<![CDATA[Booze & Board Games - Booze]]>Sun, 29 Nov 2015 17:05:01 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Pimm's Cup]]>Sat, 04 Jul 2015 14:19:57 GMThttp://bnbgs.weebly.com/booze/pimms-cupPicture
2 oz. Pimm’s No. 1
1/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
Ginger ale
Garnish: cucumber

In a Highball glass filled with ice add Pimms, lemon juice and ginger ale and stir. Garnish with a cucumber slice.

This British Classic can be rather sweet if you don't add the lemon juice. It will also sneak up on you rather quickly on a warm summer afternoon so be careful.

Some weeks ago our friend Jameson McLean of the Bearded Boardsmen asked me if I had ever had a Pimm's Cup. It was one of his favorite drinks of all time and he urged me to "give it a go" if ever I got the chance. So I made a mental note to keep my eye out for the main ingredient Pimms No. 1 and to look into it in the future.

Well I finally got my hands on a bottle of this Gin based spirit yesterday and had a grand afternoon mixing up a few of these old and storied cocktails. My throbbing head this morning is the consequence. However, the pain is a small price to pay to find another great addition to the Booze & Board Games Recipe list.

Pimm's No. 1 sweet and smooth.
Created in 1840, by London Bartender James Pimm "The Cup" has been refreshing Britons during the warm summer months since. It is the official drink of Wimbledon, at which tens of thousands of Pints are sold each year. James Pimm realized rather quickly he had something great on his hands and kept the recipe secret, and to this day, the recipe for Pimm's No. 1 itself is known only to six people at any one time.
A Cup with all the fixins. Not very practical for game day though.
Like any drink this old there are hundreds of variations and versions. Some call for lemons, oranges and strawberries to be stuffed into a glass with some mint. Though these look pretty, I think they are a bit impractical for Game day sessions. You want to be able to mix quickly and consistently when gaming so the version I chose is simple and to the point.

Our friend Jameson has done us a service in suggesting we try this refreshing libation from the British Isles, and once my head stops telling me the world is a very loud place, I'll make a point of thanking him.


<![CDATA[The Kaitlyn Ginner]]>Wed, 17 Jun 2015 01:16:43 GMThttp://bnbgs.weebly.com/booze/the-kaitlyn-ginnerPictureThe Ginner
2 oz. Bombay Sapphire Gin
1-2 oz. Fresh Lemon juice
1 oz. Mint simple syrup
Seltzer water
Fresh mint leaves

Fill a shaker half full with ice. Add Gin, mint syrup and lemon juice. Next add 5-6 fresh mint leaves. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds, double strain into an ice filled Collins glass and top off with tonic or seltzer water. Last take one mint leaf and give it a good smack  to release the oils and scent, then add it to the drink.

Note; Mint simple syrup is made by combining 1 part sugar and 1 part water along with a generous handful of mint leaves and boiling them for about ten minutes in a sauce pan. Let cool then strain into a container and refrigerate. This is a vital element to the cocktail and one that cannot be skimped on.   

The Ginner, actually is a variation of the Southside cocktail, and this recipe originates with Club 21. Only our version uses Bombay Sapphire instead of  Tanqueray and a stronger mint simple syrup.

This summer libation is a great way to introduce people to the spirit Gin. As the mint subtly soothes, the lemon pops on the tongue followed by a whisper of the spirit itself. They go down smooth and, as we found out, rather quickly. Bombay Sapphire is a softer Gin than other brands , with floral elements that smooth out the spirit rather than sharpen it.  I wouldn't recommend mixing this cocktail with something like Hendricks which has a more earthy flavor.

If you want the Spirit to push forward simply cut back on the lemon juice or the seltzer.

We are calling this a Kaitlyn Ginner because we at Booze & Board Games, along with our friends the Bearded Boardsmen are sick and twisted  individuals. 

Last game day, after consuming these for an entire afternoon I asked everyone to come up with a good name for the drink. I usually do this myself but I thought it might be fun for the others be involved. Many ideas were thrown out, and quickly rejected as waaay too inappropriate, most of them were rather disgusting sounding as well. But we were having fun so no harm done eh?

