Bars are a little like fictional space stations. Both worlds thrive on a healthy foundation of multicultural mixing, diplomacy and the prevalence of cooler heads when things get rough, as well as the ability to make you feel like you’re, well, flying. If he were manning a bar on Negroni Night, what would the captain of the Enterprise do if he ran out of Campari? We can only imagine how he’d save the day with some quick thinking and a phaser set to stun if the crowds got unruly.
It’s the 50th anniversary of Gene Roddenberry’s timeless and much spun-off series, Star Trek, the classic, multidecade ahead-of-its-time space story exploring new life and civilizations this year. And it seems there are no signs of leaving warp speed anytime soon, as the release of the latest flick, Star Trek Beyond, proves. We had a feeling there might be more than a few Trekkie bartenders out there ready to share out-of-this-world Star Trek-inspired recipes in honor of Kirk and his crew. They share six gulpably galactic recipes—no replicator needed.
It’s the guiding principle for all members of Starfleet: Don’t mess with other civilizations and sully up their worlds. Which is a pretty good rule to follow for drinks, too. Andrew Volk of The Portland Hunt & Alpine Club keeps things light and herby with the Prime Directive, made with Plymouth gin, bianco vermouth, Bénédictine liqueur and Angostura bitters.
It’s a seriously stressful job to sit in that captain’s chair (and wear those tight pants, too)—be it Pike, Kirk, Picard, Sisco, Janeway, Archer or any of the others who’ve helmed that position, briefly or not. So it was awfully nice of bartender Tara “Dactyl” Wright of Distilled NY to come up with this much-deserved sipper for an otherworldly vacation from the deck, made with Pernod absinthe, Yellow Chartreuse, pineapple and lime juice, Bénédictine liqueur and Angostura and Peychaud’s bitters.
The Up & Up’s Chaim Dauermann, a fan of TNG since childhood, created this cocktail, made with St. George pear brandy, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, Mas Peyre Le Démon de Midirancio sec wine and Champagne, as a nod to the episode “The Inner Light.” In it, Captain Picard loses consciousness for 20 short minutes but winds up experiencing decades of a double life in his altered state on the planet of Kataan, a dying planet with water issues, in the village of Ressik. In this new reality, he’s known as a flute-playing family man named Kamin.
“Star Trek, and science fiction as a whole, is at its best when it’s using its fantastical setting to address issues plaguing our modern world,” says Dauermann. “I was drawn to this idea of water. I wanted to make a drink that called to mind its clarity. As the story of ‘The Inner Light’ is run through with themes of drought and simple technology, I wanted to make a cocktail that called attention to water security issues and also employed simple methods of preparation.”
New York City bartender Alexandra Kuechler-Caffal is pretty devoted to her love of all-things Trekkie. “It goes so far that I host a sci-fi Tiki night at Fort Defiance a couple of times a year.” She created this cocktail, made with Appleton Estaterum, Cocchi barolo chinato, Pierre Ferrandcuraçao and a port-soaked prune for garnish, to show her intergalactic love.
As a little bit of a provocateur, Paul Gustings of Broussard’s in New Orleans created this cocktail, made with brandy, Dekuyper Pucker sour apple schnapps, Fireball cinnamon whiskey and instant vanilla pudding, ingredients that might make a cocktail aficionado turn up a nose. And honestly, this recipe might be a joke. (It wasn’t exactly delicious when we tested it.) “They made a porno version of Star Trek—they changed it from ‘where no man has gone before’ to ‘where many men have gone a lot’ or something like that,” says Gustings laughing. “And that’s why I named it that. It’s supposed to be fun!”
As El-Aurians, Guinan (of the Next Generation series) and her people are known for their talent as great listeners—just like those people who make nice things for you behind the stick. Inspired by that notion, Amanda Whitt of New York City’s NoMo SoHo honored the fictional, unofficial patron saint of bartending with this sprightly Negroni riff, made with Brennivin aquavit, Suze apéritif, Montenegro amaro, Dolin dry vermouth and Bittermens Orchard Street celery shrub. “It’s based on the exploration and the unfamiliar, which is a common theme in Star Trek,” says Whitt. “This cocktail could be considered a great ‘first contact’ opportunity for someone who is unfamiliar with aquavit.”
Bonus Cocktail: Khan Body Shot
Star Trek visual-effects artist Don Lee created this body shot sure to please true Trekkies. All you need to do is pour two ounces of warm certified-nonorganic, super genetically modified mezcal into the ear of your defeated enemy. Pour the remaining mezcal into the open wounds of said enemy to get the worm from the bottom of the bottle, and garnish the ear with the worm. Take the shot from the ear, then lick the dried salt from the tears of your enemy off their cheek.