DrinkWire is Liquor.com's showcase for the best articles, recipe and reviews from the web's top writers and bloggers. In this post, Boxes & Booze offers a cocktail inspired by a classic novel.


“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” – J.R.R.Tolkien

I recently acquired the perfect puzzle box for a toast to one of my favorite writers. Kim Klobucher crafts his beautiful boxes in Washington State on Bainbridge Island from a myriad of exotic hardwoods, brass and other materials. He appears to have a fondness for The Lord of the Rings, as do I. His “One Ring Box” has fallen into my hands, and I find it to be … precious.

I’ve crafted a special cocktail for this toast as well. Don’t doubt for a moment that there are more Lord of the Rings cocktail creations out there to choose from than you could ever drink – maybe a hobbit could, but this is the time of men and women. Perhaps a pint of Barlimans Best ale, a barrel of Lake-town’s finest wine or a flagon of Dwarvish mead might hit the spot?


I’ve put together something slightly more sinister and integrally linked to the One Ring, based on the classic Americano cocktail. In the late 1800s in Milan, Gaspare Campari, the creator of the celebrated vibrant Italian aperitif, served a combination of his namesake Campari with sweet vermouth from Torino. The “Milano-Torino” cocktail was such a huge hit with American tourists that in the 1920s the drink was renamed the “Americano”. James Bond even ordered one in his debut Casino Royale, before a different drink took his fancy.

I’ve created a special version using a saffron-infused Cocchi Americano aperitivo (a fortified Moscato wine flavored with cinchona, citrus, spices and botanicals) and a saffron-infused ice sphere for extra effect. The resulting Eye of Saffron cocktail, reminiscent of the Eye of Sauron, might just lure you in, too – you won’t be able to take your eye off it until it consumes your soul. Or you consume it, one of those, anyway. Cheers!

“Home is behind, the world ahead,
and there are many paths to tread
through shadows to the edge of night,
until the stars are all alight.”
- J.R.R.Tolkien


The Eye of Saffron

1 ½ oz Campari
1 ½ oz saffron-infused Cocchi Americano
Club soda
Saffron ice ball

Combine the Campari and Cocchi in a mixing glass and stir well with ice. Strain into a glass containing the special ice ball, top with club soda and enjoy. Ring of power optional.


To learn more about this precious puzzle box and its powerful treasure see:

Boxes and Booze: A Tolkien of Appreciation

For prior Campari cocktails see:

Triple Play

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