The Chinese Dragon is the highest-ranking creature in the Chinese god/animal hierarchy, representing power, majesty, dignity, fertility and wisdom.
When he makes his appearance in effigy during Chinese New Year, he symbolizes the spiritual aspect of our existence and brings good fortune to all aspects of our lives.
To celebrate the dragon at this time of the Lantern Festival, let’s do flaming green, red and gold bomb shots!
‘No, I would not like to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith.’ – R.A. Salvatore – ‘Streams of Silver’
A surprise visit from a dancing dragon at Bun Bun Bun in Shoreditch last week.
The Flaming Dragon
½ oz Gold Rush gold flake cinnamon liqueur = Prosperity
½ oz Blood Cherry liqueur = Excitement and sensuality
½ oz Midori melon liqueur = Good luck
1 bottle Crabbies Alcoholic Ginger Beer = Sexual potency
151 Rum – I’m using Goslings Black Seal = Power
Take a shot glass and pour in the Midori first, then add the cherry liqueur slowly, over the back of a spoon, so that it forms a red layer above the Midori green. Repeat the process with the Gold Flake, which should result in a sparkly glowing tri-coloured shot.
Any alcohol over 40% proof should burn if lit on fire, something to bear in mind for those long drinking sessions around the campfire, if not for reasons of personal safety, then for practical purposes in case you need to get the fire going again in drizzly conditions.
Gold Rush will burn with a low, small blue flame like the kind you get on a brandy-soaked Christmas pudding.
If you can get your hands on some 151 rum, as I did on this occasion – this can be added as a floater on top of the shot, using a syringe or eyedropper if you have one- this is powerful stuff, though, and should be handled and drunk with care. It can give a more dramatic flame effect.
Make sure you have a larger half pint glass to hand, filled ¾ full of the ginger beer. Chinese dragons have both a flame aspect and a liquid aspect, so this drink invokes both.
Using a taper or long match, set light to the shot. Toast to the Fire Dragon, then drop the shot into the half pint glass, and toast to the Water Dragon. Drink deep. A straw might be useful to blend this combination. In doing so you pay tribute to these powerful spiritual entities and take some of their qualities into your body, deep down into your tummy. Let it burn and soak into all available chakras.
Surely I need not point out that you don’t want to use any especially precious or delicate glassware for this process? And that you should keep a damp tea towel at hand for potential flame control? Of course not, I have far too much respect for you.
As dragons are frequently airborne, if you follow the custom of sending up candle lanterns during the Lantern Festival – now that you have attracted the dragon’s attention by toasting him in such an appropriate way – you may write any wishes you have for the forthcoming year on a slip of paper and attach them to the lantern where they will eventually reach King Dragon, for his consideration.
As the Lantern Festival marks the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations, this is your time to really get your talons into 2016. After a few shots, dance like a dragon like nobody’s watching.