To drink…(and/or) observe? (Photo by Author).
There is a long tradition of alcohol in Astronomy. Tycho Brahe was a great imbiber. Beer Crater (actually named after the imminent selenographer, Wilhelm Beer) on the Moon may well be ultimate site for a brewery one day. But when the cirrus starts getting thick, what’s one to do? True, you can only recollimate your mirrors so much. I for one, like to retire to ye-ole-internet and blog about my astro-exploits over a tall frosty one. Or maybe visit our Astroguyz YouTube companion site, which in of itself is a blatent plug for Astroguyz at YouTube, and debunk a few UFO videos.
As of late, my wife has noticed an abundance of astronomy themed drinks and ales. We started to smell the makings of… you guessed it… an Astro-alcohol blog post. Douglas Adams, in his book “Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” notes that alcohol is a organic compound that has “an intoxicating effect on certain carbon based life forms…” Hopefully, you’ll be enjoying these recipes in moderation. Here it goes…
Speaking of Hitchhiker’s guide, it also goes on to state that the best drink in the galaxy is the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. The listed ingredients, however, are out of this world;
Recipe-Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster
- Take the juice from one bottle of that Ol’ Janx Spirit
- Pour into it one measure of water from the seas of Santraginus V.
- Allow three cubes of Arcturan Mega-gin th melt through the mixture(it must be properly iced or the benzene is lost)
- Allow four litres of Fallian Marsh gas to bubble through it.
- Over the back of a spoon float a measure of Qalactin Hypermint extract.
- Drop in the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger.
So, what’s a technically correct, astro-nerd to do? Over the years, several approximations have been tried and now survive enshrined on the web;
You’ll also notice the ingredient substitutions of Zaphod’s favorite drink run the gamut. Following in that tradition, I’ve concocted my own ad hoc recipe, using what’s lying around (hey, it’s expensive to restock a bar):
Janx Spirit- 1 part Rum
Measure of water- Ginger Ale (fill to taste). Incidentally, it would be interesting to work out the physics of a world with diet Ginger Ale oceans!
Mega Gin- 1 part Gin
Marsh Gas- 1/2 part Pomegranate Liquor
Hypermint Extract- 1/2Triple Sec
Tooth of Sun Tiger- 1/2Sambuca
Zamphuor- powdered sugar
Olive- Certainly, a terrestrial olive would suffice. But my own extensive bartending knowledge would suggest that a sweet drink such as this might call for a cherry!
The Man, the myth, the ex-President of the Universe… (Credit: BBC Entertainment).
Searching the web brings up several other interesting astro-themed drinks.
A traditional Black Hole;
1 1/2oz black sambuca.
Fill with ice and club soda in a hi-ball glass.
Perhaps standard, or “white” sambuca could produce a white hole in a parallel dimension?
For something of a more cosmological bent, try a Big Bang;
1 part absinthe (beware the wormwood!)
1 part sambuca
1 part vodka
The volatile concoction may spark another universe into existence, or at least one within your skull!
For all fellow debunkers out there, here’s a classic UFO;
1 part gin
2 parts lemon soda
Mix, stir, drink, watch the skies and repeat. The Little Green Men will be landing, shortly.
Closer to our own solar system, I give you the Bailey’s Comet;
1 part Buttersctoch shnapps
1 part Baileys (Or any Baileys knock off!)Irish Cream
1 Part Goldschlager
1 part floating (ie poured over the back of a spoon) sambuca
Light accordingly. Sprinkling cinnamon and nutmeg will cause the combustible concoction to “sparkle!” True, flammability and intoxication may not also mix; always keep an extinguisher handy, lest you earn a Darwin award!
Which brings us to the world of Astro themed ales. One of our personal favorites here at Astroguyz is known as Blue Moon. A Belgian White wheat ale, this one has a smooth, ultimate finish. The coriander and orange peel spices give it a crisp flavor. And, unlike its namesake, which only comes around when two full moons fall on one calendar month (I know, a recent Sky & Telescope article made the situation much more complicated, but when comes to assigning significance to trivia, does it really matter?) Blue Moon ale is much more common in this reality.
Another astro-themed wheat beer I’ve yet to try is white Dwarf Ale…
and speaking of Ales, to try some of that fabulous Romulan Ale, long since banned in the Federation, head to Star Trek: the Experience, at the Las Vegas Hilton. Unfortunately, I thought that the gift store spoiled the illusion a bit at Quark’s bar. They could have made it a much more convincing alien bar. At least until you notice the blue-haired grandmothers at the slots…
And in closing, I’d like to christen one more drink, an Astroguyz original. Several years ago me and some barracks friends of mine came up with a concoction, a variation of an Alabama Slammer. I’d like to call it a Hypernova: (I’m pretty sure that ones’ not taken, yet!)
1 part Southern Comfort
1 part Amaretto
1 part Sloe Gin
1 part creme de banana
Fill with Mango juice
These are delicious! Possible substitutions could be Grenadine for the Sloe Gin, Orange Juice for the Mango Juice, and for the more adventurous, Drambuie for the Southern Comfort.
So, there you have it, plenty of drinks to fuel an astro themed party, or at give that special twist to any late night cosmological discussion. Let us know how any of these experiments go, as well as any homemade astro-recipes. And be sure to not operate heavy machinery, like large aperture telescopes, under the influence!
The Black Hole:
Star Trek: the Experience in Vegas:
The Big Bang:
For tons of science, physics, and astronomy themed drinks (including the Bailey’s Comet);
And finally, UFO themed drinks;
Stay tuned for more Astro themed drinks, both from fiction and reality! Next week; its back to the science: hey, is that bigfoot on that thar Martian landscape?
This article has been submitted to the June 25, 2010 edition of Happy Hour Friday, a weekly end-of-the-week cocktail carnival.