The best fictional drinks to recreate at home

Source: Experience Kissimmee, Florida via Facebook.

The constraints of reality mean we may never be able to walk where our favorite television and movie characters have walked, whether because they live in a magical land that only exists in a studio, because they are cartoons or even because life has changed since the movie’s release. However, there are ways to get slightly closer to our heroes. Taste is a great leveller and allows fans to live like their favorite characters have done, albeit in small measures. Most fictional characters enjoy real-life beverages but there are a few shining examples where creatives have developed drinks that become just as iconic as those who consume them. Recreating those fictional drinks at home is not an exact science but here are a few ways to adapt real-world ingredients and drinks to live like some legends of television and cinema.

Butterbeer

butter beer e1534925905868 The best fictional drinks to recreate at home

Okay, so this one is not technically an alcoholic beverage unless you’re a house elf. Wizards and witches are made of sterner stuff so the negligible alcoholic percentage of the drink featured in the Harry Potter universe has little effect on their sobriety. The butterbeer available at both the Warner Bros Studio Tour in London and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando are firmly non-alcoholic, which enables all ages of magical folk and muggles alike to guzzle down the butterscotch-flavored drink. Butterbeer is a drink in keeping with the oddity of many features in the wizarding (and witching) world, with the juxtaposition of the creamy top with the fizzier bottom making for an interesting experience. 

There is a wide range of recipes that attempt to recreate an authentic butterbeer experience, using butterscotch and cream soda as key ingredients. Of course, if you want to make it alcoholic then there are ways. Incorporating butterscotch schnapps seems like a logical idea, while a dash of rum or vodka won’t compromise the butterbeer taste but will giving it more of a kick. Also, butterbeer is incredibly versatile in that it can be served hot or cold depending on your mood or the time of year. That is truly magical. If the butterscotch is too sweet for your taste, you could create your own version of Firewhisky – which is very much alcoholic. This can be recreated simply by having a strong whiskey, which may be less magical than butterbeer but is nonetheless delicious.

Vesper

vesper 720x720 recipe The best fictional drinks to recreate at home

James Bond has a pretty enviable set of skills. As if it wasn’t enough that he’s ludicrously athletic, relentlessly courageous and effortlessly charming, Bond is also a master creator of drinks. In Ian Fleming’s 1953 novel Casino Royale, Bond asks the barman to mix together some gin, vodka and Kina Lillet. He’s very particular about his drinks and has some strict requirements when it comes to measures and spirits. In a rare moment of uncertainty, 007 is originally unsure of what to call his cocktail creation. Eventually, upon meeting the beguilingly beautiful Vesper Lynd for the first time, he decides to name it after her – certainly one way to make a memorable first impression.

Sadly for Bond, the Vesper would no longer satisfy his high expectations and strict demands. His gin of choice, Gordon’s, has undergone a recipe change since 1953 and that form of Kina Lillet has also been discontinued. Many aspects of the mythos of James Bond now seem archaic. The theatrical supervillains of past stories now seem at odds with a world of political sabotage and subterfuge, while Bond’s love of casinos feels like a throwback to a distant bygone age. Most people now use online casinos because of their ease and range, to the extent that a look at the range of sign-up bonuses featured by Oddschecker would be enough to convince even Bond to change with the times. Similarly, Bond would have to adapt his Vesper to fit with the 21st century. Fortunately, Kina Lillet can be substituted with Lillet Blanc to concoct something that mostly resembles Bond’s original recipe.

Duff Beer

duff beer The best fictional drinks to recreate at home

Homer Simpson is perhaps the most renowned connoisseur of beer, fictional or otherwise. He knows what he likes and what he likes is Duff. Homer is disdainful of Duff’s main rival, Fudd Beer, although he’s right to be wary of anything that’s popular in a place like Shelbyville. There are several examples across the world of companies who have created their own version of Duff Beer but we think that, when looking for a real-world equivalent of Duff Beer, you’re after what makes Duff so popular in The Simpsons: the ready availability and affordable pricing that allowed it to monopolise the beer market in Springfield.

Duff Beer is the archetypal American lager. Its mascot Duffman is not-so-subtly influenced by Bud Man, once the face of Budweiser. This makes Budweiser appear to be the closest thing to a real-world equivalent of Duff – Budweiser can even be shortened to Bud for syllabic similarity. Whether Homer would find Budweiser palatable is a question we’ll never know the answer to, but there is no denying that Budweiser is one of the most prominent lagers in both the United States and the global market. Short of brewing your own beer, this is the closest to Duff you can get.

Source: The Simpsons via Facebook.

Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster

PGGB The best fictional drinks to recreate at home

This mighty cocktail from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is at the opposite end of the alcoholic spectrum to butterbeer. This dastardly concoction is more suitable for those who like a kick to their drink, although kick may not be doing the cocktail justice. The science-fiction series, which began life as a radio show before branching out into other forms of media, needs an alcoholic drink that matches the eccentric nature of its universe. The Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster lives up to its name, featuring both in the television series and the movie as a drink that causes characters to scream in terror and burns holes in the floor upon spillage.

This cocktail is not one for the faint-hearted. That is not to say that it is undrinkable, however. In the same way that people enjoy the thrill of eating staggeringly hot chillies, there’s an allure to conquering the effects of a particularly strong drink. Recreating the cocktail designed by Zaphod Beeblebrox is not easy, if only because most consumers will struggle to acquire ingredients like cubes of Arcturan mega-gin or the tooth of an Algolian suntiger. Fortunately, there have been attempts to adjust the cocktail in keeping with ingredients that can be sourced more readily, in addition to making the drink more suitable for the average Earth dweller’s constitution.

Stage shows of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy allow audiences to become immersed in the series’ universe by offering the cocktail as a refreshment, although refreshment may not be the most apposite word. However, the Gargle Blaster is probably the kind of drink best enjoyed in the comfort of your own home: if you end up creating a cocktail so strong that it burns a hole in the floor, it’s probably best it’s your floor. Attempts to recreate the Gargle Blaster suggest mixing together many of Earth’s finest spirits and bar staples: vodka, gin, rum, tequila and creme de menthe combine for a cocktail that may leave drinkers feeling as if they’ve experienced an otherworldly event. This is one to be enjoyed in strict moderation.

We can never know for sure how faithful our own concoctions are to those fictional drinks, but the drinks listed above will certainly make suitable accompaniments to a night of watching that television or movie series. We may never receive that acceptance letter from Hogwarts or be transported across the galaxy but that doesn’t mean we can’t escape into those universes, even for just the time it takes to finish a drink.