Guest Post: ‘Queen of Thorns’


A Drink Inspired by HBO’s Game of Thrones

By Jaclyn Koss

White Russians. Cosmopolitans. Vespers. French 75s. All of these cocktails have one thing in common — they have a strong association with a movie or tv show. There is a large list of boozy beverages made popular because of their ties to the entertainment industry: for example, the resurgence of the Old Fashioned is often credited to Mad Men. Taking this one step further, people often create cocktails inspired by their favorite movies or TV shows. Why do people do this? I believe that it is because it allows us to feel more like we are part of the story. It allows us to connect to a world, a place, or a character on another level.

Game of Thrones is one such show that inspires both masters and amateurs to create  inspired drinks. The complex characters, gorgeous settings, and compelling storylines offer a lot of material from which to draw inspiration. As a huge fan of the show, I knew I had to create something amazing to honor the final season of the show. Since Elie isn’t caught up (😱), I invited my coworker Jaclyn Shultz to join me on this cocktail-making adventure.

Side note: since Elie hasn’t seen any of Game of Thrones and plans to binge-watch it soon, this post is spoiler-free.

As mentioned in one of my blog posts, if I were in one of the great houses of Westeros, I would be a Tyrell first and a Stark second. Since Jaclyn would also be a Tyrell, we naturally crafted something to honor this well-mannered, shrewd house. And, of course, the sass-master herself.

Queen of Thorns🥀

I want to be Olenna Tyrell when I grow up. It was only fitting that we honor her with a cocktail named after her nickname, “Queen of Thorns.” This drink was also inspired by the Highgarden, a House Tyrell-themed cocktail created by Eugene Lee and Aaron Alvarez at Big Bar in Los Angeles.

Step into the halls of Highgarden with this refreshing gin cocktail. The brightness of gin and rose water combines with the velvet-clad iron personality of amaro nonino and the acidity of lemon to create a drink that is floral and bittersweet. It is topped with sparkling rosé for a hint of effervescence with a delicate punch. Don’t let the flower petals fool you: like House Tyrell, this drink has a surprising bite. These roses have thorns.


2 oz. Corgi Bee Blossom Gin
½ oz. Amaro Nonino Quintessentia
Juice of ½ lemon
1 barspoon rose water
Sparkling rosé, to top (regular rosé works too!)
Rose petals, for garnish
Thyme sprigs, for garnish


Stir all ingredients except rosé and garnishes. Strain into a stemless wine glass with a large ice cube in it. Top with rosé. Garnish with rose petals and thyme sprigs. 

The biggest of thank yous to my partner in crime Jaclyn Koss for generously giving her time to write this post.
Now make a cocktail for the Lannisters next 🙂

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