Pretty, Pretty Potions
Hello, and welcome to another week of Friday Night Bites! This week I attempted some potable prestidigitation by making some potions from The Unofficial Zelda Cookbook by Aimee Wood. On the menu this week are: Secret Medicine, Great Fairy’s Tears, and The Revitalizing Potion.
“All right, come here and I’ll rub it on you! …There… I’ve applied my own secret medicine! It will take effect when you lose all heart! Drop by again, big guy!” – From The Legend Of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.
In Link’s Awakening, you can get the Secret Medicine from Crazy Tracy. Although it apparently gets rubbed into Link’s skin, this one is drinkable. Though I suppose if you really wanted to, you could rub it over your body. Once saturated with Crazy Tracy’s Secret Medicine (which sounds wonderfully, wildly inappropriate), should Link fall in battle, he’ll be revived with full health. Kind of like having a fairy in a bottle, but better.
The directions for this potion in real life are pretty simple: some freshly brewed black tea, some fresh-squeezed lemon, a bit of blood orange puree, and a pinch of ground ginger. Mix it all together and pour it into your potion bottle, and voila! Secret Medicine. The color isn’t particularly appealing, I’ll admit. And unfortunately, the flavor wasn’t much better than its appearance. If you’re thinking to yourself, “Hmmm, that recipe sounds kind of familiar…” That’s because it’s basically an Arnold Palmer, but a bit watered down and with ginger and orange instead of outright lemonade. Unfortunately, the citrus flavor didn’t come through very well, and the ginger only added a hint of weird flavoring that, unless you knew it was ginger, is more odd than good.
That being said, it was fairly refreshing. The lemon juice gave it a decent tartness, it wasn’t very sweet (which is something I appreciate), and it was easy to make. Maybe with a little tweaking it could be a bit better, but as is, it’s a bit uninspiring and mediocre. You could also probably overlook the lack of distinctive flavor by making the alcoholic version of this potion, which involves adding some whiskey. Not sure how well whiskey would mix with what’s essentially a weak Arnold Palmer, but hey, might not be bad.
The Husband’s Opinion: “I’ve had an Arnold Palmer before, and they’re okay. This is kind of like a weak Arnold Palmer. No strong flavor from any of its individual elements; it just tasted like weak tea with some weak lemonade.”
Final Verdict: 2/5 Golden Tri-Forks
Great Fairy’s Tears
“You got the Great Fairy’s Tears! This sacred water contains the Great Fairy’s prayers.” – In-game description from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
In Twilight Princess, the Great Fairy’s Tears are rare and hard to come by. You can get a bottle of them by collecting enough Poe souls, or by completing all 50 battles in the Cave of Ordeals. By clearing all 50 battles, Link will be able to receive the Great Fairy’s Tears from any of the Spirit’s Springs. When drunk, the Great Fairy’s Tears will restore all of Links hearts and provide him with a temporary attack boost.
I was really excited to try this potion, mainly because it contains one of my favorite ingredients: prickly pear. If you’ve never had a prickly pear, it’s a wonderfully weird fruit that grows on cacti. It kind of tastes like a melon and a berry had a weird little baby and I can’t ever get enough of them. But living in the Pacific Northwest, they’re hard to come by.
Thankfully, this recipe called for prickly pear syrup, which was easy enough to obtain. Another simple recipe: prickly pear syrup, fresh lemonade, and sparkling water. Gently mix so that you don’t lose your carbonation, and pour into your cute li’l potion bottle. The color of this one is absolutely stunning, I think. And the flavor is actually as good as it looks! The prickly pear flavor comes through, and pairs really well with the tart lemonade.
My only complaint is that it’s just too sweet. With the syrup and the lemonade, it’s sweet layered on top of sweet. But, that’s an easy enough fix. Either cut back on the syrup, or, even better, simply use freshly squeezed lemon juice in place of lemonade. I think the tartness of the lemon with the sweetness of the prickly pear would be a match made in heaven. The alcoholic version involves simply swapping the sparkling water for sparkling white wine. How could that be bad?
The Husband’s Opinion: “It’s got a great flavor. The prickly pear and lemonade go together really well, but the sweetness is off the charts. Like, go into a diabetic coma off the charts. Just a few sips was all I could stomach.”
Final Verdict: 3/5 Golden Tri-Forks
The Revitalizing Potion
“You got some Revitalizing Potion! This potion fully replenishes your shield gauge and also restores four hearts!” – In-game description from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.
Revitalizing Potions are common in Skyward Sword. You can simply buy them from the Potion Shop, and they only cost 30 Rupees. When drunk, the Revitalizing Potion will restore four of Link’s hearts, while also restoring his shield gauge. They can also be upgraded by infusing them with bugs. Mmmmm.
This was easily the most complicated of the potions to “brew.” But it was also the most fun. It involved steeping butterfly pea tea flowers in hot water, then pouring the resulting intensely blue tea into an ice cube tray and freezing it. The rest of the potion is made by mixing freshly squeezed lemon, a little sugar, sparkling water, and a pinch of violently pink edible glitter. You then pour the insanely pink liquid into the potion bottle, and add in the crushed butterfly pea tea ice. It’s kind of hard to see, but as the ice melts, the blue tea turns purple, thanks to the magic of chemistry.
I do have to take a little detour here and talk about that pink glitter. Because it looks like I somehow managed to distill a piece of my gay soul and trap it in a bottle. I mean, it’s beautifully, intensely pink, it’s glittery, and it looks downright magical. I’m pretty sure all my future drinks need to look like this. And in case you don’t believe me, here’s photographic proof that there’s a piece of my gay soul trapped in a bottle:
Overall, the Revitalizing Potion is all sparkle and no substance. I was, unfortunately, really disappointed with the flavor. Which, looking back, I really shouldn’t have been so surprised – it’s basically fizzy lemon water with some weird tea and a bit of sugar. It mostly just tasted like super watered down lemonade, and the butterfly pea tea, while stunning and gorgeous, only added a sort of weird earthy flavor that you could only detect now and then. I can’t imagine the alcoholic version being any better – it’s made by adding gin to the mixture. And for those of you who don’t know (or pretend to not know), gin tastes like a boiled pine tree. No thank you. That being said, I think all my fizzy water will be served with that pretty pink glitter going forward.
The Husband’s Opinion: “It really did just taste like watered down lemonade. I don’t want to drink this because I think it’ll make me gay. But since I’m already gay, will it make me gayer? I’m not sure, because I’m not an expert on gay physics. Either way, pretty to look at it, not great to drink.”
Final Verdict: 2/5 Golden Tri-Forks
That’s it for this week’s Friday Night Bytes! Join me again next week for a special Nailed It-inspired edition, where I will be attempting to make some very decoration-dependent recipes from The Unofficial Zelda Cookbook.