Sunday, July 18, 2010

Top 5 Drinks of SF

Let's face it, whether you're racing across a distant galaxy at faster-than-light speeds, or trudging through some mystical forest on an epic quest to find a magic jewel or something, living in the worlds of science fiction and fantasy is thirsty work. And whether the beverages (alcoholic or not) quaffed by our thirsty heroes are the focus of intense discussion or merely background set pieces, the drinks that are served are often the trivia that spring to mind most readily when fans are discussing finer details of their favourite SF. As the boys from Monty Python once sang "I drink, therefore I am!" If you were to saunter into Callahan's, or The Green Dragon, or some dive bar in Mos Eisley, or anywhere else in the SF omniverse, you might wave the bartender over and order a round of brevari, raktajino, beer (from any brewery), pumpkin juice, warnog, jovian sunspots, or ambrosia, but there are some drinks that rise above the rest. Let's whet our whistles with:

The Top 5 Drinks of SF

5) Blue milk (Star Wars - Episode IV A New Hope) - What's the one thing that everyone remembers about the Lars homestead on Tatooine in the first Star Wars movie? It isn't the oil bath, the toy shuttle in the garage, or the fact that the house is a big hole in the ground. It's the blue milk that Luke, Uncle Owen, and Aunt Beru drink with their meal while discussing whether young Master Skywalker will remain at home and be a bumpkin or head off in pursuit of higher education at the fleet academy and become a jackbooted cog in the repressive Imperial war machine. Why? Because we've all bee indoctrinated enough with the slogans of the Dairy Board to recite without even thinking: "Milk - it does a body good" - even when it's blue. We all know that the best way to grow up to be a Force-wielding galactic hero is to build strong bones and muscles with a tall, frosty glass of blue milk every day. For those of you who are azure lactose intolerant, you're out of luck. No Jedi knighthood for you.

4) Blood wine (Star Trek franchise) - You may occasionally hear talk of Klingons throwing back tankards of warnog or hooking the Alpha Quadrant on their especially potent coffee, raktajino, but the real fuel of the glorious Klingon Empire is blood wine. Potent enough to knock a human out cold after just a few sips (unless he's taken an alcohol inhibitor), blood wine is the drink of heroes who have come home from beheading enemies, laying waste to planets and slaughtering the entire race of cute and cuddly Tribbles.

3) The Pan Galactic Gargleblaster (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) - Invented by renegade galactic president Zaphod Beeblebrox, according to the Guide, it is the best drink in existence, "the effect of which is like having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick." If it's the best, why isn't it in first place? Well, if very few beings in existence can drink more than one, and if there are several rehabilitation centres that exist to help those who have consumed one recover, then perhaps it's too potent to be the best, at least, in any practical sense. I know, I know, even saying this might mean that I'll never be able to show my face in the Zaphod Beeblebrox bar in Ottawa, but I stand by my words and that's a risk I'll have to take.

2) Water of Life (Dune) - Who'd have thought that vomit from a drowned sandworm would be the key to getting your Freman party rockin'? Yes, it's guaranteed to give the whole tribe a buzz that'll let them break the funk out for a day or two before they slither off to war against the Harkonens, but the real draw of the Water of Life is that it lets you see the future - not just think you're seeing the future like a few too many stubby bottles of skunky u-brew from the guy down the street might do - but actually see the future in all its permutations, and maybe even set up a genetic chat line to all of your ancestors. The only drawback, and this is what puts it in the number two spot, is that in its initial state, it's lethal. Having to concentrate on having your body alter the chemical structure of the drink so that the poison is rendered harmless is no way to start your first shooter.

1) Magic Potion from a Six-Demon Bag (Big Trouble in Little China) - It lets you "see things no-one else can see, do things no-one else can do", and makes you feel "good, kinda invincible", if a bit warm. It's main advantage over the Water of Life is that it won't kill you. It also can summon a pretty good belch. 'Nuff said.

So what SF drink would you toss back if you could?


JDsg said...

Skip the blood wine; I prefer Scotty's "Green" from By Any Other Name

Scott: [Trying to drink Tomar under the table, Scotty enters, a bit tipsy, with a bottle of green liquid] I found this in the ganner room... ganner...
Tomar: What is it?
Scott: It's,
[looks for a label]
Scott: uh,
[looks under the bottle; sniffs it]
Scott: ... It's green.

Robin Shantz said...

Good call! Didn't "Green" also make an appearance in the ST TNG epi where Scotty is rescued from a shuttle's transporter beam, with Data offering the "Green" to Scotty?