The (Terran) Gargle Blaster

Making this public is long past due; I’m more confident in the cocktail than ever, and “testing” is no longer an excuse for hiding this from the eyes of the public who will never read this.

Thus I present a Gargle Blaster made for the humans of Earth.

Many other recipes exist now, all across the far reaches of the internet, I’ve even encountered one that, like mine, mimics the prose from which it takes inspiration, however all of those recipes are wrong in at least one very clear way:

They’re not the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster, we already know the recipe for that, fictional ingredients aside, Douglas Adams clearly gave directions for it. Mine is most assuredly a modification of that with the mindset, access of ingredients, as well as dietary and poison restrictions of early 21st century homo-sapiens taken into consideration.

Now as we’ve yet to establish off-world colonies with their own variant flora let alone make contact with extraterrestrial intelligences, I’m usually lazy (and terracentric) and simply shorten the name to Gargle Blaster, but this is a local variant of presumably a more generic yet unknown Gargle Blaster, much like the Fontainebleau Sidecar is a variant of the Sidecar.

For a little history, I started fumbling around with this recipe over a decade ago, long before I knew how to mix up most anything, I didn’t even know the “heart” of the cocktail, but a little like my fumbling into using mirepoix before knowing it was a thing, my experimentation led me to believe in striking a balance. Thankfully the prose of the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster was written by someone who was familiar and thus I had an unknown legup on the matter, but like many cocktails made in the old-fashioned manner, The Contradiction makes it sing.

While I didn’t discover Chris McMillian in the New Orleans’ Best Cocktails series until 2012, due to his clear care for the craft and history, he has since been my primary resource for bartending, I missed that he had opened a new cafe & bar shortly before I visited New Orleans last year, but next time, next time. Anyway, it is from he that I learned of The Contradiction:

For those not video inclined, I’ll sum it up:

“You take whiskey to make it strong and water to make it weak. Then you take lemon to make it sour and sugar to make it sweet. Then you say ‘here’s to you’ and you drink it yourself. That is the Contradiction.”

Balance, I cannot emphasise enough, is the one thing that makes the Terran Gargle Blaster work. It will take rebalancing any time you work with even slightly different ingredients. Most frequently due to differences in hot sauces, which should be runny and of equal consistency, it’s not always easy to find a good one and sometimes even otherwise good ones have off bottles with a few seeds. Though even switching between fresh squeezed lemon juice and bottled will make a difference. Always straw taste every glass before serving it to someone else.

Now I finally present, the (Terran) Gargle Blaster:

  • Take the juice from one lemon.
  • Pour into it one measure of 90%+ ethanol.
  • Allow three cubes of gin to melt into the mixture (it must be properly iced or the fun is lost).
  • Allow one measure of tonic/seltzer water to bubble through it (in memory of all those without carbonation).
  • Over the back of a silver spoon float 1-2 drops of mint extract, redolent of all the heady odours of the hygiene and candy isles.
  • Drop in 2-3 drops of habanero sauce. Watch it dissolve, spreading the fires of the Capsaicinoids deep into the heart of the drink.
  • Sprinkle lemon zest.
  • Add an olive.
  • Drink…but very carefully.

Further notes and tips:
There are ways to legitimately freeze most gin using dry ice and a sacrificial higher percent alcohol, but I’m lazy and usually just put the gin into a 0℉ / -18℃ freezer. I’ve found that three average cocktail size cubes are about a shot worth of water, and the juice of a normal bar sized lemon is also often conveniently about a US shot glass full.

Please don’t be afraid of the 90+% alcohol, it gets watered down plenty during the contradiction. Now you can substitute the high percent alcohol for 40/50/75%  if you can’t acquire it but keep in mind that will impact the ABV of the drink.

As written the drink is effectively a 3 American Shot cocktail and fits in a standard cocktail glass, which is about 1 shot stronger than most other drinks served in said glass. It’s stronger than usual, but there’s not really anything scary about it. If you just use standard vodka, it will be no stronger than any other cocktail, and what’s special about that?