Alibi V.16 No.31 • Aug 2-8, 2007 

Cocktail Culture

The Mythic Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster

In 10, 9, 8 ...

Jeff Drew

There's little doubt that sci-fi author Douglas Adams held a certain reverence for the drink. The writer of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series spun out his days avoiding deadlines while sipping—or quaffing—his favorite beverages.

Devotees have probably already attempted a tentative Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the legendary refreshment first mentioned in chapter two of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Experimenters differ in approach and desired effect. The Guide within in The Guide says, "The effect of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick." Clearly, Adams held a healthy respect for and intimate knowledge of the things alcohol can do to you. One can almost imagine him waking, clothes wrinkled, half-finished drink on the coffee table, squinting at the sunlight and imagining yet another day chained to the typewriter.

More to the point, should a Gargle Blaster kick your teeth in or sneak up on you? Despite the brick reference, some would argue that the way Zaphod Beeblebrox and Ford Prefect behave while drinking it indicates the latter.

The debate rages on through the ages, with those in the Drink of Doom camp fuming at the Legions of the Slow Buzz. It's nasty. But from all the turmoil, one solid fact about the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster emerges: It should be blue.

In honor of the Alibi's sci-fi issue, we present you with recipes that run the gamut for the most beloved beverage ever produced in space.

The Original Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster



1) Take the juice from one bottle of that Ol' Janx Spirit.

2) Pour into it one measure of water from the seas of Santraginus V.

3) Allow three cubes of Arcturan Mega-gin to melt into the mixture (it must be properly iced or the benzene is lost).

4) Allow four litres of Fallian marsh gas to bubble through it.

5) Over the back of a silver spoon float a measure of Qalactin Hypermint extract.

6) Drop in the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger.

7) Sprinkle Zamphuor.

8) Add an olive.

9) Drink ... but ... very carefully ...

Using earthbound ingredients:

Arthur Dent's Nightcap

Adapted from
Makes 1 drink


1 750-milliliter bottle vodka, any kind
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 whole jalapeño (or more if like it hot)
2 ounces Bombay Sapphire gin
Orange juice
Sparkling lemonade
(Optional: blue food coloring)

1) At least one night before mixing drinks, place a generous pinch of cayenne and a jalapeño in a bottle of vodka.

2) To serve, mix 1 ounce of the vodka with the Bombay, then add orange juice until glass is half full. Top with sparkling lemonade. (To make the drink blue, add 1 drop blue food coloring to the lemonade.) Serve over ice with a slice of lemon to garnish.

How Many Heads Am I Holding Up?

Adapted from
Makes 1 drink


4-6 ounces orange juice
1 ounce Jack Daniels whiskey
1 ounce peach schnapps
1 splash Blue Curaçao liqueur

1) Shake the orange juice, Jack and schnapps in a shaker filled 3/4 with ice cubes until chilled.

2) Strain into a highball glass and drizzle Blue Curaçao over the top to taste.

3) Serve with a citrus twist and an olive.

Throwing Yourself at the Ground and Missing

Adapted from The Bartender's Best Friend .
Makes 1 drink


1/2 ounce vodka, any kind
1/2 ounce triple sec
1/2 ounce Yukon Jack liqueur
1/2 ounce peach schnapps
1/2 ounce Jack Daniel's whiskey
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce cranberry juice
Lemon-lime soda
(Optional: blue food coloring)

1) Combine the first seven ingredients in an ice-filled Collins glass and fill it with the soda. (To make the drink blue, add 1 drop blue food coloring to drink and combine.)

2) Serve with a long straw.

Strong Enough to Lose Your Towel

Adapted from from
Makes two big drinks or one really big drink


1 ounce Everclear
4 ounces Bombay Sapphire gin or Jeremiah Weed bourbon
4 ounces cold Wild Turkey bourbon
2 ounces Herradura tequila
5 ounces rum, any kind
1 worm from a bottle of Mezcla
2 ounces Gatorade

1) Combine ingredients in order.

2) Eat one olive just before drinking.