Fire Saga

The Fire Saga is a rimmed tequila cocktail, a variation on the Margarita.

This cocktail may have been inspired by The Nameless Dog, but its name was inspired by one of our favorite movies of the summer, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga.

Elizabeth lived in Scandinavia and is a huge fan of the real-life annual event that inspired the movie. In fact, it was a lively topic of discussion on our second date, and we had plans to attend a watching party, though Eurovision’s 2020 contest, of course, ended up being canceled due to the pandemic.

The Eurovision Song Contest is a continent-wide competition to award the best song of the year in and around Europe. It’s not like our reality song competitions that choose a winning performer; this contest specifically focuses on the song. Each country nominates a singer or band to represent them, and each act performs one song each. Entries span genres so that you moment, you may be watching a death metal performance, then a glossy pop confection. Costumes, pyrotechnics, and stage props are not only encouraged, but beloved. The singer or band sings the same song in each round of the contest, until a champion song is crowned. ABBA is a former winner; other winners may be more obscure to American audiences.

Briefly, Will Ferrell and Rachel McAdams form a band called Fire Saga, which improbably becomes Iceland’s national representative in the contest. The movie has nearly everything you could ask for…ambition, “song-alongs” with real-life Eurovision champions, crushes, onstage hilarity, tears…Demi Lovato (who I honestly think should cameo in everything)…elves!

We didn’t necessarily have high hopes for the movie, but it’s a charmer! Elizabeth vouched for the truth of many of the details, such as the fervor of the competition (to the same level that some Americans generally reserve for championship sporting events), some of the outlandish antics that have really occurred at the Song Contest, which inspired scenes in the movie, an Icelandic affinity for a specific style of wool sweater, and another affinity for silly, nearly-nonsensical bar songs.

We watched this movie three times within a week, and I’m sure we’ll return to it again. Make a Fire Saga and give it a try!

As for the cocktail itself, it’s a margarita descendant, with tequila, lime, lavender simple syrup, and a spicy chipotle-salt rim,

The syrup made it just a little soft, but not too sweet. It was a great addition. We actually made this to support National Tequila Day, but it turns out we were one day late.

Ingredients

  • 3 oz. Tequila

  • Juice from several limes

  • 1 oz. Lavender Simple Syrup

  • Lavender Simple Syrup
  • 1 c. Monk fruit

  • 1 c. Water

  • Small handful of flowers from lavender sprigs

  • Rim
  • Chipotle

  • Salt

Directions

  • Lavender Simple Syrup
  • Earlier (if you can) combine monk fruit, water, and lavender flowers in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil and stir until the monk fruit crystals dissolve into the water, then cool. While the syrup cools, the flowers will continue to steep and impart the flavor. Strain the flowers from the mixture, then cool in the fridge. (But not for too long! We learned the hard way that monk fruit recrystallizes quickly).
  • Rim
  • Loosely mix chipotle and salt in a dish, on a small plate, or in a special cocktail rimmer.
  • To wet the glass rim, wipe along its edge with a wedge of lime. Sometimes I’ll use a napkin dipped in the simple syrup or other relevant ingredient – anything to give a nice base that the dry rim ingredients will adhere to, which also gives a little additional flavor. Don’t forget to do this part first (Maura often forgets…)
  • Cocktail
  • Squeeze lime juice; combine with tequila and cooled Lavender Simple Syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until satisfied.
  • Toast to the elves who have gone too far, or by singing a chorus of “Ja Ja Ding Dong” and enjoy!

Notes

We learned something about monk fruit: it will absolutely want to recrystallize, even in the simple syrup mixture. It’ll do that more quickly if it’s in the fridge, and it’ll even do it in your cocktail glass! Maura isn’t a fan of monk fruit for this reason, but Elizabeth continues to like it for nutritional reasons. (When Maura makes a cocktail in Tacoma, it’s sugar all the way; in Seattle, it’s usually monk fruit).

Somewhere along the way, in a later cocktail, Maura discovered that using an even mixture of monk fruit and sugar will prevent this crystallizing, so if you like monk fruit, but not how it behaves in a cold glass (or, sheesh, even at room temperature), this could be the way to go.

Enjoyed on July 25

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