“Arianne drew the child away. “You must be hungry. We have dates and cheese and olives, and lemonsweet to drink. You ought not eat or drink too much though.” – A Feast For Crows
So begins the heading to the Lemonsweet entry in A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook. This is a cookbook written by fans of the Game of Thrones series. Throughout the books, the author is constantly talking about what people are eating. So, two adventurous and dedicated women decided to figure out exactly what it is the characters were eating. Does it sound like kind of a cheesy idea for a cookbook? Maybe. At first I certainly thought so. Then I dove in, and let me tell you. This is a very cool cookbook.
Why is it a cool cookbook? Because these ladies that wrote it did their homework. They researched actual Medieval cooking techniques and recipes to recreate what the people of Westeros might have been eating. For many of the recipes, there is an authentic Medieval version and then a modern version of the recipe. The cookbook is littered with quotes from the GOT series, linking the recipes to specific moments. I think that whether you are interested in the Game of Thrones books and show or not, you could still find a lot of information and entertainment out of this cookbook.
For instance, this Lemonsweet drink, which is basically just lemonade. But it is a lemonade that tastes old world. The honey gives it a depth that regular sugar cannot. The addition of the fresh herbs and vanilla make you come back for more and savor the unique flavors on your palette. This is a perfect drink to make for your next GOT viewing party, to enjoy on a sunny day, or to make on a rainy day and pretend that the weather is better. And let me tell you, it also makes a lovely mixer for some gin or vodka.
Make yourself a pitcher and you just might find yourself sitting in King’s Landing, watching the waves crash against the sides of the Red Keep, feeling the sun on your face, and plotting the rise of your family and the downfall of your enemies. Or you’ll be there in your mind anyways. Enjoy!
Modern Lemonsweet with Honey and Vanilla
From A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Companion Cookbook by Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 cups water
- 1 vanilla bean, or 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 sprig fresh thyme or rosemary
- 6 or 7 lemons
- lemon wheels or wedges for garnish
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the honey and 2 cups water. Slit the vanilla bean in half lengthwise, then, using the back of the knife, scrape the seeds out of the pod and into the saucepan, then drop the pod in as well. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 4 or 5 minutes, until the honey is dissolved and the mixture thickens. Remove it from the heat, add your herb sprig if desired, and allow it to cool.
Squeeze enough of the lemons to make 1 1/2 cups juice and pour it into the gallon jug or pitcher. Cut a whole lemon into wheels or wedges and set them aside to use as garnish.
Pour the honey syrup through a strainer (if used vanilla bean instead of extract). Add water to equal 1 gallon and stir well. Serve the lemonade over ice, garnished with the lemon wheels or wedges.
Photographs by Jessica Yager