by Luke Wortley (eldub)
So, I’m the copy-editor and the Nedly corner of The White Book, but I also have a degree in creative writing and am heavily influenced by the Southern writers, which means I’ve had my fair share of cocktails…
This article, rather than focusing on the Nedly value of cards, will focus on the Nedliness of your liquor choices when it comes to playing the only game that matters. We at The White Book have never been shy about our proclivity for drunken Thrones and singing, so I figured, as a sort of primer for GenCon and other major events coming up, I’d give you a drinking guide for whatever faction you happen to be playing at any given moment.
Also, disclaimer. You’ll note that many of my preferred marks aren’t exactly cheap. It’s not because I have an exorbitant amount of money (High school teacher FTW); it’s because I spend an inordinate amount on good drinks…
Let’s just go alphabetically.
House Baratheon: So, the stags of the Stormlands have been a dominant house since the Core Set release; as it turns out, kneel is still good. Baratheon players should consider pairing their decks with red wine. Though I believe Merlot might be the best pairing (seeing as it’s a good introductory grape with a perfect blend of dryness and sweetness — a baseline wine, if you will), Cabernet Sauvignon may be a solid choice for those preferring a bit more of the dryness. Bordeaux, as well, if you’re interested in talking about the nobility of lineage. In short, kneel is a great mechanic that can, if played correctly, afford its owner the ability to kick back and relax with a glass. And let’s not forget that everyone’s favorite manly-man, Robert Baratheon, spent all of A Game of Thrones and Season 1 of the show calling to his squire for more wine.
Recommended cocktails / drinks: Quartino of Merlot for newer players, just to get you started. A bottle of Cab or Bordeaux for more experienced players wishing to revel in their inevitable win.
House Greyjoy: The squids are obviously rum. Nothing says pirates and sea-dogs like a good bottle of spiced rum. Coincidentally, my favorite rum, for the price, if you can find it (Wow, that’s a ton of clauses stacked up), is Flor de Caña from Nicaragua — so good. Anyway, I think the gents from Banter may be able to educate me better. Rum is always the drink you go to when you know exactly what you want out of a night, right? Though I suppose the same could be said of tequila, rum seems to be a bit more thematic.
Recommended cocktails / drinks: LIT (Long Island Iced Tea) for folks just looking to play cards and turn them sideways, because we all know you’re not going to remember these matches anyway. Flor de Caña on the rocks with lime for those looking to sip and enjoy the spoils of victory. For those particularly adventurous or particularly opposed to spiced rum, consider a caipirinha, the national cocktail of Brazil. Simply delicious and refreshing as you mow over would-be defenders.
House Lannister: So, this one, at first glance, was really hard to pick. But then I remembered that House Lannister is my favorite faction in both the lore and the game, so I obviously went with my favorite liquor: bourbon.
Why bourbon? Well, I grew up within about 30 minutes of 4 major distilleries (Woodford Reserve, Wild Turkey, Four Roses, and Buffalo Trace) and about an hour from all the other big ones (Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Willet, etc.), and I always found bourbon to be the drink of choice for those folks most adept at both A) being able to control any social gathering with innate charisma and B) being able to ceaselessly provide guests with a full cocktail. I was always raised to drink out of my left hand so I could shake with my right and to always ask if my guest needs a refill; we always served bourbon. And, though cold and calculating, it seems that Tywin would probably approve, even if he ordered his with water and let his puppets…uh, I mean, esteemed guests…drink themselves silly on finely crafted cocktails.
Recommended cocktails / drinks: For the newer Lanni player who knows of the power level but just plays the current meta deck, I recommend Rebel Yell and Coke — nothing wrong with a bourbon and coke, and Rebel Yell is incredible at its price point. For the more experienced Lanni player who wishes to flaunt his air of superiority over the Facebook complainers, you have two options: 1) Booker’s on the rocks or Blanton’s neat. Trust me, you won’t regret it — Rock Hill farms, too, if you’re really looking to drop money. Finally, though, no matter what brand of Lannister you’re playing, you can always check your pocketwatch and sip on your Old Fashioned; I recommend Woodford Reserve, Basil Hayden’s, or Eagle Rare. PM me…I can talk bourbon all day.
