Classic (Game) Cocktail of the Week: The Glass Sword

Pay tribute to the Final Fantasy Legend's ultimate weapon.

Some people like to unwind over the weekend by listening to favorite podcasts; others prefer to relaxing with an alcoholic libation. We figure: Why not both? With the Classic (Game) Cocktail column, we'll offer weekly recommendations on cocktail recipes to accompany our most recent podcast episode.

Disclaimer: Please drink responsibly, and only if you are of legal age (or have permission). 

Classic (Game) Cocktail 10: The Glass Sword

This week we took a long, hard look at the origins of Square Enix designer Akitoshi Kawazu's life work, the Final Fantasy Legend/SaGa trilogy for Game Boy. It's a strange series filled with lots of parts and ideas that probably shouldn't work… but, somehow, they do. In honor of Kawazu's cheerful determination to fly in the face of all logic, this week's cocktail is named after Final Fantasy Legend's most powerful (yet least useful) weapon, the Glass Sword. And, like the SaGa series, it's based around something that in theory shouldn't work… but does. Namely, it's a cocktail whose star ingredient is single-malt scotch. Heresy, right?


  • 2 oz. London dry gin
  • 1 oz. Lillet Blanc 
  • 1 dash aromatic bitters
  • 1 dash St. Germain
  • 1 dash Islay-style scotch

You may not have all of these ingredients on hand, and that's OK. See the notes below for substitution suggestions!

Please note that when I say "1 dash" of scotch, I mean not a drop more. Scotch has an overpowering flavor, and anything beyond a droplet of it will dominate the drink. You want the merest hint of scotch's earthy warmth to play at the edges of your tastebuds. Otherwise, you might as well just drink a scotch, neat.


  1. Combine ingredients over ice in a shaker or mixing glass.
  2. Stir until cold.
  3. Strain into chilled martini glass.

And… that's it. Simple and to the point. The result of this slightly unconventional combination of ingredients should land somewhere reminiscent of a martini or a Vesper, but with just a hint of scotch's peaty notes lingering as a subtle aftertaste. Ultimately, the scotch should play a role similar to mezcal in modern cocktails, widening the spectrum of an otherwise traditional mix of flavors.

Some notes:

  • If you don't have Lillet Blanc, you can also substitute Cocchi Americano or, in a pinch, dry vermouth.
  • Any elderflower liqueur will do — it doesn't have to be St. Germain.
  • Similarly, any aromatic bitters should be fine. Angostura is the standard, but feel free to substitute a different brand.
  • I do specify Islay-style scotch for a reason, though. You need that hint of smoky, peaty flavor — it's what sets this cocktail apart. I had Ardbeg on hand, but anything similar will work — Lagavulin, Laphroaig, etc.
  • Likewise, you specifically need London dry gin here versus a vodka or a new or American dry gin. The bright juniper base of that style of gin gives the herbal sweetness of the Lillet and the smoky scotch something to play off of.
  • Next time: It's Thanksgiving in America, so probably something made with cranberries. Or turkey gravy.