Finally I had to stand up in front of everyone and say, " let me make this easy for you. Think of a woman, you cannot go wrong with naming a drink after a pretty girl."

Without missing a beat Tuna said " Kaitlyn Jenner" (which is disturbing in of itself) and then Rob said " Kaitlyn Ginner." And so it was born, a product of drunken revelry and complete insensitivity to political correctness. 

What could be better? and I am proud to call these guys my friends.

Pre-Op Bruce. I have no straws.
Later we decided to have a Pre-Op version of the Ginner called a Bruce, as well as the Post-Op version called the Kaitlyn. You can order them either way the only difference is that the Pre-Op Bruce comes with a straw or umbrella whereas the Kaitlyn does not. Robs logic behind this is idea is too controversial to be written in such a public forum.

No matter which way you have it, as a Bruce or Kaitlyn, the Ginner will surely keep your guests asking for another round between bouts of laughter. Just keep your eye on the fellas who order the Pre-Op.


<![CDATA[Irish Maid; or as we call it, the "Fancy Pants"]]>Sun, 24 May 2015 11:58:13 GMThttp://bnbgs.weebly.com/booze/irish-maid-or-as-we-call-it-the-fancy-pantsPictureIrish Maid Cocktail
  • 2-.25 inch slices Cucumber
  • 2 oz  Irish Whiskey (I use Bushmills)
  • .5 oz Elderflower liqueur
  • .75 oz Fresh lemon juice
  • .75 oz Simple syrup (one part sugar, one part water)
  • Garnish: Cucumber slice
  • Glass: Rocks
In a shaker, muddle the cucumber slices. Add remaining ingredients and fill shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, and fine-strain into a chilled rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a cucumber slice.

When I first heard about this little cocktail I thought to myself "Well the guys do like sours so we might as well try it." And then proceeded to mix one up to give it a taste. My first pass "wasn't bad" my second seemed to be better and I had not the wits or fortitude to attempt a third. The key to this drink is getting enough cucumber muddled up so the elder flower doesn't overpower it but rather compliments the natural flavors.

The Irish Maid is tart, not overly sweet, with a subtle herbal quality that lingers just beneath the surface. This is due to the cucumber and elderflower components of course. This cocktail is perfect for bright sunny days on the back deck with friends. You can have a few and not feel like you are in danger of loosing control and rage quitting a game of MTG or Red Dragon Inn.

Why do we call it the Fancy Pants? Because, while describing this drink to our very flamboyant friend Greg (whose nickname is Fancy Pants) He said, and I quote; "I haven't muddled a cucumber since prom night." Yeah that about sums him up...but it made me laugh, and him as well so we are naming this one for him.


<![CDATA[the Half & Half]]>Fri, 13 Mar 2015 12:09:36 GMThttp://bnbgs.weebly.com/booze/the-half-halfPictureJust Lovely.

The Half & Half consists simply of half a pint of Harp lager (also made in Dublin) and half a pint of Guinness, and if the pour be done right the Guinness will sit on top of the Harp in the glass which is rather pretty indeed.


Guinness half a pint
Harp lager half a pint
A pouring spoon or Turtle

Tilt your glass and pour in your Harp lager gently so as to reduce “heading” on the ale. Stand the glass upright on the bar and place your turtle or spoon on the rim. Next, ever so softly, start pouring your Guinness over the back of the spoon. Keep a steady hand and go slow, and you should have a nice looking drink with all gold on the bottom and black on the top when finished.

There are moments when I simply want to sit back with my friends and enjoy a beer or two. I find that the unpretentious nature of a pint, accompanied by loud boisterous laughter, draws me as a moth to flame. And as Beer is the world’s third most popular drink overall, behind water, and then tea, it’s no surprise that you can find thousands of different brands, made by hundreds of various breweries worldwide to choose from. 

Personally I am particular to Guinness, as I find “the black stuff” smooth and pleasing to consume, and as a bonus it comes from the finest island the world over, Ireland.

