Nothing beats the thrill of the hunt. I’d tracked my prey for weeks, picking up on its earthly scent and losing it again in the valley of scattershot ideas. I’d kept chasing it as it grazed away my herb garden. Many dawns had passed. I’d paused. Nay, I let go completely. I held my breath to reflect on the vast landscape of the Sacred Lands. And there it was. My new cocktail recipe walking right into my trap… Gotcha.
Tribe! Let’s pay tribute to yet another action RPG, Horizon Zero Dawn. I’d sunk hours into its rich world-building, reflecting on tribalism and technology, and uncovering the reasons for (our) civilization’s downfall. Despite their strife, Horizon’s societies seemed pretty sober (aside from this blood-drinking weirdo). So the inspiration for this cocktail was simply the game’s landscape. I narrowed it down to a single territory: the Embrace, home of the Nora people.
How does one put nature in a glass? Well, Aloy’s birthplace features:
Herbaceous valleys. Gotta find a flavour that’s bittersweet, floral and woodsy, a bit tropical, a bit spicy… whatamidoing!? Finally, a blend of an aromatic Amaro and bourbon hit the jackpot for me. I topped this fragrant bouquet off with some orange bitters. And maple syrup (you’re welcome, trees). Go wild with garnishes; blossoms, stalks, leaves, herbs… feathers.. hunting trophies? Why not.
Rays of sunshine. Sure there’s deadly machines and tribe purists roaming around. But the Embrace’s a hopeful place with lovely dynamic lighting. Some “sunnier” fruit flavours were introduced with lemon and pineapple juices. Try a spin-off with lemon/orange juice, too.
Snow-capped mountains. An egg white foam to mimic the frostier parts! Previously featured in my God of War cocktail, it’s a great technique for a smoother texture, layers, and a foundation for light garnishes. For a vegan option, go with aquafaba instead. But the snow must go on!
This was my inventory for the quest:
30 ml (1 oz) Amaro Di Angostura
30 ml (1 oz) Bourbon
23 ml (0.75 oz) Lemon Juice
15 ml (0.5 oz) Maple Syrup
15 ml (0.5 oz) Pineapple Juice
2 dashes Orange Bitters
1 Egg White
Garnish: Orchid, Cinnamon Sticks, Wild Mint, Metallic Sugar.
- Pre-chill a cocktail glass in the freezer. Don’t ever skip this step, trust the All-Mother of Anti-Lukewarm Drinks.
- Pour all the cocktail ingredients into a Boston shaker. Separate the egg white in advance just to be safe!
- Seal and dry shake (without ice) carefully to emulsify the egg first.
- Add some large ice into the shaker, seal and shake again until frosty.
- Strain the mix into a cocktail glass, using a Hawthorne strainer. Watch that gradient evolve into a satisfying foam, dayum.
- Garnish with any herbs you haven’t yet sold to the vendor.
- Climb (or fast travel to) a hill with a great vantage point.
- Take a breath. Take a sip. Take in the view.
Suggested Sipping Soundtrack:
A collection of the most chill tracks in HZD:
Some psychedelic rock to go with your herbs, such as The Myrrors:
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little retreat to the wilderness! Let’s catch up when Horizon Forbidden West comes out, eh? Meanwhile, I welcome all and any game ideas for the next brew.
Curious for more game cocktails? 🙂
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