As much as many would deny it, alcohol is a deep-rooted part of our society. It’s one of the oldest recreational drugs and one of the most reference items in pop culture. In fact, it’s so ingrained in our reality that the SciFi world cannot help but include the booze. Ranging from the different “brands” to entirely unique drinks made from alien components, there’s enough to get any human- robotic, mutated, or otherwise- as frelled as she or he can handle.
This list is compiled from movies, video games, TV shows, and books within the Science Fiction genre. I have avoided comic book, horror, and fantasy worlds for posterity.
10- Fellip Nectar (Farscape)
Most “Farscape” fans will scratch their head on this one as it’s quite an obscure reference…but I put it here to bring up a point. To get a drinkable alcohol (that is, ethanol), it takes the fermentation of a sugar. Our sources of sugars to ferment come from our plant life (wine and brandy from grapes, beer from barley and hops, rum from sugarcane, et cetera). What happens in a universe so unique that the plant forms take life (such as with Zhaan)? The beer alone would be wild.
9- Ryncol (Mass Effect)
The tequila of the future, but even more ridiculous. It’ll get you pass-out-set-off-radiological-alarms drunk in no time…and it’s a cocktail! You’ve really gotta wonder what reactions are going to take place in your body when the drink defies logical art-class knowledge (blue+green=blue green, not green).
8- Spice Beer (Dune)
Melange, or spice, is the center of the Dune novels by Frank Herbert. A drug that makes the way of life possible, it went the way of most things humans get their hands on…it was turned from something intoxicating into something more intoxicating. The drug itself appears a brownish or orange in color and thus it can be assumed the beer would be colored accordingly. Personally, I’m all for a brewery to pick this idea up…I can only imagine the merchandising. Sandworm skin beer sleeves anyone?
7- Hawryliw (Battlestar Galactica- the re-imagined series)
Not much is known about what Hawryliw actually is and whether it was a liquor itself or the brand, but it was the name on the bottle used to smash in Adama’s head in the episode “Colonial Day”. The awesomeness of this bottle is not its intoxicating prowess, but for the man who inspired the name. Ken H. Hawryliw is the propsmaster for the re-imagined series and “Caprica”. When you give props to the props man, it ends up being fairly epic in my eyes.
6- Bendërbrāu (Futurama)
I could make a list solely from “Futurama” products, but there is only one so epic to exist in both the cartoon world and in reality. In the show, Bendërbrāu was brewed IN Bender (whereas the real-life stuff was just brewed up by the staff with known robot involvement). The grinning and captioned Bender label exists in both realm as created by the graphics department of the show. Sadly, there is no word on if the home-brew experiment is going to go retail.
5- Synthehol (Star Trek)
The concept of this is generally a good thing, but I can’t give too much credit to an alcohol that doesn’t give you any buzz. Yeah, I drink for flavor, but the balance of the alcohol is one of the noteworthy things in a drink. Regardless, from a military standpoint, an alcohol without all of the “negative effects of alcohol” is like a dream…but, as iconic as it is to the Next-Gen fans, it seems like quite a waste to me.
4- The Banana Daiquiri (Dr. Who)
The Tenth Doctor claims to have accidentally invented this drink. Enough said.
3- Gamma Gulp (Fallout)
It glows in the dark! In the irradiated world that is every Fallout game, it only makes sense that a lot of the fluids are starting to really shine. At a 20% chance of addiction, it pops more of a wallop than the normal irradiated stuff in the New Vegas games and the graphic for the bottle is 10x cooler than that of the irradiated beer. Can you imagine a blacklight party with this stuff? Your sweat alone would probably make you a human glowstick for a week.
2- Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)
By far the most complex drink on the list, the PGGB was invented by Zaphod Beeblebrox, the ex-galactic president, and it packs a brain-smashing hit like no other. The book lists the recipe as such:
“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 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. 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.”
1- Mudder’s Milk (Firefly)
I realize that, being a Browncoat, I’m biased as far as anything from the Whedon ‘verse. However, that being said, anyone who has enjoyed the series can tell you about the scene from Jaynestown where the Milk is introduced. It contains “all the protein, vitamins, and carbs of your grandma’s best turkey dinner, plus 15% alcohol.” A “keep ’em placated” drink that kept the Mudders able it’s quite the ugly concoction. Reminiscent of the good ol’ concrete shot, perhaps the best part of this particular drink is the look on the face of first-time imbibers and effects on those who can’t hold their liquor. Simon Tam? Priceless.
[Editor’s note: This is, by no means, a comprehensive list. What’s your favorite Science Fiction drink?]