Now you can simply pour a pint and drink it to while away the hours or you can take a moment, and craft an eye catching “Half & Half.”

A thing of beauty.
“Wait a Minute Al that’s a Black and Tan not a Half & Half or whatever you are calling it!”

No it is not! A Black and Tan is made with Bass Ale instead of Harp Lager, and though almost every drink with Guinness floating on top is called a Black and Tan these days the simple fact of the matter remains that each time you change the lager or ale to a different brand, the name changes too. Which for me is important, and if you find yourself in the Republic of Ireland someday it will be important to you too. 

For,  if you order a Black and Tan in Eire, you just may find yourself out on your ass in the street wondering what the Christ just happened?

Black & Tans search a citizen, note the dead body in the background.
The term Black and Tan has a rather negative and offensive connotation to it in Ireland, as the Black and Tans was the nickname given to the Royal Irish Constabulary Reserve Force, which became notorious for a brutal crackdown during the independence war.

They murdered, tortured and looted their way across the countryside. They burned the city of Cork, and robbed the shops laughing; they assaulted women, and shot innocents indiscriminately. These “reserves” were so vicious and cruel to the Irish people that ninety two years after they were disbanded the mere mention of the Black and Tans riles folks up.

So try to keep that in mind when you pop into any fine pub in the fair city of Cork.

Eejit Poser with a Pint.
The Half & Half is in no way snotty or uppity, no matter how hard Posers and Yuppies have tried to make it so, and its combination of smooth creamy stout and slightly light sharp lager make it a wonderfully delicious drink any time of the year.


<![CDATA[the Manhattan Cocktail]]>Fri, 09 May 2014 19:20:55 GMThttp://bnbgs.weebly.com/booze/the-manhattan-cocktailPictureThe Manhattan.
2 oz. Rye Whiskey
1 oz. Sweet Vermouth (red)
2 dashes of bitters
1 Maraschino cherry (garnish)

Start by filling up a martini/cocktail glass with ice to "chill" the glass, always do this first. Next fill a mixing glass about half way with clean, clear, cubed ice. Add your whiskey, vermouth, then bitters. Stir slowly until the drink is chilled thoroughly. Strain into chilled cocktail glass and serve with a maraschino cherry dropped in as garnish.

Note: The use of clean cubed ice is vital for the stirring process. When stirring any cocktail such as this try to use your bar spoon to simply move the ice around in the glass without cracking or breaking the cubes. It takes some practice but if you can stir a drink without making any noise the end result will be a much cleaner and clearer product. You can substitute Bourbon for the whiskey if you desire it, if you do I suggest using orange bitters instead of Angostura. Another tip is to chill your vermouth in the refrigerator a couple of hours before mixing with it. For some reason, cold vermouth is better than room temperature, or so my guests have mentioned.

The Manhattan is my all time favorite cocktail. It is beautiful, simple, clean and dignified, a bit mysterious, this fair libation, has held my eye for many years. The dark rich colors served "up" in a fine cocktail glass make me think of a more sophisticated time. I've consumed countless concoctions that go by the name "Manhattan" in my search for the perfect drink. Any bar anywhere in the world will be sure to have it as an offering. However most establishments produce poorly constructed illusions of a real Manhattan. Many a time I have wanted to beat a server half to death for even daring to put such fakes in front of me, let alone charging for it. What is most frustrating of all is the simple fact that this drink is so easy to make, I am baffled that anyone could screw it up, but they do, time and time again. After many years of fruitless attempts to find an establishment that can actually make a decent Manhattan, I was truthfully on the brink of giving up.

That is until I happened to step into a very beautiful and storied tavern in Bristol, Rhode Island, named the DeWolf.

DeWolf Tavern Bristol Rhode Island.
This tavern has an exceptional serving staff, which knows not only how to craft a cocktail but also understand the qualities of the various spirits they offer. When I sidled up to that fine bar and ordered a "Classic Manhattan" the barman didn't bat an eye and only asked if I had a preferred Rye Whiskey? For those of you who understand how rare a thing this is you can appreciate my high praise and joy at finding this place. My drink came perfectly proportioned, chilled and mixed. Alas I had found my Holy Grail there in the seaside village of Bristol, and to this day, I find myself longing to return to it whenever I find myself south of Boston.

