It seems as though no media franchise will ever come close to the amount of adoration and homage that Star Wars receives. Beyond the toys, costumes, books and comics based on the science fiction giant, even bartenders can catch the Star Wars fever, making drinks themed for various Star Wars characters and creatures. For example, bartender Benjamin Schiller’s Sarlacc Pit, named for the sand-dwelling, flesh-eating monster favored by the slug-like Jabba the Hutt in “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.”
Schiller created this concoction while working as beverage director at The Sixth Bar in Chicago’s Lincoln Square. Fittingly for a desert planet like Tatooine, the Sarlacc Pit is a Tiki drink, with a blend of El Dorado five-year-old gold rum, ginger syrup, lime juice, bitters and Schiller’s own Han’s Mix, a tweaked version of the Don’s Mix #1 from famed Tiki bartender Donn Beach. For bitters, it calls for both Angostura and Bittermens Elemakule Tiki Bitters. With notes of allspice and cinnamon, the Elemakule Bitters are also important for drinks like the Phoenix Colada and Storm the Beach.
Of course, one of the most essential elements of making any Tiki drink is going all out with the serving vessel and the garnish. Schiller garnishes his Sarlacc Pit with a molded pâte de fruit Darth Vader helmet, and serves the whole affair in a Boba Fett Tiki cup. Granted, most people probably don’t have a ceramic cup with the bounty hunter’s visage on it, but commemorative Star Wars glasses are extremely easy to acquire for those wanting to get fully into the Empire kitsch with this. Otherwise, run-of-the mill Tiki glasses are more than acceptable to use.
Add all the ingredients into a Highball glass or Tiki mug with crushed ice and swizzle.
Top with more crushed ice.
Garnish with a mint sprig and 2 twisty straws.
*Han’s mix: Combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, 3 cinnamon sticks, a few fresh grates of nutmeg and 3 star anise in a small pot over medium heat. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Add 2 cups fresh orange juice, strain and store in a sealed glass container up to 1 week.
**Ginger syrup: Peel and juice 1 part ginger, and allow the juice to sit, preferably overnight. Gently pour the ginger juice into a new container, while leaving the sediment behind, and strain the remaining juice through a fine-mesh sieve. Measure the remaining juice and add an equal amount of granulated sugar by volume. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.