Botanical Brew author Amy Blackthorn weighs in on how to make a magical New Years Eve cocktail to “revive” your spirits and welcome protection, purification, and transcendence.
The one good thing about 2020 is we won’t have to suffer through watered down cocktails in an overcrowded venue while counting down the clock on New Years Eve. Here, bestselling author Amy Blackthorn shares how to prepare a lush botanical brew with intention at home, as well as the magical benefits of lemon, Lillet Blanc, and juniper berries, and more.
Blackthorn says her Corpse Reviver recipe (see below) is good for protection, purification, and transcendence, making it a great choice for NYE. While these intentions are fairly serious (and necessary as we move into the next year), it's best to infuse each ingredient with a sense of play: “Making projects, recipes and cordials, it's all supposed to be fun. Whether you're trying the cocktails, mocktails, or a homemade soda, enjoy the journey. No one is judging your outcome, your progress or your recipes. This is your time to connect with yourself, your magic, and the nature of botanicals,” Blackthorn tells Enchantments.
The idea is to prepare each ingredient with focused intention: “As you slice the lemon, visualize cutting the ties of anything holding you back,” Amy Blackthorn says. “Lemon has the magick of purification.” Lillet Blanc, an aperitif with notes of honey, citrus, and mint, “carries the magic of inspiration, overcoming obstacles and devotion,” she adds. Cointreau, another spirit in the brew, has the magic of abundance and affection. “All of these botanicals carry their own inherent magical properties as fruits and herbs. The effect only increases as they are processed, distilled and handled.”
Gin, a spirit made with juniper berries, is also in the Corpse Reviver, adding the magical benefits of protection and aura cleansing to your brew. A slowly maturing shrub, juniper berries take “two to three years of sunshine, rain water, and plenty of CO2 from human breath and environment” to fully ripen. When harvested, the berry (which is actually a seed cone) is “useful in at least five protection applications magically, as well as banishing evil, protection from harm by animals, aura cleansing, increasing the frequency of dreams and prosperity,” says Blackthorn.
If cocktails aren’t your thing or you’d like alternative ways to utilize the power of juniper, Blackthorn recommends making a bitters (a tincture used to flavor beverages) instead. “You can get a hint of that delightful green flavor without adding the bulk of gin itself.” She dedicated an entire chapter entitled “Feeling Frisky” in her book to shrubs and syrups.
This recipe calls for a fancy champagne saucer, but of course any glass will do. “Allow yourself to be fallible. Not every concoction is going to be a stunner. That's okay. You'll learn from the experience, and move on. Gordon Ramsey isn't looking to judge your cocktail-ability,” Blackthorn adds. “There's two kinds of magic in these potions: first, the inherent properties of these fruits, herbs and others. Second, the magic 'oomph' you supply when creating these recipes. Without you there to activate the magic inherent to these ingredients, they're simply tasty beverages. Don't forget to empower them in the way that suits you best. The final magical ingredient is always you.”
Blessed be for this new year witches and we’ll see you in 2021! Here’s the full recipe, courtesy of Red Wheel/Weiser publishing, below:
For more on making magical brews at home, check out this "Old fashioned Witch" recipe here.
By Amber C. Snider
Author of the bestselling book Botanical Brews, Amy Blackthorn shares her “Old Fashioned Witch” recipe and why it’s a perfect cocktail for the holidays.
Made with orange bitters, amaretto, and bourbon, this old fashioned cocktail is sure to warm up the season and sweeten your Yule celebrations. Anything we create can be magickal when made with intention, so for all you kitchen witches out there, this recipe by author Amy Blackthorn is brimming with festive possibilities.
“The measure of a great bartender is often how they make the 'Old Fashioned,' but with the addition of amaretto, you're adding not just the delicious flavor of almond, but the magic of creativity, defense against evil, and opening of the mind,” Amy Blackthorn tells Enchantments. It’s not just a tasty drink, but reminds us that “magic can be found anywhere.” The amaretto adds a balanced sweetness, especially for those who don’t want an overly sugary cocktail.