However, as you know, I live in the backwoods of Maine, well not the backwoods really, as I do have neighbors that, for the most part, have managed to marry outside of their immediate families. So not so rustic as to be eating road kill and "what not", but it’s still pretty far away from the cocktail culture of my youth New York City. Therefore, it is more the rule than the exception that I have to mix my own libations if I desire something refined as this old classic.

Scandalous Rocks. Actually looks good to me.
There are lots of variations on this old drink all of which claim to be called a Manhattan, but the true Manhattan is made with rye period. Recently I have seen these served "on the rocks" which somehow seems scandalous to me and others with lemon twists added for garnish. I am sure the lemon oils help make this strong drink more palatable to some of our more gentle, and timid, populace, however, I'm quite certain this addition, changes the name.

For a refined, dignified, and socially acceptable, before dinner aperitif you cannot go wrong by mixing a few of these up for your guests.


<![CDATA[Moscow Mule]]>Tue, 15 Apr 2014 00:13:17 GMThttp://bnbgs.weebly.com/booze/moscow-mulePictureMoscow Mule
2 oz Vodka
3 - 4 oz Spicy Ginger beer
2 Lime wedges
Moscow Mule mug or highball glass

Add the vodka and ginger beer to a highball glass or copper Moscow Mule mug
filled with ice and stir briefly. Next, squeeze the lime wedges into the drink  then use as garnish i.e. drop into drink and stir once more and serve.

Note: some recipes call for a sweetener such as simple syrup. If the Moscow Mule is too tart for your taste buds then by all means add .25 oz simple syrup to the drink. However I suggest trying it without first. 

The Moscow Mule found its way onto the American bar scene as a pure marketing scheme. One that was not only a product of necessity but also of simplistic genius.

It had been invented around 1941 and though
an executive at the Heublein drinks company, John G. Martin claimed he and Jack Morgan of the Cock 'n' Bull in Los Angeles came up with it, this is in dispute. The head bartender of the Cock 'n' Bull, a Mr. Wes Price also laid claim to the discovery. If given the choice between the man behind the bar, and a couple of executives, especially if one of those execs is a marketing fellow, well then I tend to believe the barman every time. 

Moscow Mule looks fine in a highball glass too.
The story goes like this: Martin had bought the rights to Smirnoff Vodka in the late 1930's but was having a terrible time selling his product in the States. Americans were drinking Gin, Bourbon, and Rye in those days and were rather content. Morgan on the other hand had ordered far too much ginger beer for his bar the Cock 'n' Bull. It also turns out that Morgan had a girlfriend at the time who owned a copper company that produced copper products, which is where the copper mug begins to come into play.

So all three were thrown together with a bit of lime to boot and the drink was born. But that is not the end by a long shot, as one bar and a copper cup cannot single handedly change the American consumer's perspective. The problem still existed for both Martin and Morgan, how to get more people to buy so they could deplete their stocks.

The gimmicky copper mug which helped push the drink. I guess cause it was shiny.
In 1947 the first Polaroid instant cameras were invented and John G. Martin saw their potential right away. He bought one and with a bottle of vodka in one hand and a promotional copper mug in the other, he travelled from bar to bar plying his wares. He would introduce the barman to the Moscow Mule, then he would take two photographs, one he gave to the bartender the other he would keep. At his next stop he would show the pictures of the other bars who were serving the Moscow Mule to the proprietors and they quickly picked up the drink to keep up with their competition. Vodka sales tripled over the next four years.

American ingenuity and drive at its best.

The Moscow Mule has a subtle bite and refreshing flavor — a great summertime sipper and extremely simple to mix up. Great for game day festivities.


