Dragon's Brew

Dragon's BrewThis beverage was thrown together for a group of friends who happen to like mulled wine. I decided instead to mull some apple juice, (basically apple cider,) using cinnamon, mace blades, and cardamom, then spiked it with whiskey instead.

A Note About Mace Blades

I used mace blades to spice my apple juice. These intriguing looking pantry friends are actually just the dried lacy red membrane that surrounds the more commonly known nutmeg pod. They are not particularly expensive and fantastically exotic to most people. If you plan to serve a mulled beverage, I suggest the addition of this sweet, peppery, and flavorful ingredient, and to present it in a clear container for all to ogle. You can also use mace blades alone for a fantastic pick-me-up herbal tea.

The funny thing about making this drink the first time is that it was an unrelated last minute addition to a Lord of The Rings themed dinner. When my friend first saw the jar of yellow liquid he could not help but point out how much it looked like urine. “Well thanks!” Actually it worked out quite humorously as we took to calling it Smaug’s Golden Shower, in running with my Middle Earth inspired dishes. Given I wouldn’t call it that at any other event, simply because that name alone is such a turn off.

Call it what you may, it’s a delicious dragon’s brew, great for even the mildest of drinkers.

Dragon’s Brew – Spiced Whisky Apple Juice

By: semiserious chefs
Serves: 3-6


  • 6 cups apple juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole mace blades
  • 8 cardamon pods
  • 3 whole star anise
  • 2 cups whiskey (or more to taste)
    • Apple Cider Whiskey is a very good choice


  1. Add the apple juice to a clean pot with a lid, along with the cinnamon stick, mace blade, cardamon, and star anise. Bring to a gentle boil for 20 minutes over medium/medium low heat.
  2. Pour into serving container and add the whiskey as desired.

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