The Third Rail: We Are Not (Drinking) Alone


Neill Blomkamp’s alien-apartheid flick District 9 cleared up once and for all what visitors from other planets really wanted. The answer was cat food. I can reserve judgment (it’s not like I was going to eat it), but I can’t help but wonder if all of District 9‘s human-versus-prawn violence could have been solved with a good interspecies round of drinks. After all, plenty of interstellar fellowship has been fostered by a good Klingon toast.

Most famously, we have the bibulous aliens of Star Wars, living it up at the Mos Eisley Cantina.

As long as you’re not a droid, the cantina offers 16,000 recipes. Star Wars fans on Earth have done their best to match that number with themed cocktails. Unfortunately, it seems like Jar Jar Binks came up with the recipe for the Star Wars cocktail itself: 1 part peach liqueur, 1 part amaretto, 1 part sour mix, 1 part 7-Up.

Not only can I not recommend this drink, I almost can’t recommend any of its ingredients. It’s a tragedy that the “authentic” cocktails, with great names like The Reactor Core only exist in fiction. That is, unless you can find me some samples of Spice Liqueur and Blue Tonic…

Another famed extraterrestrial libation is from Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, called the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster: “the effect of which is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick.”

Naturally, with an endorsement like that Earthlings were bound try and make it. There are numerous recipes, but here is the best from Mostly Harmless (“the newsletter of ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha, the official Hitchhiker’s Guide appreciation society,” obviously): Take a 200 ml bottle of Everclear. Slowly combine with a 750 ml bottle of Bombay Sapphire. Now add 750 ml of old Wild Turkey. Stir in 375 ml of Herradura Tequila. Over the bowl of a silver spoon, let flow 1 liter of rum. Then drop in a Mezcal worm. Finally, sprinkle into the mixture some Gatorade.

I would highly recommend this drink, if it weren’t for the Gatorade.

These science-fictional drinks are all well and good (and has plenty more if that’s what you’re looking for). But what about some honest-to-god real drinks, ones that humans and other intelligent life forms can get stupid on.

So here’s a new one, the District 9 Cocktail: a combination of the classic Ward Eight and the UFO cocktail: 2 oz of rye whiskey, juice of half a lemon, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon grenadine, add ice, and fill a highball glass with soda. Drink with a futuristic straw.

It may not hit you over the head like a golden brick, but I can assure you that it’s a hell of a lot tastier than cat food. Or cats.