Review - Strange New Libations - Star Trek Cocktails

Strange New Libations – Star Trek Cocktails Review

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Have you ever wanted to drink like your favorite Star Trek characters?  Hero Collector has you covered with their new book Star Trek Cocktails: A Stellar Compendium!  Now, you too can enjoy some of the best-mixed drinks the future has to offer! The book contains 40 cocktail recipes, each with a distinct Trek theme, along with humorous quotes from throughout the franchise and adorable illustrations.  Even if you’re not a drinker, the book is still guaranteed to give you a chuckle or two.

Written by Glenn Dakin with art by Adrian Salmon and photographs by David Burton & Jess Esposito – Mixology Consultants: Simon Pellet and Adrian Calderbank

The introduction describes how drink has been a part of Star Trek from the very beginning, with Dr. Boyce and Captain Pike sharing a martini along with some sage advice from Trek’s first good doctor.  Included in this section (the script is even included later in the book) is an anecdote from a personal favorite scene in Star Trek: Generations, namely Data’s first experience in Ten Forward after installing his emotion chip.  If you’re reading this, you probably know what I’m talking about and are already laughing.

Each chapter in the book is dedicated to a particular style of cocktail or occasion, including romance, relaxation, and entertainment.  For the purposes of this review, I tried to make at least one drink from each chapter.  A little background on me though: I’m light-years from a bartender and have become a bit of a lightweight in my post-Navy years, so my experience likely will vary from yours. I’m also a little bit picky regarding certain ingredients, so any of the drinks that called for egg white were eliminated from my taste testing. In any case, I had a lot of fun making these drinks and a couple of them I can easily see making more frequently.

Disclaimer: I did NOT make all of these at once!  If I had, I likely wouldn’t have been coherent enough to write anything.

Cocktail Book
Hero Collector – The Book Is Fully Illustrated

My first drink was an easy one to make, Jean-Luc’s Earl Gray Martini.  The recipe called for this one to be served in a teacup or martini glass; I served mine in a coffee mug.  The main liquor in use here is gin, which I very much enjoy, and I was surprised how well it melded with the earl grey tea. The other ingredients are quite easy to come by, making this a libation most anyone could put together.

Next up was Ice Planet, something a little more complex.  As with several recipes in the book, this one included an unusual ingredient I’d never heard of: Gomme syrup, which is simple syrup with gum arabic.  Chances are that gum arabic makes a big difference, but for the life of me I couldn’t find it anywhere, and my local package stores had no clue what I was talking about, so I just used simple syrup.  Ice Planet does require the use of a blender as it’s basically an alcoholic slushy, but it was SO good!  The main liquor here is white rum with a bit of blue curacao.

It’s nice to share a drink with your significant other every now and then, but if that person isn’t much of a drinker, it can be a challenge to convince them to join.  This was my struggle when preparing Par’Mach On The Beach, a variation of the classic Sex On The Beach cocktail designed for two.  As the Admiral doesn’t have much of a stomach for alcohol, she only got a small sample while I imbibed the rest; this may have been a mistake on my part as Par’Mach On The Beach packs a punch!  There’s slightly more juice than alcohol here, but the combination of vodka, peach schnapps, and cherry liqueur pairs very well with the juice, resulting in a highly drinkable concoction.  And surprisingly enough, the Admiral enjoyed it too!

Cohabitating with an avowed coffee fanatic (not the Admiral) has its advantages as there’s always a fresh pot.  Thus, making Captain Janeway’s Irish Coffee was a no-brainer.  I’m often amazed at how combinations of a few ingredients result in something delicious, and that was definitely the case here. Only four are needed for this warm beverage, and the result is interstellar. I liked Janeway’s Irish Coffee so well I’ve made it several times now, and I’ll have to keep the fridge stocked with heavy cream (and my “bar” stocked with Jameson’s) so I can keep making it.  Maybe next time I’ll try one of the recommended variations with vanilla or hazelnut syrup instead of brown sugar.

