Cocktail Challenge: The Water of Life

The spice extends life. The spice expands consciousness. The spice is vital to space travel.

One of the things that Frank Herbert harps on in Dune is that the spice melange tastes different every time you taste it. That as you have changed in the flow of your life, so too does the flavor of spice. This demands a wide variety of herbal flavors, the alcoholic equivalent of throwing your entire spice rack in a glass. Luckily, I have just the things for that. Also, the end product has to be blue.

My mix was as follows, stirred with ice:

1 part Botanivore Gin
1 part St. George Spirits Absinthe
1 part Canton ginger liqueur
1 part green Chartreuse
1.5 parts cinnamon schnapps
1.5 parts blue curacao

I chose the ingredients I did to give the greatest chance of an incredibly complex and evolving flavor, particularly the Botanivor gin and absinthe from St. George Spirits and chartreuse. The cinnamon schnapps is there as Herbert is always quite clear that the primary flavor of melange is cinnamon. I was unable to add BBotE because that would screw up the color. Also, it was 11:30pm when I did this.

The Lovely Assistant's official review: "This is not nearly as horrifying as I thought it would be looking at the bottles you lined up. You have no right as a bartender to make all those things taste acceptable together."

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12 Responses:

  1. Chris D says:

    There's an obscure Chilean liqueur (from the Chiloe archipelgo) called licor de oro which often does taste different every time (the bottle I got does). Fun watching my friends drink it: "Vanilla! Wait...marshmallows?!"

    As a bonus, it looks like horse urine.

    • Mike Cotton says:

      ...'no, hang on, it tastes just like raisins.'

      I've read Dune a half dozen times, most recently a few months ago, and I have no memory of Frank Herbert mentioning a shifting flavor once, much less harping on it. Can anyone point me toward it?

    • phuzz says:

      I'm used to some beers and ciders* tasting different with different batches, but Addlestones changes colour and taste as you go through the barrel.
      There's so much sediment in there that you get different pints out depending on how many others have been poured recently (stirring it up) and how much is left in the barrel.
      I also can't think of any other drink that tastes of sulphur on a good day. Not recommended on an empty stomach.

      * ciders are alcoholic, otherwise it's just apple juice.

  2. Feren says:

    In my experience nothing ends well with blue curaƧao in the recipe.

    • Mark says:

      I think this would be a much better (anise-flavored!) source for the blue color. No idea if you can get it in the States, though.

  3. Erbo says:

    "If you be a Reverend Mother, let Shai-hulud judge now!"

  4. BW Brooks says:

    Needs more The Agony -- by which I mean, layer some Ice 101 on top and then set it on fire.

    "They tried and failed?"

  5. Jon Konrath says:

    Sorry, I'm sort of stuck on how much that dude needs to clean his microwave.

  6. Morrisa Sherman says:

    Wow. Who knew drinking could be such a literary pursuit.

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