House Martell: Second hardest to pinpoint. Though wine seems to be a natural fit, I believe that Martell is actually more of a cognac or a brandy, or even a liqueur — something meant to be savored and enjoyed after all the main courses / festivities. Martell plays the long game…so while your opponents are downing beer after beer, making mistakes, you sit back and savor the aroma of impending victory.
Recommended cocktails / drinks: For the newer Martell player, you’ve probably had some curiosity for a while and want to join the party but are unsure of the social milieu of the faction; I’d say a B&B is perfect to whet your curiosity as well as satisfy a spirit hungry for recognition of a job-well-done. For those who have been scheming since the end of first edition, I have two recommendations: 1) Gran Marnier neat or 2) Cuarenta y tres (Licór 43) is a liqueur from Spain; it’s dope and you should try it on the rocks.
House Stark: I love scotch. Scotchey, scotch, scotch, here it goes down, down into my belly…mmm mmm mmm. If you’ve ever looked at a map of Westeros, there are some obvious semblances to Great Britain. The North, therefore, is simply the untamed wilderness of the medieval Scots — the hard, cold, war-mongering folk who drink hard liquor and laugh when their fingers get bitten off by direwolves… No explanations, here. Scotch keeps you warm in winter, and Winter is Coming.
Recommended cocktails / drinks: Glenfidditch 12-year, neat. Almost any other scotch neat except Johnny Red. Careful with Scotch, though, because it’s like a ladder you can’t ever come down from…once you start at a certain rung, you gotta either make a lateral move or a step up, which can get expensive. Example: really hard to go from Glenfidditch 12 to Johnny Red or Dewar’s White Label…
House Targaryen: Definitely the hardest one to pinpoint. I ultimately decided on beer. I think Targ is one of those decks that you’re always down to play, no matter what. If you like beer, then you’re going to find something you like, right? And I love to think of hanging in a bar with Khal Drogo as he orders some insanely named local brew…Oh, and I’ll raise a glass to Mirri and Dany all day long: those cards are insane.
Recommended cocktails / drinks: Whatever suits you…beer is good so long as you’re ordering it for yourself.
House Tyrell: Okay, so I had a lot of trouble with this one. Anyone who has talked to me for more than 20 min about this game knows that I’m a huge Tyrell fanboy (ask Wamma, Schoenthal, Glazer, Patrick, et al.). I love what the faction is trying to do and what may be set up for the future. Raise a glass to the new Renly Baratheon, yall. May he be playable. I think that House Tyrell is emblematic of the best, most covert, business associates in Westeros — either that or the secret agents…In the card game as we know it, Tyrell leverages econ and rush.
As such, I feel that Tyrell’s liquor of choice would definitely be vodka. While many vodkas are largely perceived as “undetectable,” the really fine vodkas produce the best martinis, which is the consummate drink of any business professional, right?
Recommended cocktails / drinks: For all Tyrell players, you’re enjoying the finer things in life; get a good vodka with lime…if you like a splash of cran, then add it…it’s your Arbor (my preferred, readily available marks: Grey Goose and Ketel One). However, the distinctive drink of a Tyrell player must be comfortable with a Vodka Martini (Belvedere makes a killer martini).
The Night’s Watch: Honestly, this faction wasn’t hard to pick in the slightest…mead. For the harshest winters, the men of The Night’s Watch certainly want a bottle of mead handy. Spiced honey-wine is a thing of beauty in any weather, but it’s particularly amazing in the cold. Luckily, Indianapolis has a local meadery, which is ultra convenient when I have a hankering for a skein. Seriously, though, mead is dope, and I’m thinking that Night’s Watch will also be dope here soon. Have a horn on it now while it’s still cool.
Seriously, though, if you haven’t tried mead, you should.
Recommended cocktails / drinks: Anything that gets the job done.
Yall take care now,