Cocktail of the Month: Dragon’s Breath. Happy New Year!

Enter the Dragon. February 10 begins the Year of Dragon, which is considered one of the most powerful and promising years in the Chinese Zodiac. A majestic and larger-than-life creature, the dragon symbolizes bravery, creativity, and innovation. According to, this year promises to be full of adventure, growth and social impact. It’s time to pursue your dreams and expand your horizons.

For immediate celebration, you can head to local Chinese communities and restaurants for special meals and festivals. Recipes for dragon-themed cocktails abound on the internet, many of them created during the “Game of Thrones” craze.

But since it’s a year to expand your horizons, why not take a westerly trip on I-70 to Frederick, Maryland. It’s here, across from the airport, where you’ll find dragons galore… of the liquid breed.

Dragon Distillery is a small woman-owned business that creates premium, artisan spirits using locally-sourced, natural ingredients in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly manner.

Like the dragon of folklore, this distillery is full or creativity and innovation. It offers more than 25 varieties of spirits, including whiskey, vodka, gin, brandy and rum. Flavors range from Lancelot’s Flaming Love, a mango-sriracha vodka to a lemon meringue moonshine.

If you’re brave enough, you can visit their distillery for a tour and sample their elixirs in the Dragon’s Den, a fantasy/medieval-themed tasting room and cocktail bar. While the business offers an impressive selection of hand-crafted tipples, Chief Operating Officer Hirad Yaldaei recommends the “Get Figgy With It,” an old fashioned made with Dragon Distillery’s unique fig-vanilla whiskey called Fig-Zilla and the “Dragon’s Blood,” crafted from their Joust gin.

The wicked-sounding “Dragon’s Blood” is described by Yaldaei as “a masterful blend of botanical brilliance and zesty citrus vibrancy. Joust Gin, an alchemical concoction itself, is enriched with a symphony of botanicals including lavender, cardamom, ginger, rosemary, citrus, oriental spices, and juniper. This infusion of diverse flavors sets the stage for an enchanting libation.”

Don’t be shy; it’s a year to be adventurous. “As you take the first sip, the juniper undertones gracefully dance on your palate, laying the groundwork for the aromatic herbs to unfold,” Yaldaei says. “Lavender and rosemary add a floral and herbal embrace, while the warmth of cardamom and ginger introduce a subtle yet invigorating spice.”

“The magic intensifies with the addition of blood orange sours, which contribute a bold and tangy sweetness,” he says. “Blood orange, with its deep and alluring hue, not only imparts a visually captivating element but also brings a unique depth to the cocktail.”

“In totality, the Dragon’s Blood cocktail is a harmonious convergence of botanical complexity and citrus exuberance. It’s a libation that takes the drinker on a journey through a mythical landscape, where the mystical Joust Gin and the vibrant citrus elements unite to create a balanced elixir worthy of legend. Each sip is an adventure, leaving an indelible mark of sophistication and delight on the palate,” he says.

While the lunar horoscope forecasts the Year of the Dragon as a time to make a social impact, this is something Dragon Distillery does on full-time basis. The business is disabled veteran-founded and actively supports the veteran community. They partner with other commercial and charitable organizations in a number of non-profit events.

The distillery has been busy planning a number of special days and activities throughout 2024. The everyday fun and engaging atmosphere includes a restaurant, board games — plus axe and Ninja Star throwing. You can follow them on Instagram or Facebook for information on upcoming events.


Dragon’s Breath

2 oz of Dragon Distillery Joust Gin

½ oz of fresh squeezed lime juice

3 oz of blood orange sour mix

Mix the ingredients in a shaker over ice and pour into a chilled glass.



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