I posted this recipe on Looka! on November 11, 2003 ... the day I turned 42. Given the significance of that particular birthday, there really can be only one drink with which I can celebrate. My friend Robb was thoughtful enough in another comments thread to suggest Sazeracs -- a splendid suggestion, no doubt -- but on this day only this drink will do. My bartender is the late, beloved writer Douglas Adams:

"The best drink in existence is the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster. The effect of drinking one of these is rather like having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon, wrapped around a large gold brick. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy will tell you on which planets the best ones are brewed, how much you can expect to pay for one, and which voluntary organizations exist to help you recover afterwards.

"Fortunately, the Guide also tells you how you can make one yourself." (And, of course, it's gin-based.)

Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster

1 bottle Ol' Janx Spirit.
1 measure Santraginean seawater.
3 cubes frozen Arcturan MegaGin.
4 liters Fallian marsh gas.
1 measure Qualactin Hypermint Extract.
1 Algolian Suntiger tooth.
Zamphour to taste.
Olive garnish.

Take the juice from one bottle of the Ol' Janx Spirit (see page 15 of the actual Guide).

Pour into it one measure of water from the seas of Santraginus V -- Oh, that Santraginean seawater, it says. Oh, those Santraginean fish!

Allow three cubes of Arcturan MegaGin to melt into the mixture (it must be properly iced or the benzene is lost).

Allow four liters of Fallian marsh gas to bubble thrugh it, in memory of all those happy hikers who have died of pleasure in the marshes of Fallia.

Over the back of a silver spoon float a measure of Qualactin Hypermint Extract, redolent of all the heady odors of the dark Qualactin Zones, subtle, sweet and mystic.

Drop in the tooth of an Algolan Suntiger. Watch it dissolve, spreading the fires of the Algolan suns deep into the heart of the drink.

Sprinkle Zamphour.

Add an olive.

Drink... but... very... carefully.

If my brains are bashed out, I'll just get a second head.


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Chuck Taggart   email chef (at) gumbopages (dot) com