Obedient Ingredients

A place to put cooking ideas to the test.


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Organizing potential cocktails for a (Harry Potter Christmas) Party

What do I serve at my upcoming (second annual) Harry Potter Christmas Party?!

Here is my Google excel sheet to organize my ideas!

Harry Potter cocktails

There are so many good ideas, but I NEED to narrow some drinks down. This is how I organize all of my thoughts together. The ones in yellow I have already decided I will make.

I already know I’ll be making Butterbeer, with a new and improved recipe which I will share soon.

My roommates have vodka they want to be used, so I’ve been researching how to use this liquor for the first time, since I never use it. I’m currently infusing pear, ginger, cinnamon sticks and cloves in a mason jar now. I also added some syrup I made using Pumpking beer and Amaretto, shook that on ice with vodka and lemon juice, and it was great!

Things to consider for providing cocktails at a party:

  • What booze do I already have on hand?
  • What ingredients do I already have on hand?
  • Can something be made into a punch? If it’ not a punch, then that means I will need to bar-tend (which I already need to do for the Butterbeer, since that is heated and should be drunk after I serve it).
  • If I buy a special ingredient for one drink (for example, Champagne) can I use it for a second drink, or a third drink? In other words, how can I be economical with what I am buying?
  • Will the drinks be diverse? I can’t have four whisky-based drinks that are all super sweet and have similar flavors (cinnamon, wintery spices, etc).
  • Will the drinks be unique enough to leave an impression, off-kilter a bit so they fit with the “magical” theme of Harry Potter, yet universally liked/tested so people will enjoy them?

Craft Soda in D.C.

Craft things are exploding everywhere. Craft beer is the first thing that comes to mind, especially here in ‘Murica (I heard that Europeans, normally the standard bearer of quality beer, is jealous of how awesome American craft beer is becoming). 

I am glad that craft “anything” is being celebrated, because it’s the celebration of things that are high quality and made with care and love. 

Something that I think would be very fun to learn would be craft soda. Soda is synonymous with unhealthy, sugary, unnatural drinkin’, but there are ways to take all natural ingredients and turn them into a flavorful carbonated drink.

I want to learn more about craft soda (even perhaps try to make one myself), and it seems intimidating at first when one looks at the ingredients:

  • ginger root (no problem there, love ginger)
  • licorice root (sure, I guess that’s easy to find at Whole Foods)
  • chicory root (I’ve heard of chicory before, that’s got to be easy to find)
  • sarsparilla root (umm…I’m pretty sure the last time I heard that word was when I was watching Loony Toons)
  • and burdock root (that’s got to be something J.R.R. Tolkien came up with, a.k.a. I have no idea where to get that)

Interesting ingredients, and so many more botanical items and rich spices are used. I love it. 

If you are in Washington, D.C., check out Wildcraft Soda. I had them at the farmer’s market and it was an amazing tasting experience. I hope craft soda explodes in popularity.