Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters

I wanted to link to my recipe for Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters in another post I’m writing, and I realized I’d never blogged about it. My bad. Here it is, with the story.

hitchhikers guide to the galaxy book cover
When I was about to turn 42, I of course wanted to serve Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters for my birthday. Not the real thing, of course — they can’t be mixed in Earth’s atmosphere — but a reasonable approximation.

So we went online, and found approximately 894,589,760 recipes for it. Trouble was, most of them involved gin, to approximate the Arcturan Mega-gin. Trouble was, I don’t like gin.

But we found this one, and loved it. It has just about everything a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster should have. It looks really alien, like something they’d drink on Star Trek. It’s entertaining and dramatic to put together. And its effects are, in fact, very similar to having your brains smashed in by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick. It’s one of those sneaky drinks that’s waaaaaay more intoxicating than it tastes: it goes down sweet and easy, you keep tossing them back… and soon you’re putting plastic cocktail monkeys in your hair, and trying on other people’s pants, and telling total strangers how awesome they are and how much you love them.

Blue curacao
Sugar cubes
Bitters (we used Angostura)

Ahead of time (you can do this a day or two ahead of time, or whenever you like, really), pre-mix a mixture of:
1/2 blue curacao
1/2 vodka

Also ahead of time (shortly before the party):
Prepare a plate of sugar cubes with one drop of bitters on each cube (this approximates the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger).

As guests arrive:

Fill a champagne flute mostly full of champagne, about one shot short.
Add one shot of the curacao/vodka mixture.
Drop in one embittered sugar cube.

Do these one at a time for each guest: it’s pretty to watch, and the embittered sugar cube goes “fizz fizz fizz” in a very dramatic way when it’s dropped into the champagne/ vodka/ curacao mix.

Drink only with people you trust. And beware the plastic cocktail monkeys.

Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters
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12 thoughts on “Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters

  1. 2

    Hahaha, I did much the same thing for my #42 – except that instead of the Vodka and Blue curacao, I infused some Polish pure spirit (like the 190-proof Everclear) with lemons for several weeks. Very dangerous stuff. I wish I’d thought of the blue colour; that would have added a nice galactic note.

  2. 6

    Also, get yourself a shirt that says “Mostly Harmless” from ThinkGeek. (I got that, and the “Don’t Panic” shirt for my 42nd. My wife’s so awesome!)

  3. 7

    I don’t think it’s too important to use actual gin. After all, Arcturan Mega-gin might not be gin at all:

    “It is a curious fact, and one to which no one knows quite how much importance to attach, that something like 85% of all known worlds in the Galaxy, be they primitive or highly advanced, have invented a drink called jynnan tonnyx, or gee-N’N-T’N-ix, or jinond-o-nicks, or any one of a thousand or more variations on the same phonetic theme. The drinks themselves are not the same, and vary between the Sivolvian ‘chinanto/mnigs’ which is ordinary water served at slightly above room temperature, and the Gagrakackan ‘tzjin-anthony-ks’ which kill cows at a hundred paces; and in fact the one common factor between all of them, beyond the fact that the names sound the same, is that they were all invented and named before the worlds concerned made contact with any other worlds.”
    -Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

  4. 8

    The thing about gin is juniper. And the thing about juniper is, you have to balance it. Next time you have a cantaloup melon of some sort getting overripe on your kitchen counter, throw it in the blender with gin and a squeeze of lime juice and a bit of ice.

    It might just convert you.

  5. 9

    That’s the recipe for the pangalactic gargle blaster from the bar for the STAGE version of HHGttG, at Finsbury Park Rainbow, in north London, in ca. 1979. I made it once for a fellow worker and myself in a Wimbledon restaurant, when we were supposed to be setting up the upstairs dining room and bar. Seemed like a good idea at the time, until the manager found our use of restaurant drinks … But then it turned out he was a Hitchhiker nut, too, so it was all ok!

  6. 10

    Several years ago we we in Australia and discovered a fully themed Restaurant At The End Of The Universe. Frankly, more than a little cheesy, but we couldn’t pass it up. Their PGGB was a monster that came in a nested stack of three glasses, each with different contents and flexible plastic tubes in each (drink from as many at once as you like). Also both dry ice and plastic ice cubes w/embedded flashing LEDs. Not a great picture, but you get the idea:

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