<![CDATA[the En Vogue: A dessert drink.]]>Fri, 31 Jan 2014 12:01:52 GMThttp://bnbgs.weebly.com/booze/the-en-vogue-a-dessert-drinkPictureEn Vogue with Whipped cream and shaved chocolate.
2.0 oz. Chambord Raspberry Liqueur
.5 oz. Bailey’s Irish crème
6-8 oz. of double dark Hot Chocolate (I use Ghirardelli)

First make your hot Chocolate on the stove. Take 8.0 oz. of milk and 4-5 tablespoons of Ghirardelli double dark mix (more chocolate added the thicker your beverage) and heat slowly stirring constantly. When it’s ready remove from heat and put aside. Now take an Irish coffee glass and add your Chambord, and Baileys, Top off with the Hot Chocolate and stir. Serve as is or add a dollop of whipped cream on top if you like.

Now, I can hear a few purists out there grumbling about using a mix for the Hot Chocolate portion of this drink. I use it as it makes the drink easier to concoct than actually melting bars of cocoa etc. If you feel the need to go that route, by all means do so. However, for the majority of us mere peasants a double dark mix will work just fine.

Yeah it's a mix, but some of us have jobs, you know?
 I think if you give this sweet calming drink a try you will experience the quiet yet distinct flavors of Raspberry, from the Chambord, coming to the fore after your first sip. The Bailey’s adds that little something which tells you that you’re not drinking Grandma’s hot cocoa, and you have graduated to big boy/girl pants. 

These types of drinks are usually offered up as a dessert menu item in bars and restaurants, and they work well in that situation. However I feel that the En Vogue is a warm  libation, which will bring you a moment of comfort and ease any time. After a long day of skiing, or simply shoveling the drive for the hundredth time, one of these little drinks will be sure to make you sigh in relief.

"Free your mind, the rest will follow". Yeah I'd follow these ladies anywhere.
Lastly I named this dessert drink the En Vogue after the Diva singing group of the 1990’s, because both are dark, sexy, intelligent and stylish.


<![CDATA[ El Charro Negro (the Black Charro) ]]>Fri, 24 Jan 2014 14:11:46 GMThttp://bnbgs.weebly.com/booze/-el-charro-negro-the-black-charroPictureA Black Charro Cocktail
1.5-2.0 oz. Tequila
.5-.75 oz.  Lemon Juice (fresh)
Cola to top off
Lemon wheel for garnish.

Fill a rocks glass with clean ice, add Tequila and Lemon Juice and top off with the Cola. Stir gently as to not flatten the carbonation from the cola. Add a lemon wheel as a garnish either on the rim of the glass or simply dropped inside the drink itself.

*Note: You can also chose to "rim" the glass with salt by running your lemon peel around the rim and placing the glass (top down) onto a plate of salt. You have to mix your drink in a separate glass and pour it into the rimmed glass if you chose to do this* 

The first time I read the name of this tequila based drink my simple little mind immediately focused on the "Charro" portion. You see, for me, the name Charo has always been associated with the vivacious, fun, and sexy Spanish singer/entertainer of the 1960's and 70's. As a boy I loved watching her flit across the screen speaking very broken English, and wearing the most outlandish and revealing costumes. Her trade mark move of raising her hands over her head, and shaking her hips while shouting "Cuchi, Cuchi" brings a smile to my lips even today.

However I found out rather quickly, that the cocktail we are looking at today was not named for her, but for something much more dark and seemingly sinister
"Cuchi, Cuchi!"
El Charro Negro is a legend, from Mexico which speaks of a dark rider and his nocturnal wanderings.

Dressed all in black this apparition appears on a stallion of the same color to lonely travelers in the dead of the night. Many have seen this spirit, all of whom tell the same story. He glides out of the night riding on a tall dark horse. Silent as a whisper on the wind, he is never heard approaching. The Black Charro merely sits as still as a statue and watches the humans before him. None have ever heard him speak, nor do they know what it is he wants. They simply feel terror as his eyes, masked in the shadows of the night, watch them intently.

