It’s that time of year again, Durango’s week-long costume party, Snowdown. This year’s theme is Intergalactic, which means there will be hundreds of people dressed in outer space garb, getting absolutely blasted. If we were going to be true to the theme, absolutely rigid as a Mormon in a whorehouse, we would have only the smallest amount of booze, as very little amounts of alcohol have actually been consumed in space. Other than Soviet-era cognac, and Buzz Aldrin’s moonscape communion wine, alcohol is not allowed in space, outside its use in experiments.
But trying to imagine Durango without booze is like trying to imagine Jar Jar Binks is a Sith Lord: It’s funny, but there’s no possible way it can be true.
Even though there is no alcohol in actual space, there is plenty of alcohol in our sci-fi universes. There are a lot of versions of Earth drinks, like shots, ales, wines, and a surprising number of milks (yes, plural). And there are some beverages that sound disgusting, but not too out of this world when we think about just how our beverages are made here on Earth.
My absolutely favorite sci-fi beverage is Slurm, a soft drink from the year 3000 in the cartoon series “Futurama.” It’s catchphrase is “It’s highly addictive!”. And is promoted by a giant worm, Slurms Mckenzie, the original party worm! The production of Slurm is a simple process that involves feeding the Worm Queen of Wormulon wumpus berries, then collecting the Queen’s anal secretions in soda cans.
Slurm may be the most disgusting form of secretion, but not the only one consumed in science fiction. Milk is another powerful and popular one. Whether they be laced with narcotics (“Clockwork Orange,” anyone?), or if they’re the blue secretion from the furry banthas of Tatooine, milks are gonna get you effed up in space. If I were a bartender in Durango, I’d definitely have a Blue Milk-based cocktail (Blue Russian? Tatooine Mule?). If at some point you can drink narcotic laced milk from the nipple of a lifesized statue of a beautiful woman, then Durango should win a cosplay award or something.
The different versions of Earth alcohol – Romulan Ale (illegal in the United Federation of Planets) or Klingon Bloodwine (fermented blood and sugar, preferably served warm), or just “BEER” brewed by the Dharma Initiative in “Lost” – should also be making appearances around town, just because of the simplicity of it.
When it comes to shots, the galaxy also has plenty to offer. The most potent would likely be the Pangalactic Gargle Blaster from “Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” Said to feel like “having your brains bashed in by a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick,” the real Pangalactic Gargle Blaster includes ingredients from all over this fictional galaxy. If I was making a version here, it’d likely include equal parts absinthe, Goldschlager, and citron vodka, served next to a trash can.
Don’t forget that alcohol isn’t the only sci-fi way to get lit. Someone please make a Jabba the Hut bong with actual live frogs swimming in the bong water and please learn from the randy teens of Class of Nuke’em High: avoid any irradiated weed, unless you want to get super powers and give birth to mutated monsters.
Robert Alan Wendeborn is a former cellar operator at Ska Brewing and current lead cellar operator at Tin Roof Brewing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.