Captain Janeway's Irish Coffee
Captain Janeway’s Irish Coffee

Quark said that the famed Warp Core Breach would relax its drinker for days, and this book’s mixologists seem to have taken that claim to heart with their version of the cocktail.  This is another drink meant for two which launches the “party time” chapter, though I had to make a few little changes.  Namely, I didn’t have a cinnamon stick to create the smoking effect the recipe calls for, and I also drank it solo. This drink has a major wallop from four different liquors, with most of its horsepower coming from spiced rum and Cointreau. I found it quite tart, likely from the cranberry juice, but nonetheless fantastic. Next time I’ll be sure to give it that smoke effect, and I definitely won’t take it all myself.  I did end up having the best night’s sleep I’ve had in months after drinking it.

Leonard McCoy has been one of my favorite Trek characters for as long as I can remember, so when I saw a recipe for McCoy’s Mint Julep, I knew I had to make it. I’m glad I did! I’d never had a mint julep before, but I can safely say this is now one of my favorites, particularly since it calls for bourbon, a drink I enjoy regularly. The fresh muddled mint gives this a refreshing air, something perfect for those warm Georgia summer nights. It was easy to put together and pairs very well with a nice cigar.

In the TNG episode “Conundrum,” Data lost a game of three-dimensional chess to Deanna Troi, and his penance was to make the counsellor a Samarian Sunset in the traditional style. The drink appeared clear at first, but after a sharp tap on the glass, colors swirled inside until the whole drink was gold. Unfortunately, the book’s version of this drink is nothing like that, but it certainly is pretty, even when you don’t quite make it right as I did.  I used blue curacao instead of melon liqueur, so it had a slight taste of coconut, which luckily didn’t overpower the flavors of tequila, orange juice, and lime juice (a great combination, by the way). Tapping the glass just made the ingredients mix a little bit to allow the colors to bleed, resulting in a lovely shade that definitely invoked a sunset on a faraway world.

I remember once going to a reenlistment party, aeons ago, where a friend from the ship ordered a fuzzy nipple for me.  I’d never had one before and I was game for anything back then, so I downed the shot, though I really didn’t taste much more than peach (Side note: at that particular moment I was on my third Drambuie, so tasting things likely wouldn’t have been in the cards anyway). Imagine my surprise at finding a variation called a Fuzzy Tribble! Just the name gave me a little giggle.

This time it wouldn’t be just a shot, but a full cocktail, and a delightful one at that. Vodka gives it a bite, but peach schnapps and orange juice give it flavor. Maybe it’s the American Southerner in me, but I really, really loved this one! I made it for a third time recently and the Admiral finally decided to try it; she wasn’t too impressed since she prefers her peach flavoring to come from the real thing, but at least she didn’t hate it.

Romulan Whiskey
Romulan Whiskey

The book’s front cover includes an easily removable sticker with a QR code for one last drink to enjoy.  This one was so incredible I absolutely MUST spoil it here! It’s a variation on the classic whiskey sour called Romulan Whiskey, adding blue curacao to the mix for an otherworldly coloration.

Now, I could be biased as the Romulans are my favorite Trek aliens, but this was without a doubt the best drink of the bunch, even better than Janeway’s Irish Coffee and McCoy’s Mint Julep. Easy and quick to make, even easier to drink; after making my first one by the book, I doubled up on everything and filled a Romulan glass nearly to the top. A fabulous way to end my mission to try some of the galaxy’s best libations.

Overall, Star Trek Cocktails: A Stellar Compendium is a wonderful addition to any Trekkie’s library. A great presentation and chock-full of drinks to enjoy alone or with a loved one, or to entertain friends during a Star Trek watch party (once we’re back doing such things). A few recipes call for unusual or expensive ingredients, but for every one of those, there’s another that’s just as enjoyable with more common components.  The themes of the drinks span the entire spectrum of the Trek canon, including ones inspired by Sylvia Tilly and Cristobal Rios.  I would very highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys making or imbibing a flavorful alcoholic concoction.

You can buy this book in all its glory from HERE

A review copy of this book was provided by Hero Collector. The opinions and views expressed in this review are solely those of the reviewer. No compensation, beyond that of providing a review copy, has been provided to the reviewer.

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