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Coming soon:

  • Sweet orange-scented wine (I: 362)
  • Sweet cider (IV: 465)
  • Iced wine (III: 614)
  • Nahsa- fermented goats milk laced with honey (IV:36)
  • A cup of goat’s milk (IV: 68))

14 thoughts on “Beverages”

  1. fluffywarthog1029 says:

    Being a connoisseur of all things boozy (AKA wino/lush/drunk), I’ve been intrigued about the intended flavors of various alcoholic beverages mentioned in ASOIAF. So far, I’ve been trying to approximate every mention of a variety or beverage to a modern equivalent, or at least try to figure out what variety Martin may have had in mind while he was writing. So far, my personal system goes something like this:

    Strongwine (used as anesthetic or to kill boar-hunting monarchs)
    – Fortified wine, either over-fermented grapes, or wine and distilled brandy mixed together
    – Region seems ambiguious, since the point of strongwine is simply high alcohol content

    Summerwine (Produced by the temperate/Mediterranean South only in times of constant heat- Sweet, fruity)
    – Either a Cab Sav or Merlot, depending on the Northmen’s definition of ‘sweetest’
    – Is considered to be far superior to dryer or colder-weather varieties, and fairly sugary
    – Rare for Westeros, growing season confined to about only 1/4 of years, depending on Worlderos’s unpredicable seasonal cycle
    – Mentioned to be grown in either the Reach or the Arbor

    Dornish Red (Restricted to Dorne, a perpetually warm/desert climate)
    – Definitely Shiraz
    – Dry, hot climate and dry red wines

    Northern Wine (Rarely mentioned and considered inferior, even by Northmen)
    – Riesling
    – Said to be dry and without any sweetness
    – Apparently grown in all three seasons but winter, which might contribute to varying quality and price

    Arbor Gold (Regionally-constrained to the Redwyne’s island)
    – Chardonnay?
    – Considered to be the most expensive wines in Westeros, if not most of the world
    – Heavily restricted by climate and location; House Redwyne takes most of it’s exceptional revenues from the global export of this product

    Myrish Fire Wine (??????????????????)
    – Said to burn, as if it has a high alcohol content
    – But also seems to have a ‘hot’ flavor or piquancy as well that affects taste
    – Stumped on this; I once infused tequila with serrano chiles and got a similar effect of burning from the taste and the alcohol at the same time, but can’t see this as a ‘wine thing’

    – Wine sweetened with a tiny dilution of sweetsleep, a narcotic sedative
    – Mentioned to thin the blood excessively, and implied to cause major health problems or addiction if administered regularly within a period of a few months

    Milk of the Poppy
    – Laudanum or something similar
    – A habit-forming and exceptionally powerful painkiller/sedative
    – May cause mental instability after addiction (Case in point: The Mountain)

    Moon Tea/Tansy Tea
    – An estrogen production-inducing mixture, used exclusively for birth control
    – A regular, monthly consumption seems to prevent pregnancy entirely
    – Concentrated doses mixed with other chemicals and poisons are considered to be a reliable abortative

    I doubt that Martin himself would care to explain any of these terms further (that would ruin the atmosphere) but if we’re trying to recreate the food and drink of his series, then it seems useful to at least speculate and trade ideas regarding these beverages.

    1. glima91 says:

      Milk of the poppy might actually be just… milk of a poppy bud.

      And the moon tea might be a plant with components that mimic prostaglandins, such as flax. Or other plants that are highly aromatized, like cominus, ginger, hypericum, artemisa or ocimum; such compounds that produce the aromas are metabolized on a pathway that i really don’t care to expand and are theoretically abortives.

  2. Cal says:

    Do you have any beverage recipes that are non-alcoholic? I realize it might be a stretch, but alcohol is not allowed at the medieval fantasy events I generally attend, and I was hoping you might have a suggestion of a beverage I can make or modify that doesn’t include booze?

    1. Needs Mead says:

      Absolutely! The cookbook has several non-alcoholic recipes, including the Iced Milk with Honey, two versions of Lemonsweet, and two versions of the minty Iced Green Drink. For blog recipes, we’re mostly limited to tea. If you are looking for any specific recipes from the books, let us know and we’ll see what we can come up with!

  3. Christian says:

    What about hippocras? Not much is said what goes in there exactly but it seems to be expensive even for Cersei’s taste so it’s probably one of the more exclusive hypocras recipes, maybe using rose water instead of oranges.

    Can’t wait for the spiced rum recipe BTW!

  4. Michael says:

    The iced milk with honey is quite delicious and the only thing I could make at such a late hour. A good alternative I think would be to steep lavender in the sweetened milk and serve warm. Relaxing and calming.

  5. Prefiera says:

    I made the minty green drink today for the episode tonight and as a heads up to readers, the blender we used did the crushing of the ice just fine, but the mint was not really as fine as I’d like. So there was tons of little mint leaf pieces in there. So what I would suggest if you like a really smooth drinking drink, blend the drink first without the ice, then run it through a fairly fine strainer, then blend it with the ice. It is pretty minty, so I think I would probably do half as much mint the next time.

  6. Bob Targaryen says:


    In terms of the vintages, I think you mostly got them right. The strongwine is definitely port or sherry.

    However, I think the Arbor gold is more of a Sauternes. Very golden (much more so than chardonnay), sweet, rare, and difficult to produce. And the Myrish Fire Wine is probably grappa. Still made from grapes but with some fire:)

    In terms of preference, I think they would’ve preferred much sweeter wines to accompany their food since there is no refined sugar in Westeros, as opposed to the depth and complexity we prefer, mirroring real medieval preferences.

  7. Will says:

    Please, don’t use tansy. The stuff causes violent miscarriages and can lead to permenant injury or infertility. Its also been implicated in liver and kidney disorders.

    1. Chelsea M-C says:

      I couldn’t agree more! I had a tiny sip of the tea to satisfy my curiosity, but herbcraft is not for the uninitiated…

  8. Anna says:

    Just thought I’d mention that the Sweetwine link goes to the Casual Dornish Dinner instead. Oops?

    1. Chelsea M-C says:

      Not a mistake, but a little outdated, now. The Sweetwine was mentioned in the first iteration of the Dornish Dinner, but then when I redid the post, I switched to Strongwine, the recipe for which is in the Dornish cookbook supplement. :)

      1. Anna says:

        Ah, ok! Thanks for explaining.

  9. Raquel Theron says:

    “Myrish Fire Wine (??????????????????)
    – Said to burn, as if it has a high alcohol content
    – But also seems to have a ‘hot’ flavor or piquancy as well that affects taste
    – Stumped on this; I once infused tequila with serrano chiles and got a similar effect of burning from the taste and the alcohol at the same time, but can’t see this as a ‘wine thing’”

    In portugal we do something called “Fire Wine”
    1. take the juice of newly pressed red wine
    2. mix in “Aguardente” (translated to “burning water”)
    3. 1 part wine to 2 parts aguardente

    you can also do this with other juices but the traditional way is with pressed red grape juice

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