Cocktails & Spirits

Gabe Orta's Game of Thrones Cocktails Reveal Whom He Wants to Win the Iron Throne

Gabe Orta's Game of Thrones  Cocktails Reveal Whom He Wants to Win the Iron Throne
Johnnie Walker
click to enlarge JOHNNIE WALKER
Johnnie Walker
Winter is coming to Miami, and you're going to need a drink.

This Sunday, April 14, the long-anticipated start of the eighth and final season of the HBO series Game of Thrones begins. And once more, viewers will be thrust into a land filled with war, betrayal, honor, dragons, and family feuds that make yours look like a Care Bears movie.

The start of the season also renews the heated debate over who will get to sit on the Iron Throne.

Believe it or not, there are actual odds on who will claim the title. Betting site OddsShark has Bran Stark as the unlikely favorite, with Jon Snow a close second. Daenerys and Sansa are basically tied for third place. The Lannister family don't seem to fare well, with Cersei's odds lower than even Samwell Tarly's to rule Westeros. 


Bar Lab's Gabe Orta has a stunning pick for who will come out victorious: the Night King.

"I hope the White Walkers win," says one of Miami's most beloved bartenders. The co-owner of Broken Shaker and the Anderson then doubled down on his prediction. "I hope all the dragons turn into zombies." Imagining a fleet of ice dragons in the sky, Orta simply notes, "I like the dark side."

That could be why Orta partnered with Johnnie Walker to create a series of cocktails based on the show. The cocktails are made with the company's Game of Thrones-inspired White Walker whiskey, created and blended by whiskey specialist George Harper.

Orta says the White Walker, unlike the Night King himself, is quite mellow. "It's more like a bourbon, with a lot of vanilla and cherry notes."

The bottle, says Orta, turns a different color when put in the freezer. "It's better to enjoy it when it's cold."
click to enlarge One Scotch to sip on the Iron Throne - JOHNNIE WALKER
One Scotch to sip on the Iron Throne
Johnnie Walker
Other expressions in the limited-edition, Westeros-themed bottle series include Greyjoy's Talisker distillery and the Cardhu Distillery representing House Targaryen. Each blend is unique, like a honey and fig profile for House Stark and orange and clove for House Tully. Prices for the special Johnnie Walker GOT bottles range from $30 to $65.

Orta was tasked with creating a series of GOT-themed cocktails using the show-inspired spirit. Says the bar professional, "I used inspiration from the show. I made sure to include the various elements that represent the various houses: ice, smoke, fire, and earth."

To celebrate the season premiere, Orta will offer special cocktails using Johnnie Walker Black Label and the limited-edition White Walker on Sunday, April 14, at Broken Shaker and the Anderson. If you're hosting a watch party at home, here are Orta's cocktail recipes.

Army of the Dead
  • 1.25 oz White Walker by Johnnie Walker
  •  5 oz coconut soda
  • Garnish with lemon wheel and mint sprig
Place all ingredients in a highball glass, add ice, and stir for two seconds.

Dragonglass Old Fashioned
  • 1 oz White Walker by Johnnie Walker
  • 1/4 oz Zacapa rum
  • 1/2 oz smoked cinnamon syrup
  • 2 dashes of dram palo santo bitters
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 rosemary stalk
  •  Garnish with a spring of burned rosemary.
Burn the rosemary stalk with a torch gun into a wood plank. Smoke a rocks glass. Place all ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice and stir for at least 30 seconds. Strain into the smoked rocks glass filled with ice or one ice block.

The Night King’s Sour
  • 1 oz White Walker by Johnnie Walker
  • 1/2 oz blue Curacao
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz white grape juice
  • 1/2 vanilla syrup
  • 1 egg white
Place all ingredients into a shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass.
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna