Arven Mallick runs The Fourth Tribe, the nicest dive in the Warrens, making it the nicest dive in Oridos. If you’re a friend, and you ask nicely, he just might make you his signature cocktail: the Eberan Whiskey Sling.
Consulting detective Irik Thijis, the protagonist of my serial fantasy novel The Doktor’s Spyglass, swears by them, when Arven’s nice enough to give him one on the house. Eberan whiskey’s hard to come by, you know.
I promised my Wattpad readers the recipe, and today I deliver. Thijis asks Arven at one point, and Arven told him, but we can be fairly certain, knowing Mr. Mallick, that he didn’t give away all of his secrets so easily. The exact recipe may remain forever a mystery, but if you’ve been to the Tribe, and you’ve got a well-stocked bar, you can still make a passable representation of what has been called “the drink that wars are made on.”
The recipe is as follows.
Eberan Whiskey Sling (as made by Arven Mallick)
Fill a shaker with ice. Add one measure of Eberan whiskey, half a measure of sweet vermouth, at least six dashes cherry bitters, and a dash of simple syrup. Shake vigorously. Strain into a short glass, then remove the strainer and add in some of the ice. Garnish with an Oridosi blood cherry, crushing it against the side of the glass with the back of a spoon.
As it’s unlikely that you have immediate access to Eberan whiskey, feel free to substitute your favorite rye or, if you must, bourbon. Blood cherries are close to extinct, even in Oridos, but in a pinch a Bing cherry will do just fine.
Arven thunked a large drink down in front of him.
“So what’s this?” Thijis asked, bending his neck to look through the thick glass. It was a dark red color, and there was something floating in it.
“Eberan whiskey sling,” said Arven, using his faithful rag to wipe a wet ring out from under the tumbler he’d mixed it in.
“Eberan whiskey? Not sure I’ve got the crowns for liquid gold today, innkeeper.” Real Eberan whiskey was either hundreds of years old, pre-Fulkawer, or smuggled in fast sloops down the northern coast, by pirates who risked their lives to trade with the remaining Eberai tribes. Either way, it was damned expensive.
“It’s on the house. It’s an experiment. And you look like you’re having a hard day. Plus, I’m bored.”
Thijis sipped it. The muscles in his face had been tighter than he’d known, and they relaxed as one with the first sip.
“This is good,” he said. Arven snorted and walked to the end of the bar to arrange bottles. Thijis took another drink, rolling the liquid around on his tongue. It was sharp and sweet and dry all at the same time.
This is the last thing you need. Gebbing wants you gone, fast. You fucked up on this one. Didn’t pay enough attention and someone fleeced you. You’ll be lucky if they don’t find you face down in the Inner Sea within the week. Stay out of it this one fucking time.
If there was one thing Irik Thijis wasn’t any good at, it was staying out of it.
“What’s in this, Arven?” he asked.
“The whiskey, cherry sugar syrup, a few dashes of bitters of my own making,” Arven called out.
“What’s this floating in it?”
“A blood cherry. I’ve got a line on them, fellow down in Emmerline,” the bartender said.