Ancient (super)heroes (Conan The Barbarian, Sláine The King)

Today we’re going to take a look for couple of truly ancient heroes; their cocktail recipes have a hint of actual Real World History in them…




1 part lager

1 part cider

1 part red wine

dash (to few very plentiful dashes) of Cynar

Build into a suitable container, ice is optional. All ingredients can be room temperature, although I personally prefer beer and cider taken from the fridge and red wine room temperature.

I came across a very old “cocktail recipe” from the ancient Greece: “beer, mead and wine mixed together.” Sounds horrible, right? “Mead” is a pretty broad concept, so I decided to go with a cider; “mead” can be anything between Finnish “kilju” (plase don’t try it) or any other kind of homemade alcohol created through fermentation… “cider” has some kind of classification, at least; readers have some kind of an idea what I’m referring to.

Original “recipe” didn’t give any proportions, so I dove in with 1 part each… “Hey, this tastes much better that it sounds like?!?!”… but even if red wine+lager+cider-combo was pretty allright, something was definitely missing…

Cynar is the Missing Link! It gives character, it gives “depth”: this is the cocktail (so to speak) worthy of invincible Cimmerian barbarian! 😀

Be warned: this goes down pretty easily (once you get past the first gulp) and you don’t get a feel about alcohol content: it’s pretty easy to drink this as a strong beer… but it’s much stronger! I guess this is kinda “test of manhood”: are you a Real Cimmerian?” ;P

I’m pretty content with this drink; it combines an actual ancient “cocktail” recipe, and still holds “A Hyperborean Feel”.




hypocras (see below)

dash of lemon juice and/or dash of tequila and/or mezcal

Build into a suitable container, room temperature.


Sláine The King is a combination of two Old, Real World “cocktails”…

HYPOCRAS (one of the many ways to prepare this Medieval healing potion)

1 liter of red wine

150 grams of white sugar (very rare in Medieval Europe)

2 tea spoons of cinnamon

2 tea spoons of ginger

Heat the red wine in a pan, don’t boil. Soak in the sugar, toss in the spices, stir. Let it cool for at least two hours, stirring occasionally. Filter into the bottle(s) and store into a cool place; enjoy it in a week or two.

This Medieval recipe is named after Hippocrates, The Father of Medicine, and it’s suppose to have healing abilities. There are about kwazillion recipes for producing “The Best” Hypocras, this is the the one I use in Sláine The Cocktail.

And then there’s another old recipe…



white rum

white sugar

exotic spices

orange juice

citrus juice (lime preferrd over lemon, since it’s from “The New World”)

Rim the glass with white sugar and grated citrus skin. Stir ingredients with ice and strain into the glass.

“Bolo” is the general name for expensive drinks in 16th century drinks served in Europe (there’s also a cocktail named “Bolo” in The Savoy Cocktail Book which has nothing to do with the concept)… ingredients vary, but the main idea was that the host tried to impress his guests with a drink containing all sorts of expensive ingredients from The New World.


So…My take on Sláine The Cocktail is the combination of Hypocras and the concept of Bolo.


Hypocras is a pretty decent drink as it is, but spicing/spiking it up with fresh citrus juice and/or a dash of Mexican alcohol takes it to another level… something Sláine would sip when he has risen to the to the throne, after wading in the blood of his enemies for so many years.

Just to make it clear… prepare hypocras as in the recipe, add citrus/Mexican booze before serving.


So, there we have a couple of drinks for ancient barbarian heroes, based on actual ancient drink recipes. I hope you enjoy them.


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