Fizzy Fangorn Ent-Draught

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“The drink was like water, indeed very like the taste of the draughts they had drunk from the Entwash near the borders of the forest, and yet there was some scent or savour in it which they could not describe: it was faint, but it reminded them of the smell of a distant wood borne from afar by a cool breeze at night. The effect of the draught began at the toes, and rose steadily through every limb, bringing refreshment and vigour as it coursed upwards, right to the tips of the hair.”{1}

Merry and Pippin’s time with the Ents leads to one of the more hilarious bits of their story. As Treebeard carries them across the forest to the base of the Last Mountain, they rest for the night in a “wide level space, as though the floor of a great hall had been cut in the side of the hill.”{2} There, they drink from Treebeard’s giant stash of ent-draught, and chatter away into the night, as Treebeard asks them, at great length, of their adventures.

Later, after the Ents assault Orthanc, Gandalf, Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas reunite with the two hobbits by the ruins of Isengard, and Gimli comments on the remarkable effects of the drink thus: “‘Why, your hair is twice as thick and curly as when we parted; and I would swear that you have both grown somewhat, if that is possible for hobbits of your age.’”{3}

We do not know the details of what ent-draughts were composed of, only that they came from the waters of Fangorn, and that they had an earthy taste to them. The rest is left to our imagination; with that in mind, here is a fun, fizzy party drink that evokes earthen, “treeish” flavors!

Fizzy Ent-Draught
Author: 
Recipe type: Party Drink
Prep time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 10-12
 

A lighthearted, punch-bowl-worthy take on Tolkien’s Ent-draught.
Ingredients
  • 4 bottles of sparkling apple cider
  • ½ – ¾ c. clover honey
  • 1 small gala apple
  • 1 small asian pear (optional)
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 4-6 whole fresh sage leaves (optional)

Instructions
  1. Warm the honey in a saucepan over low heat until it is runny, but not too hot to touch (90-100 F / 34-38 C).
  2. Wash the apple and pear, and, leaving the skin on, dice them to a fine dice, roughly 3/16 – ¼” on a side (5-7 mm). If doing this more than a few minutes before adding them to the sparkling cider, toss them in a splash of lemon or orange juice to prevent browning.
  3. Empty the bottles of sparkling cider into a large punch bowl. Whisk the warm honey into the bowl until it is fully dissolved.
  4. Add almond extract to taste – do so a small amount at a time, as this stuff is incredibly potent and can overwhelm the other flavors in the dish if you add too much.
  5. Add the apple, pear, and the sage leaves, and serve!

Variations:

  • Add a couple sprigs of rosemary in place of the sage.
  • Use different apples – generally speaking, the Fuji/Gala family will be excellent, and those with several different colors on their skin will make the presentation more varied and rich.
  • Keep the honey warm for a while longer, and add around 12-18 whole cloves to it.  Strain the cloves out before adding the honey to the sparkling cider.
  • (For grown hobbits only!) Add a cup (~250 mL) of spiced rum to the honey as it’s on the stove!
  1. The Two Towers, Ch. IV, J.R.R. Tolkien []
  2. The Two Towers, Ch. IV []
  3. The Two Towers, Ch. IX []

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