“Drink me!” The tiny bottle demands of Alice in the hallucinatory alternate universe of Wonderland.
Watching her shrink into the size of frilly, wide-eyed little doll as a child, I thought for the first time about magic, witchcraft and the wild world of potions.
Of course, we won’t be warping your dimensions into that of a field mouse today.
But adding a little hootch to your blends makes for a captivating weekend in the old Craft kitchen and a nice way to use up your magical garden herbs, flowers and fruits.
Magical cocktails begin in the garden with fresh, local, natural ingredients.
So put on your gardening gloves, grab some pruning shears and lets get digging.
What are drinkable potions?
When made with magical intention, cocktails are essentially drinkable potions.
Mastering the art of cocktails as spell craft takes patience and experimentation.
I began playing with the idea of drinkable potions late last year with this smoking, dry-ice based Black Magic Martini,
A few months later, I designed the color-changing Purple Fairy Cocktail for Ostara.
That post became my most successful post of the year thus far. It was all the encouragement I needed.
Someone recommended (affiliate link —>) Garden to Glass: Grow Your Drinks From the Ground Up.
After that, I really started messing with different herbs, liquors, fruits and flowers, until my kitchen started to look like a laboratory with my drunken friends sitting around
beakers martini glasses.
Step 1: Decide on Your Intention.
Your intention determines the ingredients, method and ultimately, the flavor of your cocktail.
Decide on one.
A romantic dinner for two might call for love spell ingredients.
Or, for parties, your intention might be friendship, connection or togetherness.
If you plan to use your cocktail as an after-work drink to unwind, center your theme around relaxation or unburdening.
Step 2: Pick a Key Ingredient.
Once you decide on your magical intention, select a key ingredient that matches it. Always select natural, fresh ingredients for cocktail potions.
The more local, the better–especially if you grew it yourself!
Almost anything that is edible can be turned into a cocktail ingredient. There are thousands of options, and infinite combinations.
Here are some ideas to get you thinking.
Step 3: Make it usable.
Turn your chosen element into a cocktail ingredient.
There are 2 basic approaches to this.
This is the simplest, most straight-forward method. Almost anything can be used as an infusion.
First, find what liquor goes best with your herb, fruit or flower. For most things, a simple Google search for your ingredient + cocktails likely produces dozens of recipes that include it. Just note which liquor appears most often with your ingredient, and don’t be afraid to experiment as you get better.
For example, chamomile goes great with gin.
Vanilla works with vodka, bourbon blends well with apples.
Or, go nuts and try hot chili peppers with Triple Sec.
Start with 2 ingredient infusions (alcohol + flavor) and then work your way up to using 2 or more.
Here is a great article on creating complex infusions.
Mixer is any non-alcoholic ingredient added to a cocktail.
Mixers make a drink more bitter, or more sour, or sweeter, or they add complexity or flavor.
Once you choose your focus intention and ingredient, you may decide to incorporate it into a mixer instead of an infusion (especially for mocktails or non-alcoholic cocktails).
For example, try making a syrup infusion by mixing one part water (preferably spring water) and one part sugar in a small sauce pan. Stir it over low heat until the sugar dissolves, then allow your key ingredient to steep in it until it reaches the desired flavor intensity.
Step 4: Figure out what compliments your star ingredient.
‘The challenge of creating a successful cocktail potion is to find additional ingredients that compliment each other both in terms of flavor and metaphysical properties.
But it’s not as hard as you think. Just like in Step 3, the easiest way to do this is to search for existing cocktails and see if you can spot ingredients that work together magically.
Mint and chocolate are a classic flavor pairing. But they are also both classic love spell ingredients. Why not try a mint-infused liquor with a dusting of cocoa powder/cream and serve it to your love interest?
Lemon and thyme work together for a fresh, light flavor. Metaphysically, they are also both known for their cleansing properties. Anyone want to wash away some psychic baggage with a lemon thyme gin spritz?
Yeah. Me, too.
Step 5: Choose a Glass.
Choose an appropriate glass for your cocktail glass.
Select it with your intention in mind.
Martini Glass: The inverted triangle of a martini glass symbolizes focus, business matters, the feminine divine and lunar magic.
Champagne Flute: The champagne flute represents depth, messages from the divine and communication.
Pint Glass: Use a pint glass for drinkable potions intended to promote common interests, social goals and casual relationships.
Of course, you need to balance your intention with a glass that promotes the best experience for the cocktail. Champagne-based or fizzy drinks fizzle out more slowly in a champagne flute than in a pint glass, for example.
So if your intention doesn’t match the glass, get creative!
I’ve seen cocktails served in sealed flower pots, hollowed out fruit and even small fish bowls.
Step 6: Don’t forget the garnish.
A proper garnish is the crown jewel of any cocktail.
Garnish your drink with something that hints at its focus ingredient. Any part of the plant will do.
Charging and Empowering Cocktails
Take your drink from mundane to magical with an empowering technique.
You’re only limited by your imagination here, but here’s a few ideas:
-For pitcher drinks, drop a clean, sanitized, charged clear-quartz crystal into your pitcher to infuse it with your intentions.
-Leave the bottle of liquor you plan to use in the moonlight before you plan to use it.
-Put a crystal that matches your intention into a bowl of salt or sugar, then rim the glass with it (as you would with a margarita).
-Come up with a clever chant for your drinkable potions, and repeat it an intentional number of times before serving.