Before you take a step onto the Summerset Isles in the new Elder Scrolls Online expansion, make sure you prepare yourself with this herbaceous little cocktail straight from the heart of the High Elven homeland.
- 2oz Agwa de Bolivia (coca leaf liqueur)
- 1tbsp dry fino sherry
- 1/2oz simple syrup
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- Brut champagne
- Add first four ingredients to a shaker filled with ice.
- Stir briefly to chill.
- Add to a chilled champagne glass.
- Top up with chilled brut cuvee.
- Garnish with mint (optional).
“Think High Elves are haughty here in Cyrodiil? Try heading to the Summerset Isles themselves and listening to them drone on about their precious homeland. It’s all ‘classic First Era architecture’ this and ‘Mer-ish superiority’ that—and don’t even bother asking about their food. Those knife-ears will talk for hours just about their precious “Pride of the Isles” piss. Save yourself the trouble; stay here where people are sensible.” – Captain Artorius Mede of the Imperial City Guard.
The High Elves of Tamriel are known for three things: magical ability, ancient cities, and enormous egos about their homeland: the Summerset Isles.
This drink replicates that combination of avarice and accomplishment with a tipple that is dry with just a hint of fruit sweetness. The unique flavours of the Agwa de Bolivia is the highlight of this cocktail, granting it a minty, herbaceous touch that takes the already refined nature of the brut champagne and brings it up to a level even the High Elves wouldn’t sniff at.
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Why these ingredients?
While The Elder Scrolls Online certainly has a lot of consumables for me to choose from, I wanted to create something uniquely iconic for the Summerset Isles—not just a recreation of an existing item, but something new.
Much like how the Summerset expansion promises plenty of new adventures for the player, I wanted to offer imbibers something they’ve (probably) never seen before.
I also wanted to create a drink that still had that air of class and nobility to it though, so I couldn’t just throw some random ingredients together and call it “unique”. It had to be… refined.
This cocktail began with me considering what kind of drink the classiest, most noble, most insufferable arrogant pricks in the ESO universe would like.
Naturally, I went with champagne—the natural choice of classy/insufferable wine drinkers everywhere.
I chose a brut specifically because I wanted to get that crisp, dry, summer-y flavour without overpowering the rest of the ingredients.
The Pride of the Isles started life as a variation on a classic champagne cocktail: sugar, bitters, champagne, cognac. I didn’t want to overpower the drink with the deep notes of the cognac, so I had to come up with an alternative.
After experimenting with brandies, I ended up going with a fino sherry instead. The crisp notes helped to emphasis the dryness of the champagne without impacting on the Agwa, but also managed to add a sharp, slightly herbaceous note to compliment the coca liqueur as well.
Agwa de Bolivia
Agwa de Bolivia is a unique little liqueur. It’s made from coca leaf from Bolivia, manufactured in Amsterdam and, to my knowledge, is one of the few examples of a coca leaf liqueur sold commercially.
It’s made with dozens of different botanicals on top of the coca leaf that takes front stage, but it’s most notable flavours are mint, bay leaf and even a touch of eucalyptus. It’s a fascinating herbal explosion of flavours, which makes it ideal to fulfill the “uniquely High Elven” requirement that I had for this drink.
And, if you’re wondering, no, it doesn’t contain the cocaine alkaloids. Sorry!
Want more video game inspired cocktail recipes? Check out the rest of the recipes on Experience Bar!