnish with a lemon twist

east india cocktail

Still not sure where the “India” is in this drink…