Despite the fact that “Star Trek” is one of the most enduring science fiction franchises ever, with more than half a century of material to draw from, canonical cocktails are few and far between. Even bartenders like Quark or Guinan don’t have much to offer audiences outside of the occasional Romulan ale or Klingon Blood Wine. Luckily, bartenders and writers have developed a number of drinks that evoke the spirit of the utopian world of Star Trek. That way, you can enjoy one (or more) while watching episodes from your favorite era, whether that’s the original series, “The Next Generation,” “Deep Space Nine” or any of the later shows.
The Kanar Sazerac, from bartender, writer and consultant John deBary, is one such Trek-inspired cocktail. The drink gets its name from the liquor that the nefarious and militaristic Cardassians drank on “Deep Space Nine.” A gray-skinned, authoritarian race, the Cardassians are a bitter people who often crave a stiff drink, so a Sazerac might be their go-to after a long day of selling their souls to the Dominion or oppressing the Bajoran people.
Since it would be challenging to get your hands on a bottle of real Kanar (it being a fictional beverage and all) the base of the Kanar Sazerac is split between Fernet-Branca—the popular Italian amaro—and cognac, which may or may not have been the original spirit used to make Sazeracs before rye whiskey got involved. The two together make a lush and rich base with a touch of bitterness, which feels appropriate for a Cardassian libation.
Rather than the traditional absinthe (or Herbsaint) that rinses the glass of the Sazerac, this version gets an extra dose of bitters—orange and Angostura, instead of the bright red Peychaud’s Bitters normally called for. The salt rim balances the bitterness and seems fitting for a species that throws back fish juice for breakfast. However, this drinks sticks to tradition when it comes to the vessel and garnish: a chilled rocks glass with no ice, and a lemon zest expressed over the top then discarded like a treaty with the Federation.
- 1 ounce Fernet-Branca liqueur
- 1 ounce XO cognac
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 4 dashes Angostura bitters
- 4 dashes orange bitters
- Garnish: salt rim
- Garnish: lemon twist
Rim half of a chilled Old Fashioned or rocks glass with salt and set aside.
Add the Fernet-Branca, cognac, simple syrup, Angostura bitters and orange bitters into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.
Strain into the prepared glass.
Express the oils from a lemon peel over the top of the drink and discard peel.