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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Let's make a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster

Start with the rye whiskey

Water from the seas of Santraginus V

Three cubes of mega-gin

Mega-gin melds into the drink

Qualactin Hypermint extract

How to add the hypermint

Instead of a Suntiger tooth...

Oooh, pretty

The mystery of Zamphour

Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster

So, you want to make a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, the drink "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" describes as "the alcoholic equivalent of a mugging." I salute your bravery. We'll need to substitute some Earth ingredients, but here's the recipe I came up with.

The ingredients: A copy of "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." Rye whiskey. Tonic water. Gin made into lemon Jello shots. Wondermint liqueur. Campari. Crushed ice. An olive.

Caption by / Photo by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Add one jigger of rye to a glass.

The first ingredient in a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is "the juice from one bottle of Ol' Janx Spirit," a potent drink popular with Orion miners. I substituted High West Rendezvous Rye whiskey. Rye was a historically popular drink with early miners in the US and is currently experiencing a renaissance, along with bourbon, as a popular American whiskey.

Caption by / Photo by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Add three jiggers of tonic water.

The last time I visited Santraginus V, I neglected to bring back a bottle of the local sea water, a necessary ingredient for creating a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. No matter, we have a substance that is very close to it here on Earth. Fever-Tree Indian tonic water is aromatic, not very sweet and already filled with carbonation, which subs well for the Fallian marsh gas on the "Hitchhiker's" ingredient list.

Caption by / Photo by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Add three cubes of lemon-flavored Jell-O gin.

On Earth, gin doesn't come in cubes like it does on Arcturus. To create a form of Arcturan mega-gin, you just need to make some Jell-O shots using a regular Earth gin, like Tanqueray. I went with lemon flavor since a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster makes you feel "like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick." These cubes got a little un-square, but they still worked.

Caption by / Photo by Amanda Kooser/CNET

I wasn't sure what to expect from the cubes of lemon-flavored gin once they went into the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, but they dissolved nicely after creating a fun fizz on the surface of the tonic water and rye whiskey mixture.

Caption by / Photo by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Add a half jigger of Wondermint.

According to "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," Qualactin Hypermint extract is "redolent of all the heady odours of the dark Qualactin Zones, subtle sweet and mystic." This Wondermint liqueur carries the flavors of peppermint, almond, rosewater and wormwood, making it less sweet and more herbal than a regular mint liqueur. It's the perfect subtle touch for a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, but apply it with restraint.

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"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" has some specific instructions for making a potent Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster cocktail. One of them reads, "Over the back of a silver spoon float a measure of Qualactin Hypermint extract." This is hard to pull off, so I instead poured the Wondermint into the glass through a silver absinthe spoon to mimic the effect described in the guide.

Caption by / Photo by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Add a half jigger of Campari.

To obtain a Suntiger tooth, you first must travel all the way to Algolia. This just isn't practical for most Earthlings, so we need to come up with a substitute for our Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster recipe. When you add a Suntiger tooth to an authentic Gargle Blaster, it dissolves and spreads "the fires of the Algolian Suns deep into the heart of the drink." The Italian liqueur Campari adds an astringent bitterness, but more importantly the red drink spreads out in the cocktail like the fires of a burning sun.

Caption by / Photo by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Adding Campari to an Earth version of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is a bold move that won't be welcome to everyone's palate. Campari has a strong herbal flavor and brings a bracing bitterness to the cocktail. If you prefer a sweeter drink, you could consider using an alternative liqueur that adds a red or orange glow to your Blaster.

Caption by / Photo by Amanda Kooser/CNET

Sprinkle crushed ice to your liking.

Ex-president of the galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox invented the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster. One of the more mysterious ingredients on the list is "Zamphour." The instructions say to sprinkle it into the drink. There can be many different interpretations of what Zamphour is, but I choose to believe it's simply what's known as crushed ice here on Earth.

Caption by / Photo by Amanda Kooser/CNET

The crowning moment of making a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster occurs when you add the final ingredient: an olive. This glowing drink contains a variety of alcohol flavors you wouldn't normally find together: rye whiskey, gin, mint and Campari. It tastes astringent, a product of the gin, Campari and tonic water. It tastes of herbs. It tastes both exotic and earthy. It may never rival the good old martini in popularity, but I'm rather fond of this peculiar, otherworldly and downright odd cocktail.

Caption by / Photo by Amanda Kooser/CNET
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