Mixology at Home - Drinking With Wizards, Warriors and Dragons

The Divine Wind is a pleasant spirit-forward drink, enhanced by the smoke.
Published: Sep. 7, 2023 at 9:04 AM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - I make a point of showing my disdain for themed and holiday cocktails. But something about this book, “Drinking with Wizards, Warriors and Dragons,” got my attention. Nerds need cocktails too, right?

I asked for a copy. What could it hurt?

It has 85 drink recipes inspired by fantasy favorites. I confess, not a big reader of fantasy. It was compiled by Thea James, a Hugo Award winner; with drinks by mixologist Pamela Wiznitzer.

A quick flip through the book and I was impressed with how they presented each drink and … here’s where you know they are serious … the book shows you how to make the syrups and infused spirits, set up a home bar, and even how to host a fantasy cocktail party.

This is the first one I picked: The Divine Wind, inspired by Naomi Novik’s “His Majesty’s Dragon.” We didn’t have time to really get into it during the Good Morning Black Hills segment, but the smoke and spice of the drink kind of reminds you of what you would experience encountering a dragon, minus the body-scorching flames.


  • 2 oz cognac
  • 1 oz Chinese Five Spice-infused sweet vermouth (directions in the book)
  • 3 dashes of aromatic bitters


You add cognac, Chinese Five Spice-infused sweet vermouth, and three dashes of aromatic bitters in a mixing glass with ice and stir. Then, using a smoke gun, fill a decanter with smoke, add the drink, and seal the decanter. Swirl the drink for about 15 seconds and then pour it into a coupe glass. You can also just put it in a glass, add the smoke, and cap the glass with anything to hold the smoke in. Drink coasters work; you don’t have to buy anything elaborate.


Now, instead of infusing the vermouth, I decided to use a quarter ounce of Chinese Five Spice syrup with three-quarters of an ounce of sweet vermouth. I just like the homemade syrup better than the spice powder. So, the drink will be a little different. Try both ways and see which one you like best.

Honestly, I’m going to try other recipes, and who knows? This just might be one of my “go-to” cocktail books, right up there with Trader Vic’s “Bartender’s Guide,” and “How to Drink Like a Mobster.”

You can ask your local bookstore to order this book, or you can get it online through various sources.