Welcome to the Final installment of my 10-part Game of Thrones – Cupcakes & Cocktails Series! Just in time for the Season 5 Premiere tomorrow April 12th. Yes, I know I said in my last post it was going to happen last Sunday. Trust me, I was JUST as disappointed as you were last week.
Today’s cocktail & cupcake combination is dedicated to Daenerys Targaryen and her three dragons Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion. Daenerys is played by the wonderful Emilia Clarke. Her dragons are played by various special effects crews.
Danereys (Dany)Targaryen is the only surviving child of King Aerys II Targaryen who was ousted from power in the Seven Kingdoms. She has been exile across the Narrow Sea since birth.
We first meet Dany as a timid young girl who is bullied by her brother Viserys and sold, by him, into marriage with the Dothariki Khal (King) Drogo. The arranged marriage exchanges Dany for an army of Dothariki riders Viserys will use to take back the Iron Throne to become King of the Seven Kingdoms. Viserys meets a just end soon after the marriage (he was a SERIOUS contender with King Joffrey for “Asshat of the Year”) and Dany starts to come into her own. She falls in love with Khal Drogo (and he with her), becomes pregnant with his child and slowly realizes she is Khaleesi (Queen) with all of the confidence and strength to lead.
Her happiness is soon shattered when Khal Drogo dies, she suffers a miscarriage and subsequently becomes barren due to the vengeful witch Mirri Maz Duur. It is then the “Mother of Dragons” is born. She places her three dragon eggs in Drogo’s funeral pyre and walks into the fire. She emerges from the ashes, unharmed, nestled with the first dragons to be born into the world for hundreds of years.
Armed with dragons and a small group of Dothraki she journeys across the lands of the far east searching for shelter. Eventually, she finds shelter in Qarth. It is there she learns her dragons will not eat raw meat, but will spew fire and cook their meet when she utters the word Dracarys.
She is betrayed in Qarth by her host and the warlocks of the House of the Undying. She uses her dragons to burn the House of the Undying, sacks the city and sets sail in search of an army to take back to Westeros to take her place as Queen. She sacks cities and frees slaves along the way building a following of loyal followers and fierce warriors. Frankly, Dany isn’t a gal you should mess with.
I can never decide if I love Dany because she is another strong, female character or if it’s just because she has dragons. Either way, both her and her dragons breathe magic into the world. They needed a cupcake and cocktail.
While most of you love dragons, you’re probably not keen on using Thai chili, lemongrass and pink peppercorns in a cocktail let alone a cupcake. Trust me, DO IT! Bacardi’s Dragon Berry Rum is a strawberry rum infused with dragon fruit. This mingles with fresh raspberries,the chili pepper, lemongrass and peppercorns to make a delightfully fruity cocktail and cupcake with a hint of heat. So delicious! I wasn’t a big fan of the peppercorns, but others were so I’ve included it as option.
Fire Breathing Dragon Cocktail Recipe (from Fire Breathing Dragon by Mixologist Mariena Mercer via the Daily Meal)
- 2 ounces Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum
- 1 ounce raspberry puree – seeds removed
- 1/2 ounce of lemon juice
- 1 ounce chili simple syrup (recipe below)
- 1/2 ounce lemongrass simple syrup (recipe below)
- Ground pink peppercorns (optional)
Combine the rum, raspberry puree, lemon juice, chili and lemongrass simple syrups in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until combined. Serve in a martini glass. Optional – Dip glass rim in chili simple syrup, then dip in ground peppercorns.
Thai Chili Simple Syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 smashed Thai chili pepper or 1 teaspoon of dried chili pepper flakes
In a small saucepan, stir together water and sugar. Add smashed Thai chili pepper or dried chili flakes. Bring to a boil, smashing chili (if using fresh) as you stir. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Drain through a fine mesh strainer. Discard solids. Let cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Lemongrass Simple Syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 small bunch of fresh lemongrass – chopped or 1 teaspoon of dried lemongrass
In a small saucepan, stir together water and sugar. Add lemongrass (fresh or dried). Bring to a boil, smashing lemongrass (if using fresh) as you stir. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for 10 minutes. Drain through a fine mesh strainer. Discard solids. Let cool. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Fire Breathing Dragon Cupcakes – Makes 16
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 3/4 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1/3 cup full fat sour cream
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup Bacardi Dragon Berry Rum
- 1 ounce lemongrass simple syrup
- 1 ounce chili simple syrup
- 1/2 pureed raspberries, seeds removed
- 1/4 cup whole milk
In a small bowl, using your fingers or the back of a spoon, smash the lemon zest into the sugar until fragrant. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake tins with liners. In a bowl mix together lemon sugar, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in butter and mix until texture resembles wet sand. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream and sour cream. Add this to butter and flour mixture, beating until just combined. Add in the remaining ingredients (rum, both simple syrups, pureed raspberries and milk) and mix until just combined. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake 18 – 20 minutes until cupcake tops bounce back when lightly touched. Let cool in pan for less than five minutes and then remove to wire rack to cool completely.
In order to make the frosting you’ll need to make 4 cocktails (1 for you, 3 to make the reduction for the frosting and garnish). To make the reduction, add three mixed cocktails to a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until it’s reduced by 1/3. Let cool, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup dragon berry cocktail reduction
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon ground pink peppercorns (optional)
- Remaining cocktail reduction
Beat butter until light and fluffy. Add in two cups of powdered sugar, salt and cocktail reduction mix on low speed until combined. Add in remaining powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until desired consistency is reached. Frost cooled cupcakes. Drizzle each cupcake with remaining cocktail reduction. Garnish with ground pink peppercorn, if desired.
Whether you’re a Game of Thrones fan or not, I hope you’ve enjoyed this series as much as I have writing it.