Welcome to the 6th installment of my 10-part Game of Thrones – Cupcakes & Cocktails Series! Whew! We’ve passed the half-way mark in the series. I hope you’re having as much fun reading this series as I am writing it.
I will be discussing events, plot twists and characters from the books and TV show in my posts. However, I will keep everything limited to the end of Season 3. No Season 4 characters or plot points will be revealed. Pinky swear. So, if you haven’t kept up with the book or the series….sorry!
Today’s cocktail & cupcake combination is dedicated to Melisandre the Red Priestess played by Carice van Houten.
All of the above is an accurate description of Melisandre. However, it fails to mention she’s a religious fanatic who worships R’hllor – The Lord Of Light. She’s constantly going on about how “The night is dark and full of terrors…..”. She’d also light you on fire in a hot minute and toast you like a marshmallow if she thought you opposed her agenda or questioned her fashion choices. She is a classic villain, prone to long speeches and manipulating everyone around her.
I started researching ‘red’ cocktails, but nothing really popped for me until I discovered Savuer’s Red Riding Hood cocktail. An unusual mixture of root beer liqueur (who knew it existed?), lemon and red currant.
This was the perfect cocktail for Melisandre. Spicy, exotic and surprising. These are dangerously delicious. They go down much too smooth for an alcoholic beverage. The fresh lemon cuts right through the sweetness of the rest of the ingredients. They certainly made playoff hockey more fun to watch on a school night.
Red Riding Hood Cocktail (From Savuer)
- 2 oz root beer liqueur
- 2 oz fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 oz simple syrup*
- 2 1/2 teaspoons red currant preserves or jelly (I had jelly on hand)
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add in all of the above. Give it a good shake, pour over ice and enjoy!
* You can make simple syrup by combing equal parts sugar and water in sauce pan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Once sugar has dissolved, bring to a boil. Set aside and let cool.
Alright, so let’s get the obvious out-of-the-way. The cocktail isn’t red. There isn’t enough red currant in it to change the color. I’m okay with that. Savuer named it, they have their reasons. However, that meant without food color my cupcakes weren’t going to be red, either. I was contemplating what I would do when I happened across red sugar sprinkles on clearance in the grocery store. For a buck, I got a gigantic bottle. Problem solved.
Red Riding Hood Cupcakes (adapted from Cupcake Project)
Makes 12 cupcakes
3/4 cup root beer
- 1/4 cup root beer liqueur (I used Blackmaker)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
2 1/2 teaspoons Homemade Soda Company’s Root Beer #2 – Old Fashioned extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line muffin tin with 12 liners. Whisk together root beer, root beer liqueur and vinegar, set aside. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add sugar, oil and extract to root beer-vinegar mixture and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Blend in the flour mixture until just combined. Fill liners ¾ way full and bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Immediately remove from pans to a wire rack to cool.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 Tablespoon melted red currant jelly
- 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 – 3 cups powdered sugar
Beat butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy. Add in zest, lemon juice and melted jelly and 2 cups of the powdered sugar. Mix until combined. Taste the frosting. If needed, add in additional powdered sugar a 1/4 cup at a time until desired level of sweetness and consistency is reached. You don’t want an overly sweet frosting. Nice, bright and tart is the flavor you’re looking for.
These cupcakes are full of wonderful spicy root beer and aren’t overly sweet. The cream cheese frosting is full of bright, fresh lemon flavor thanks to the zest and lemon juice. I also didn’t pile on the frosting. Some simple dots and a light sprinkling of colored sugar for effect was all that was needed. Once again, I forgot to take a ‘bite shot’ to show you the texture, but these are wonderfully moist and light in texture.
As a cupcake, they’re comforting. You can use them as an antidote for this:
Until next time, stick a cupcake in your cakehole!