Made with orange peel and orange bitters, (Amy calls the fruit the “star of the citrus crown), these small ingredients are packed with sunshine to help bring in the light on the dark days following the Winter Solstice. “Oranges are the perfect ally for magick aligned with the sun, prosperity, acton, confidence, creativity, business assistance, fortune, and calm,” she says.
Bourbon, one of the main ingredients found in the recipe, also has magical uses. The principal ingredient of bourbon is corn, which can help in spells dealing with balance, purpose, mental acuity, and binding agreements. The best part is, you probably already have most of the ingredients lurking somewhere in your kitchen cabinet. “It’s easy to make and unassuming, so a couple sharing a quiet Yuletide night at home during lockdown can still celebrate the magic of the season,” Blackthorn says.
“The magical energies of confidence and the return of the sun are perfect for the zest of the orange. Amaretto wards against evil, and bourbon brings prosperity and balance. Putting that together, the magical math, if you will, sounds like the perfect recipe to welcome back the sun,” Blackthorn concludes.
Want to create this delightfully delicious Yule cocktail at home? Check out the full recipe below.
Want more ideas for Yule? Check out our bestselling gifts at Enchantments here.
Need a last minute gift for the holidays? Here are a few of our trending & bestselling items, available online or in the Enchantments shop.
From the latest books to Moon Calendars, hand-carved candles, salt baths, and more, we've got something for every witch on your list.
Llewellyn's 2021 Witches' Datebook (available in-store at Enchantments or online here)
A must-have for the new year and a perfect holiday gift, this witches' datebook is currently flying off the shelves at Enchantments. Complete with illustrations from award-winning artist Jennifer Hewitson and ways to celebrate the Wheel of the Year, the datebook also contains spells, Celtic tree months, seasonal yoga poses, recipes, and magical tips.
Moon Calendar Poster by Margins Imprint (available in-store at Enchantments or online here)
Screen-printed in California and made with water and soy based inks, these Moon Calendars sell out at Enchantments nearly every year. They're affordable and look fabulous with or without a frame. Get it before the New Year drops, when we can collectively say good riddance to 2020.
Blackthorn's Botanical Brews (available in-store at Enchantments or online here)
Eager to conjure up something magically delicious for Yule? Amy Blackthorn's latest title is a new favorite amongst Enchantments' customers. Complete with festive recipes and savory kitchen witchin' sippins, impress your social-distant friend pod with a sampling from this book. Like the other items in the list, this book is also flying clear off our wooden shelves, so call the shop for availability. While you're at it, check out her Botanical Magic book, too.
Solar Blast Candle (Handcrafted, customized, and available in-store or online here)
2020 is the kind of year that makes you wish you had the supernatural powers of Samantha Stephens from Bewitched and could wiggle your swabbed nose and have it just be over already (or the fury of Nancy from The Craft, if that's your kink). But fret not, real magic is still possible. Solar Blast candles are especially popular around this time of year because they promote joy, vitality, energy, and growth. And let's face it, we all need a heavy dose of all those things.
Moonology Diary (available in-store or online here)
New for 2021 (thank the Gods & Goddesses), this Moonology Diary is a great tool for astrology lovers seeking to harness the Moon's power for positive change. Set intentions for the lunar cycles, manifest goals for each month, learn how to work with the four eclipses and Super Moons in 2021, and get the low down on the rare "Great Conjunction" (an astrological event that will bring about big shifts and release in this upcoming year). A favorite among customers, come by to get it fresh off the press in the Enchantments shop!
Orishas, Goddesses, and Voodoo Queens
Complete with fascinating tales of orishas and goddesses from African and Afro-Caribbean religions (including Lucumi and Haitian Vodou), as well as insight into world famous Voodoo Queens, Lilith Dorsey’s latest book is filled with ritual tips, folklore, practical recipes, spells, offerings, and more. Orishas, Goddesses, and Voodoo Queens pays homage to these sacred, yet often misunderstood practices. By looking to women of color to “elucidate the intersectionality” of goddess spirituality and feminism, Dorsey points out that "modern women seriously need ways to connect with, and understand, their ancestral warrior strengths and power. "
Sea Priestess Candle (Handcrafted, customized and available in-store or online here)
Invoke the healing power of the Great Ocean Mother with a customized, 7-day Sea Priestess Candle. This deep blue, hand-carved candle is good for deep emotional healing and rebirth. What better way to end this year than a healing ritual dedicated to the nurturing, yet fierce power of the Ocean Mother. You can also pair the candle with hand-blended oil here. *Note: this candle is not available in a kit, but you can order the full candle online or shop in-store.
Spellwork for Self-Care (available in-store or online here)
This enchanted new book by Potter Gift offers 40 spells that infuse health & wellness with a dose of magic. As a mystical guidebook, it takes an "old-fashioned approach to the practice of self-soothing" and addresses our societal hunger for alternate paths to more a conscious, fulfilling life. Topics range from work/life balance to relationships, herbal home remedies, and more. A new bestseller among Enchantments' customers.
Hand-blended Salt Baths (available in-store or online here)
Made in-house with magickal oils and dried herbs, our sea salt baths are great for a long, meditative soak in the tub on a cold winter's day. Choose from Divine Muse (great for artists and creative inspiration), Peace & Protection, Prosperity, Rebirth, Sun, Van Van and more. At $5 each online, they also make great gifts.
Want more stories and gift ideas? Check out our 2020 staff book picks here.
By Amber C. Snider
Bath recipes, incense blends, and rituals to help get you through the winter months.
As we inch our way towards the Winter Solstice, celebrating nature’s cycles may seem harder to bear this year. For many, 2020 has already seemed like one long, drawn out night. But sometimes the shadows can reveal deeper knowledge and profound magic.
We don’t have to let isolation, loneliness, or fear take away our inner light. Here are ways you can alleviate winter blues, promote joy, and find peace this winter season.
We love our salt baths baths, oh yes we do. Winter is the perfect time to begin or return to your ritual bath practice. Not only does it provide physical warmth and comfort, but it’s a powerfully meditative and magical time to connect with yourself and the spirit world.
Here are some hand-blended salt bath blends for winter:
Peace of Mind (purchase from shop here) –– Calms the mind and helps you let go of stress
Psyche’s Balm Bath (purchase from shop here) –– Uplifting blend to help sooth a restless mind and spirit; Helps promote emotional balance during tough times
Hecate (purchase from shop here) –– Devotional blend to Hecate; Great for new moon rituals
Peace & Protection Bath (purchase from shop here) –– Promotes of feeling security and peace
Sun Bath (purchase from shop here) –– To promote energy, vitality, and honor the return of the Sun
Or make your own blend at home: Try adding a few drops of bergamot oil (for a citrusy stimulation), patchouli, musk, rosemary, or clove (all oils can be ordered online at the Enchantments shop here) to 1-2 cups of sea salt or epsom salt (don't use table salt). Next, mix in fresh or dried herbs/flowers of your choice w/ the salt or place directly in the bath water. Soak in your magic.
Quick at-home recipe recommendation: Enchantments’ witch Kristi Klein recommends creating your own bath blend using fresh flowers (usually roses), sea salt, and Helen of Troy oil (which is used to bring out inner beauty).
Signature Hand-Blended Incense
Start the day by burning incense in your home to promote good vibes, especially while you work from home. For the cold winter months, we especially love: Yule, Sun (“It’s very uplifting and always helps to shift my mood,” says Kristi Klein), Egyptian Temple incense, House Blessing incense, Meditation incense, Relaxation incense, and Winter Woods Incense. All incense blends can be purchased at the online shop here or in-person during business hours. Simply add a tablespoon or less of incense into a fire-proof dish (no charcoal required) and touch fire to it.
Or create your own version at home: Sacred smoke is great for cleansing the energy of your home, raising vibrations, promoting good spirits, and clearing out stagnation. Try burning Frankincense, Myrrh, or Copal resin on a piece of charcoal to start the day and end the evening.
Also known as psychological acupressure, EFT may help alleviate anxiety, stress, and balance your energy systems. If you’ve never tried it before, here’s an article from Well + Good that explains more.
Enchantments’ witch Kristi Klein says that EFT tapping has helped reset her mind and clear out negative thought patterns and beliefs. “I’ve definitely been struggling with loneliness myself, so I’ve gotten back into EFT tapping. I also listen to a lot of binaural beats while mentally chanting a mantra,” she says. “Usually something like ‘I am grounded, safe, and loved.’”
DIY Oil Blends
Enchantments is home to countless essential and fragrance oils, perfect for mixing into baths, salt blends, or perfumes. Check out our simple guide to magical oils here and learn about how the power of scent can transform your mood.
For bath: Add a few drops of your favorite scent directly into the water. Try birch, bay, cedar, eucalyptus, lemon, and/or sage clary essential oil. Essential and fragrance oils can be purchased online here.
Diffusers: Add 5-7 drops of a fragrance oil into your diffuser and bask in the aroma. Try all spice, apple blossom, bergamot, cinnamon, fig, frankincense, tea rose, or tobacco. “Clove oil is always nice for a warm boost,” says Klein.
To wear: Combine a few drops from any of the 2-3 oils above with carrier oil (such as Jojoba, rose hip seed oil, or coconut oil) in order to dilute before applying to the skin.
7-Day Spell Candles
If you're a newcomer to candle magick, that's okay. Check out our FAQ about spell candles and Part II here, as well as our dedicated Candle Magick section to learn more. Each candle is hand-carved in the shop, customized with your name, astrological sign, and dressed with hand-blended oils and incense.
We especially love the following spell candles during the winter time, since they each promote self-love, happiness, inner wisdom, and help promote feelings of security and warmth.
Solar Blast (purchase online here) –– Helps the Sun come through to cleanse, purge and rejuvenate your entire being. Provides positive energy for all your endeavors.
Heart Chakra Candle (purchase online here) –– For cleansing, healing, balancing and strengthening the heart chakra. This chakra is associated with love, self-love, acceptance, balance, intimacy, compassion and relationships.
Root Chakra Candle (purchase online here) –– One of our favorite candles for 2020. Read an in-depth feature on how to balance your root chakra here, complete with an exclusive root chakra ritual from Enchantments.
Love & Happiness Candle (purchase online here) –– Much like a solar blast, this candle focuses on bringing an abundance of love and joy into your life. Paves the way for new friendships and/or relationships, memorable moments with loved ones and increased self-love.
Great Mother Candle (purchase online here) –– A devotional candle for the Goddess
Purple Wisdom Candle (purchase online here) –– For gaining wisdom in the ancient sciences such as astrology, hermetic magic, Qabalah and other magickal systems. Also for divine insight in making decisions.
Want to read more? Here's another article on how to practice self-love during hard times.
Curl up with your favorite witchy brew and any one of these 10 delicious new reads for 2020. Here are our staff picks to help you enhance your intuitive skills, earth-based practices, ancestral magic, and more.
Orishas, Goddesses, and Voodoo Queens, The Divine Feminine in the African Religious Traditions by Lilith Dorsey
Complete with fascinating tales of orishas and goddesses from African and Afro-Caribbean religions (including Lucumi and Haitian Vodou), as well as insight into world famous Voodoo Queens, Dorsey’s latest book is filled with ritual tips, folklore, practical recipes, spells, offerings, and more. Orishas, Goddesses, and Voodoo Queens both honors and pays homage to these sacred, yet often misunderstood practices. By looking to women of color to “elucidate the intersectionality” of goddess spirituality and feminism, Dorsey points out that "modern women seriously need ways to connect with, and understand, their ancestral warrior strengths and power. " *A staff favorite and top pick for 2020.
Witch Hunt: A Traveler's Guide to the Power and Persecution of the Witch by Kristen J. Sollée
Author of Cat Call: Reclaiming the Feral Feminine and the wildly popular Witches, Sluts, Feminists, Sollée’s latest title (released this fall) combines memoir and travel with a historical deep dive on witch trials around the U.S. and Europe. Read our interview with her here for more.
Tarot: No Questions Asked Mastering the Art of Intuitive Reading Practical Techniques and Exercises by Theresa Reed
In her latest book, “Tarot Lady” Theresa Reed offers an intuitive workbook for those seeking insight into the tarot, including interpretations of individual cards and spreads. Designed to “hone your intuition and sharpen your interpretation skills,” even without previous knowledge of the deck, this book is great for beginners and advanced practitioners alike who seek to broaden their reading abilities. Read Enchantments' interview with Theresa Reed, on her previous book co-authored with Shaheen Miro, Tarot for Troubled Times, here.
Queering Your Craft by Cassandra Snow
Written to "specifically address the needs of those who are queer, marginalized, living in the shadows, or on the edge of acceptance," Cassandra Snow's refreshing new book explores magick with an LGBTQ+ point of view. As an introduction to witchcraft, Queering Your Craft contains both a grimoire of spells, types of magick, meditations, best practices and more –– all while combining queer aesthetic and DIY culture.
Entering Hekate’s Garden The Magick, Medicine and Mystery of Plant Spirit Witchcraft by Cyndi Brannen
Author of Keeping Her Keys, Cyndi Brannen’s latest title explores plant spirit rituals and practical tips for using sixty botanicals associated with Hekate, including bay laurel, birch, dandelion, hawthorn, juniper, American mandrake, skullcap, pomegranate, and more. “Poetry, petitions, and musings about pharmakeia are woven throughout,” blending personal musings of the goddess with ancient traditions. An insightful homage to the Goddess of the Moon and honored Crone figure, readers looking to “enter Hekate’s garden” need look no further.
A Woman’s Ayurvedic Herbal A Guide for Natural Health and Well-Being by Antonia Beattie and Caroline Robertson
In a world where women’s health issues are often overlooked and under researched, Beattie and Robertson’s full-color A-Z guide to Ayurvedic herbs and spices is a welcomed relief, especially in 2020. This practical guide is filled with herbal histories and uses, home remedies, and accessible ways to apply ancient Ayurvedic principles to women's daily heath.
Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic: The Green Witch’s Guide to Essential Oils for Spellcraft, Ritual & Healing by Amy Blackthorn
While it’s not new for 2020, Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic has become a witch’s staple on the bookshelf. With 135 essential oil recipes, this book will keep you busy all winter long: learn about the healing power of scents, ritual tips, practical advice for purchasing, blending, and storing oils at home, and how magical aromatherapy can enhance your spellwork. Blackthorn's latest 2020 title, Botanical Brews, will have you conjuring delicious cocktails, recipes, and brews all winter long.
Year of the Witch Connecting with Nature’s Seasons through Intuitive Magic by Temperance Alden
Founder of Wild Woman Witchcraft, Temperance Alden’s new title (released in November 2020) is packed with cultural and historical facts about the major ceremonies connected to neo-paganism, basic principles of earth-based magick, and nuanced approaches to celebrating the rhythms of nature. She also covers how to “intuitively connect to the nature below your feet and local gods,” as well as uncovers the origins of the wheel of the year.
Wild Wisdom Zen Masters, Mountain Monks, and Rebellious Eccentrics Reflect on the Healing Power of Nature by Neil Douglas-Klotz
Perfect for the gifting season, Wild Wisdom includes the “stories and voices of desert fathers and mothers, forest hermits, mountain mystics, wandering philosophers, and wise eccentrics who maintained their solitude while living in society and challenged the status quo with humor.” With selections from international mystics like Kahlil Gibran, Henry David Thoreau, Bai Juyi, John Muir, and Edna St. Vincent Millay, this inspirational little book is great for those seeking solace in the wild expanse of nature and within the great minds of the past.
Backwoods Witchcraft Conjure & Folk Magic from Appalachia by Jake Richards
A great read for the deep, cold winter months, Richards’ Backwoods Witchcraft may not be new to 2020, but it’s worth a revisit this year. A deeply moving tribute to the Appalachian traditions of the U.S., this book explores the folklore, conjure magick, and the power of homegrown witchcraft. Read Enchantments' exclusive interview with Jake Richards on the making of the book here.
For more book recommendations and roundups, check out the Books section of our website.