"Stop looking at me, you creepy Git!"
One such tale tells of  a peasant being startled by El Charro Negro on a very dark country road. At the peasant's feet appeared a pouch full of coins. The peasant knew not what to do, should he take the money, or was this a trap of some sort set by the black rider before him? Eventually the poor hapless man was overwhelmed with fear and ran away as fast as he could, leaving the money in the dust and the searching gaze of the ghost behind him. To date it seems El Charro Negro has never harmed anyone, he obviously just exists to scare the Christ out of tired poor dirt farmers on their way home from the Cantina.

Thankfully, the cocktail that bears this ghost's name is not nearly as lame as the legend which inspired it.

I found that the lemon juice really helped to cut back on the sweetness of the tequila and cola, making the whole experience a rather smooth and calming one. You can use any type of tequila you like or have on hand, but I personally prefer Reposado or Anejo as the aging in charred barrels gives the spirit a smooth, smoky, flavor which elevates this simple drink. Some people make the El Charro Negro with lime juice and garnish instead of lemon, and it seems to work fine. I suggest trying both versions, what can it hurt? if you prefer lime over lemon go for it. This quick and easy to mix drink is simple enough that one doesn't have to think to much when putting it together however, the flavors are unique enough that you'll be making more than just one. Cuchi, Cuchi!

<![CDATA[The Boulevardier ]]>Fri, 17 Jan 2014 13:19:00 GMThttp://bnbgs.weebly.com/booze/the-boulevardierPictureThe Boulevardier
1.5 oz. of Rye or Bourbon Whiskey. to taste.

1.0 oz. Campari
1.0 oz. Sweet Vermouth (chilled)
Orange peel or twist for garnish

Fill a rocks glass with clean cubed ice, next add your Campari. This gives the Campari a little extra time to dilute in the glass. Add your vermouth, then whiskey, I prefer 1.5 oz. of Rye in this 2.0 Bourbon if that is all I have to work from. Stir with your bar spoon for about one full minute to dilute the ice some and to chill the drink. (my big mistake with the Negroni) Next add an orange peel or twist for garnish.

Note *Always keep your vermouth refrigerated, it is a wine, thus if left out too long has a tendency to go bad*

To serve these "up" simply mix your ingredients as before in a mixing glass and strain them into a chilled cocktail glass.

Last spring I was introduced to a neat little before dinner drink called the Negroni and decided to give it a try. The construction of this rather popular cocktail was simple and straightforward in that it used 1 ounce of Gin, 1 ounce of Campari, and 1 ounce of sweet Vermouth stirred with ice in a rocks glass. It seemed perfect for the Booze and Board Games monthly get togethers. (easy, and quick)  Yet in execution this storied libation failed horribly and my guests grimaced as they tried to "choke" them down. This was completely my own fault in that I did not fully understand the complexity of one of the main ingredients; Campari, and I did not know then what I do now about mixing and serving drinks. The bitter citrus of the Campari overpowered the Bombay Sapphire gin thus ruining the subtle, herbal highlights of that spirit. Chagrined I decided to steer clear of any cocktails that contained Campari going forward, as I had no desire to submit my friends and family to such an acquired taste.

Bitter acquired taste, Campari is either loved or hated by most.
However, I came across another old but less famous cocktail called the Boulevardier, and my mind began to race. Though a close cousin of the Negroni , the Boulevardier uses rye or bourbon whiskey as it's base instead if gin, which I feel does a better job of keeping the bullying qualities of the Campari at bay. This drink from around 1927 or so is a smooth yet complex potion; the bitter Campari gives it complexity, but the sweet vermouth keeps things soft, add a good spicy rye, and you have a drink that doesn't overpower but blends gently.

The key to the Boulevardier resides in putting the spirit forward rather than subduing it. To accomplish this you simply increase the amount of Rye or Bourbon you add to the drink. Instead of a 1: 1: 1: ratio you can use a 1.25-2.0: 1: 1: solution. This little aperitif is easily manipulated to taste by adjusting the proportions of spirit. There are lots of different ratio's out there but I feel the recipe I give below really blends well together and will bring a pleasurable smile to you and your guests.
Served "up" with an Orange twist, "Fancy".
The Boulevardier, is not a seasonal cocktail by any sense of the imagination and can be enjoyed throughout the year. I feel that it's original offering as a before dinner cocktail fits perfectly but it also works well as an end of evening libation as well. So give this amazingly simple yet complex little drink a try the next time you find yourself waiting for dinner to finish cooking, or you are simply winding down from an evening out, I promise you won't be disappointed.


