Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail Media Tour Mocktails (and Cocktails!)

6 Jun 2024
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I love a themed drink, so when I saw that our gracious hosts of the North American Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntrail Media Tour would be providing us with not one, but three themed mocktails to keep us hydrated and energized while we frolicked through Etheirys’ Mesoamerica, I knew I had to share them with all of you so that you could make them for yourselves!

However, I realized when I got home, menu in hand, that I foolishly never asked our bartenders for the exact measurements for these babies. As such, all included measurements are guesstimations based on how I remember the drinks tasting.

If you’re not up for drinks just yet, you can find more coverage of the Dawntrail Media Tour here.

The Mocktails

We’ll start at the top of the menu, with the “Pictomancer!” 

  • Butterfly Pea Flower – Your guess is as good as mine!
  • Fresh Strawberry – 4 oz strawberry nectar, you can use juice if you prefer, but the nectar really gives it the burst of color
  • Meyer Lemon – 1 oz, or approx. 1 squeezed lemon
  • Simple Syrup – 1/2 oz

This bright, pink drink embodies the playful look of Pictomancy spells and is even topped with a contrasting splash of indigo via a flower floating on top that mimics the cute li’l ribbon on Picto’s hat. The taste of the “Pictomancer” is much more subtle though, akin to a strawberry lemonade that’s heavier on the strawberry side. I’m unfamiliar with the taste of butterfly pea flower, but google claims it doesn’t have much of a taste of its own and is often used to add a slight floral or vegetal flavor, or for coloring. I was left wondering if the pea flower was what muted the fruit flavors slightly, and when I made my own without the pea flower (because I just couldn’t find it), I felt like my suspicions were confirmed.

Overall, I found the subtlety of the fruit flavors and sweetness refreshing in a way that overly sugary drinks just can’t achieve.

Next up: the “Viper!”

  • Cucumber – 3 oz cucumber, or about half a medium cucumber, sliced and muddled
  • Basil – approx. 4 leaves depending on your taste, muddled
  • Pineapple – 4 oz pineapple nectar
  • Lime – 1 oz lime juice, or 1 to 1.5 squeezed limes
  • Soda – 1 oz club soda, or sparkling water if you prefer (make sure you add this as the end if you’re shaking your drink)
  • Strain before drinking

The look of this one, an electric yellow-green, plays upon the poisons used by the dual-wielding namesake of this drink, and is appropriately garnished with two, crossed cocktail sword picks. This drink was very cucumber forward, likely meant, along with the added basil, to evoke a jungle-like feel and remind us of the Viper’s roots as a hunter. I was certainly reminded of it, as I wandered through my local grocery store with a tiny pot of basil in my cart, and the sweet, earthy smell wafted constantly up to greet my nose. These very strong, green flavors and scents were balanced with a tinge of sweet pineapple and tangy lime and finished off with the bite of the soda water.

This was probably my least favorite of the three, but I’m not really a cucumber and herb person when it comes to drinks. For anyone who favors these flavors, though, this drink is likely to hit the spot.

And finally, the “Dawntrail,” named for the upcoming expansion!

  • Mango – 5 oz mango nectar, you may prefer juice for a slightly lighter drink
  • Lime – 1 oz lime juice, or 1 to 1.5 squeezed limes
  • Agave – 1/2 oz
  • Grenadine – Just a splash at the end, enough to make your sunrise. It will settle on the bottom of your glass by itself as long as you pour gently.

Mango, lime and agave were mixed for the main, sunshine-hued drink, then they sunk a layer of ruby red grenadine to the bottom of the glass to create that dawn-eque look, similar to a tequila sunrise. They finished off the presentation with a pineapple straw, which reminded me, at the very least, of Urianger’s tropical drink from the Dawntrail trailer. The tart lime in the drink complimented the buttery sweetness of mango well, and the extra touch of rich, berry pomegranate flavor added another pleasant layer to the fruity medley, even though it was likely there just for the sunrise appearance. This was probably the sweetest drink due to the addition of agave alongside all the fruits, and I’m not sure it needed it, but I don’t think it suffered from it either.

This was unquestionably my favorite of the three. I’m usually not terribly fond of mango, but I actually quite enjoyed this combo, and heard the sentiment echoed amongst the other tour attendees. Also, it’s Urianger approved.

The Cocktails

But we’re not going to stop there, right? Several tour-goers jokingly requested the addition of a nip of alcohol as they picked up their glasses (#day2crew), so…I did that as well! Experimentation is important, so I mixed up two different alcoholic versions of each drink to report back about on my flavor combo findings.

Pictomancer

Gin – 1 oz (Bombay Sapphire)

I find that floral drinks tend to lend themselves to gin, so even though my version was lacking the butterfly pea flower, I wanted to give the “Pictomancer” a try with that spirit first.

Vodka – 2 oz (Ketel One)

For my second Picto-mixer, I decided to go with vodka. I’m not much of a vodka fan, truth be told, but I’ve had an enjoyable strawberry drink or two with vodka as the supporting spirit. Since the strawberry had struck me as the strongest flavor here, it seems like a good bet that vodka might do the trick.

The Victor – Vodka

I think my major mistake here was assuming that the Picto’ would still somehow hold some of its floral qualities in the version I managed to make. It did not. The ounce of gin added was pleasant enough, but altered the taste of the drink in a way that the vodka did not. As with so many other cocktails, vodka takes the win on this one for letting the drink shine on its own, while giving it a little kick. With that knowledge in hand, this combo could also make an excellent mimosa.

Viper

Dark Rum – 1 oz (Myers’s Rum Original Dark)

The look and feel of Viper, along with the dungeon I’d just run, had me thinking about their seafaring counterparts: pirates. That had me thinking that maybe rum would do the trick to put the bite in this “Viper.”

Gin – 2 oz (Bombay Sapphire)

A little bit of research brought me back to our friend gin. I’m a cucumber drink amateur, having mostly avoided them, but several sources assured me that cucumber and lime went well with gin.

This Victor – Gin

This one was almost a tie. While I think my taste preference here was probably the rum, which played up the fruity flavors of the drink much more, if we’re trying to keep the perceived theme of the drink, then gin was the winner. The addition of gin smoothed and layered the flavors of the cucumber and basil in a way that actually made me prefer this alcoholic version to its mocktail counterpart.

Dawntrail

Tequila – 1 oz (Jose Cuervo Especial)

The obvious answer to what ought to spice up the Dawntrail was tequila, or possibly mezcal. The Pelupelu in Urqopacha even have a mezcal distillery and agave farm! Lacking mezcal in my stock, however, I went with good ol’ tequila.

White Rum – 1 oz (Bacardi Superior)

The flavors and look of the “Dawntrail” are so similar to those of your average tiki drink, that if tequila hadn’t stood out so sharply, white rum would have been my first choice to try in this alcoholic version.

The Victor – Tequila

It’s probably no shocker that tequila won out here. The naturally sweet taste of the spirit complimented the lime tang of the “Dawntrail” marvelously. Meanwhile the rum actually played up the mango and made the drink more like eating a whole roll of sweet tarts. That could be your thing, though. If so, go for it! But after tequila’s victory, I personally can’t wait to get my hands on some mezcal and see how the smoky flavor suits the “Dawntrail.”

Hopefully you’ll make good use of these mocktails when Final Fantasy XIV: Dawntail releases on July 2nd…or earlier, if you’ve pre-ordered, but be careful with those cocktails! Don’t torture your fellow players with drunken shenanigans.

Cheers, adventurers!