|Toilet by Kyoko Sueda and Tatsuo Miyamoto|
An event of such epic proportions clearly needs an epic offering to do it justice. Here’s a puzzle box throne for the occasion: the Karakuri Creation Group Toilet. This one really speaks for itself. It’s a toilet. The Toilet was part of the group’s annual “Idea Contest”, in which puzzle box suggestions from all over Japan are solicited and voted on, and a few selected for production by the group’s artists. Rumor has it that Kyoko Sueda, whose idea this was, received notice about her winning design idea with a message that read: "You're in luck ... " It was so popular, in fact, that it won the “Favorite Grand Prize” the year it was produced. I suppose everyone can relate to it.
|Your throne awaits|
The goal of the puzzle is to access the two secret compartments, which reside in the bowl and in the water tank. Use your imagination, and you might be privy to finding them both. No actual toileting is required, by the way, to enjoy this beautifully crafted item made from walnut, maple and oak by Tatsuo Miyamoto at the Karakuri facilities. It’s a wonderfully prized conversation piece and should be number one (or number two) in any bathroom collection.
|The Last Urd|
To toast this monumental throne and epic cultural event I’ve created a special themed cocktail as well, of course. As this final episode will surely be the last word in the series (except for the two unpublished novels and ignoring the whole undead thing going on here which just messes with the finality of everything – but these are minor details) it seemed appropriate to make a Last Word variation. This classic cocktail is a recurring theme here. The four basic ingredients are easy to vary in ways that always create something new and delicious. Although the GOT world is fictional, it definitely has a medieval European feel to it. I decided to use aquavit, the traditional Scandinavian spirit, as the base, to channel some of that feeling. The other ingredients in a Last Word are a citrus, an herbal liqueur (typically Chartreuse) and a sweet liqueur. For the latter I’ve resurrected something I made in the past for another amazing LW variation I called “The Alexandrian Solution”. It’s a homemade “kornelkirsch”, traditionally made from the berries of the cornelian cherry tree (whose branches made the famous Gordian Knot of legend). The flavor has been described as a cross between cranberry and sour cherry. For my homemade version I infused some sour cherry into cranberry liqueur with outstanding results.
|It's the last word in Medieval cocktails|
The cocktail’s name references Scandinavia and the time of the Vikings. If you didn’t know any better, you might think you were watching a bunch of Vikings on an episode of GOT (especially the Night’s Watch), so it just seemed to make sense. Granted, GOT has its own mythologies and religions, but in the Norse mythologies, there are nine worlds, all connected by the giant tree “Yggdrasil”, the Tree of the World. Living at the base of the tree are the three ‘Norns”, female beings who rule the destiny of the gods and men. They care for and nourish the tree, with water from the Well of Fate. One of these three is Fate herself, known as “Urdr”, more often depicted simply as “Urd”. In Old English she is known as “Wyrd”. I suspect she will have something to say about who assumes the Iron Throne. The cocktail’s name also references the puzzle box. Don’t spit out your drink when you catch on. If Fate should have it, perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to try this drink for yourself one day too. Here’s to epic battles, clever crafts, plays on wyrds, double entendres, and literary masterpieces you can enjoy in the bathroom. Cheers!
|This pair is feeling flush with excitement|
The Last Urd
¾ oz aquavit
¾ oz yellow Chartreuse
¾ oz fresh lemon
¾ oz sour cherry infused cranberry liqueur
Shake ingredients together with ice and strain into an appropriately medieval looking vessel. Spill all over your beard as you drink.
For more Karakuri Creation Group Idea Contest winners see:
For prior Last Word variations see: