Soak Your Head With The Greatest Cocktails From Science Fiction

After a long week of conquering the stars — which may seem like decades to a stationary observer — you deserve a stiff drink. Luckily, science fiction has a huge selection of bizarre cocktails, from the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster to the Flaming Rum Monkey. Sure, some of them may be poisonous to humans, but that's just part of the fun. Here's our round-up of the awesomest cocktails from SF. Just make sure to strap your drinks tray down, and away we go.


The Pan-Galactic Gargleblaster. The cocktail from Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy which says:

[T]he effect of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick. The Gu ide also tells you on which planets the best Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters are mixed, how much you can expect to pay for one and what voluntary organizations exist to help you rehabilitate afterwards. The Guide even tells you how you can mix one yourself. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy sells rather better than the Encyclopedia Galactica.


And here's the recipe:

  • Take the juice from one bottle of that Ol' Janx Spirit.
  • Pour into it one measure of water from the seas of Santraginus V - Oh, that Santraginean sea water, it says. Oh those Santraginean fish!!!
  • Allow three cubes of Arcturan Mega-gin to melt into the mixture (it must be properly iced or the benzene is lost).
  • Allow four litres of Fallian marsh gas to bubble through it (in memory of all those happy Hikers who have died of pleasure in the Marshes of Fallia).
  • Over the back of a silver spoon float a measure of Qualactin Hypermint extract, redolent of all the heady odours of the dark Qualactin Zones; subtle, sweet, and mystic.
  • Drop in the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger. Watch it dissolve, spreading the fires of the Algolian suns deep into the heart of the drink.
  • Sprinkle Zamphour.
  • Add an olive.
  • Drink... but... very carefully...

It's such a kick-ass drink, it has its own cryptic website. Hitchhiker's also introduces the idea that every culture has a drink called the Jinnintonik or something similar.

Finagle's Folly: A cocktail which McCoy makes for Kirk on the 10,000th occasion that Kirk is depressed over losing control over his ship. (In this case, to a supercomputer in "The Ultimate Computer.") McCoy brags that his cocktail is famous "from here to Orion." But Kirk tastes it and grimaces. (Scotty probably would have liked it.) Oh, and apparently, Quark on Deep Space Nine makes a decent Finagle's Folly as well.

Illustration for article titled Soak Your Head With The Greatest Cocktails From Science Fiction

The Mother Teresa. In one of Spider Robinson's many Callahan's Crosstime Saloon novels, which all take place in a bar as you might imagine, he invents a type of martini called the Mother Teresa, because it has a prune resting in the bottom of the glass.

The Bull Shot. Larry Niven's version of Callahan's Crosstime Saloon is called the Draco Tavern, and the bartender sells all sorts of weird drinks (including "Green Kryptonite") to various alien visitors. One of the most popular drinks seems to be the Bull Shot, which Niven describes as "consomme and vodka." This is especially popular with the Glig, "grey and compact beings." (It's short for "Gligstith(click)optok.")


The Flaming Rum Monkey. Author Pat Murphy mentions the Flaming Rum Monkey in her metafictional odyssey Adventures In Time And Space With Max Meriwell, which features Murphy's pseudonym Mary Maxwell as a fictional character. Mary makes a habit of ordering a Flaming Rum Monkey to see what the bartenders will come up with, since they have to invent one on the spot. But in fact Murphy has come up with a recipe for a Flaming Rum Monkey, and here it is:

Put a teaspoon of brown sugar, a sprinkling of cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon, and a teaspoon of coconut syrup (the kind used in pina coladas) in a warm mug. Add a little boiling water—just enough to dissolve the sugar. Let the mixture steep for a minute. Pour in two ounces of dark Jamaican rum and one ounce of dark creme de cacao. Fill the mug with boiling water and stir.

Now for the flames! Put a pinch of brown sugar in a big spoon. Fill the spoon with 151 rum. To warm the rum, hold the spoon over the mug filled with hot water.

Light the rum in the spoon. Tip the spoon into the mug. The mixture in the mug will burn with a lovely blue flame.

Don't singe your eyebrows. Don't burn your tongue. Blow out the flames and try a sip of your Rum Monkey. Hot, sweet, and touched with coconut. Enjoy your Rum Monkey and dream of possibilities.


Star Wars Cocktail. Want to make one of those weird drinks they're drinking in the Cantina scene in the original Star Wars? This site claims to have an actual recipe — and it sounds like the most revolting drink imaginable. Equal parts Southern Comfort, Amaretto, Sweet'n'Sour mix, and Sprite... you might as well just smoke some crack and drink the entire contents of the Slurpee machine at the movie theater. Which might be just the ticket for enjoying Clone Wars, you never know.

The "foaming cocktail". Actually, we don't know the name of the drink Za orders in Iain M. Banks' The Player Of Games, but it's referred to as a "foaming cocktail." And here's what he actually orders:

I'd like a double standard measure of staol and chilled Shungusteriaung warp-wing liver wine bottoming a mouth of white Eflyre-Spin cruchen-spirit in a slush of medium cascalo, topped with roasted weirdberries and served in a number three strength Tipprawlic osmosis-bowl, or your best approximation thereof.


Sea wasp margaritas. Accelerando by Charles Stross is full of weird drinks, including some unknown glow-in-the-dark mixture. But the weirdest is probably the cocktail made out of baby jellyfish that Boris drinks at one point. Here's the description:

The baby jellyfish - small, pale blue, with cuboid bells and four clusters of tentacles trailing from each corner - slips down easily. Boris winces momentarily as the nematocysts let rip inside his mouth, but in a moment or so, the cubozoan slips down, and in the meantime, his biophysics model clips the extent of the damage to his stinger-ruptured oropharynx.

"Wow," he says, taking another slurp of sea wasp margaritas. "Don't try this at home, fleshboy."


Adrenalin and Soma. The favorite cocktail of cowardly thief Vila on British space opera Blake's 7. It sounds like a weird mixture of uppers and downers — like an Irish coffee — but it always seems to make Vila quite mellow.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


Charlie Jane Anders

@InfiniTrent: I stuck to the cocktails, b/c otherwise this post would have been a book!