What's up GruulFriends? How excited are you that the trees are FINALLY in bloom here in Seattle? I look forward to this brief time all year and have been just stupid happy that the trees are putting on such a lovely show for us. It's still mostly rain in the forecast, but we keep getting days with a touch of sun, and we seem to have seen the last of the bitter cold. And thank gods, because I have so many cocktails to drink out on my patio.
One thing I'm also looking forward to doing is playing more Magic the Gathering with friends. I started playing a little over my Winter break and it's serious fun. I mean yes, it's nerdy AF but that's what we're into around here so... And while I enjoy the strategy of the game itself, I'm enamored with the stories they weave around the various characters. I mean, you don't have to be into the lore to play it but I love how fully fleshed out it is.
Right now Wizards (the owners and makers of Magic) have been focusing on the plane of Kaladesh and the planeswalker Chandra Nalaar who hails from that plane. It's complicated, and full of political intrigue, but her story is really fascinating. Plus there's a lovely will she won't she tension between her and a certain elven planeswalker.
In honor of this fiery badass comes a sweet cocktail with a touch of smokey heat. While the recipe calls for bourbon, rye would be just as good here. Anything robust with a nice bit of woodiness and just a little spice suits this. I used Buffalo Trace, but pick your favorite. Ancho Reyes liqueur, which we've used before, has a gentle heat and has hints of caramel, chocolate and earth. If you want to kick the heat up a little you can add a dash of Scrappy's Firewater Bitters, but go easy since it's made from habaneros and packs a punch.
The Fires of Kaladesh
1 ounce Apricot Cardamom shrub
1.5 ounce Bourbon or Rye
.5 ounce Ancho Reyes
2 dashes Aromatic Bitters
1 dash (optional) Firewater
Put everything in a shaker with ice. Shake well, about 20-30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.