<![CDATA[Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster]]>Fri, 13 Dec 2013 21:04:17 GMThttp://bnbgs.weebly.com/booze/pan-galactic-gargle-blasterPicturePan Galactic Gargle Blaster
.75 oz Gin
.50 oz Bourbon
1.0 oz Lemon Juice
1.0 oz Sour Apple Pucker Schnapps
.50 oz Blue Curacao
.50 oz Simple Syrup (optional)
Lemons for garnish

Fill a Martini/Cocktail glass with Ice to chill it. (always first ). In a cocktail shaker half filled with ice add your Gin, Bourbon, Apple Schnapps, Blue Curacao, Lemon Juice, and simple syrup. Shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds. Strain into your chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a bit of lemon peel, twist the peel over the drink then run it around the rim quickly before dropping it in.

Mike found this recipe for the cocktail on Geek and Sundry by accident and shared it with me. After looking over the ingredients I was rather intrigued. The color of course catches the eye and I can actually imagine some odd alien being sipping one in a busy lounge in outer space.

A month or so ago someone mentioned this drink in a response to my Pairings post for Galaxy Trucker. Having no idea what a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster was supposed to be or even what strange realm of geekdom from whence it originated, I ignored the reference and moved on. I mean really, who would have thought that such a cocktail actually existed outside the sub-culture of Sci-Fi nerds as anything but an obscure reference? You know what I'm talking about, those utterly annoying bits of useless trivia that science fiction types whip out during conversations in an attempt to "One-Up" you with their super knowledge. These geeks can tell you the exact episode of Star Trek, even quoting the lines, in which Captain Kirk fell victim to a Klingon Sphincter Punch. Yet, they do not possess the most basic of personal hygiene, or understand why you just kicked them in the groin. (Just because).

So yeah I tend to ignore the little tid bits of nerd quiz trivia as they annoy me to no end.

However, as I have recently been assaulted with no less than three different references to the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster on three separate occasions I decided to look into it further. I will still probably "Rochambeau" anyone who decides to go into high cant nerd speak when talking around me, but on this item my curiosity got the better of me. So here is what I found:

"The Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster was invented by Zaphod Beeblebrox, a major character in Douglas Adams' novel The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. The fictional version of this drink is described as "like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon, wrapped 'round a large gold brick." It has also been described in the novel as the "alcoholic equivalent to a mugging; expensive and bad for the head."

Zaphod Beeblebrox the inventor of this wonderful drink.
Fortunately for us, the Earthly version of this drink is as far from a mugging as you can get, in fact it is really quite good.

The mixing of flavors really works well in this recipe. You get a nice little taste of the Juniper from the gin and the lemon overtones somehow, work well with the apple schnapps. I served these to Mike and Tuna last game day and they liked the tartness that comes from the lemon juice. I personally find this pretty cocktail very refreshing and light. Which surprises me to no end, for I always associate colored drinks with overpowering sweetness.

I think the best way to describe the complex flavor of a Gargle Blaster is this; "It's the first taste you get when popping a brand new green apple Jolly Rancher hard candy into your mouth. Sharp and tart but not painfully so." The beauty of the cocktail is that unlike the candy which becomes sickly sweet rather quickly, the drink just keeps giving you that first tart pop over and over again.

Caution Drink Carefully.
Warning!!!! These are so good you will want more than one, so be very careful. Both Mike and Tuna had two of these each, and I noticed a bit of slurred speech coming from my friends soon after. Not sloppy drunken hobo slurring, but a subtle catch here and there.

So the next time you have some geeks/nerds over that you have not managed to maim, or alienate by kicking them in their soft parts, you should mix up a bunch of Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters, I assure you it will be worth the effort.