Mimsy Were the Borogoves

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Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster

Jerry Stratton, October 15, 2005

We had a last-minute bathrobe party on Towel Day in 2001 in honor of Douglas Adams, and before leaving I dug deep into our racial memory to reconstruct the true Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster. That is, I browsed the web about five minutes before leaving for Trader Joe’s.

Servings: 2
Preparation Time: 5 minutes


  1. 2 ounces (1 1/3 shot) Sapphire Bombay depending on the size of the cup or drinking glass (our racial memory is unsure if Sapphire Bombay or Blue Curacao is correct here).
  2. 1 ounce (2/3 shot) vodka. For full effect, use a time machine to place a fresh jalapeno in the bottle of vodka five years before the party. Otherwise, consider mixing a pinch—a tiny pinch—of cayenne into the vodka the night before, along with a jalapeno.
  3. Fill just under to the halfway mark with orange juice (our racial memory seems to allow triple sec here. I feel that’s a result of contamination with the Golgafrinchams; or on second thought, their contamination with cavemen).
  4. Fill the rest of the way with sparkling lemonade (such as Geyer Traditional Sparkling Lemonade).
  5. Drop in some ice.
  6. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

There are a number of Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster recipes available on the web. Some of them seem to buy too deeply into the Guide’s exaggerations on the potency of the drink. The guide, while certainly a remarkable book, is also wildly inaccurate and contains much which is contradictory. I think it is clear from the actual drinking that goes on in the books that the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster is the kind of drink that you drink from a wicker sun chair and which royally fucks you up long before you realize you’re fucked up.

That is, I subscribe to the “slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick” recipe rather than the nearly pure alcohol with an olive a few paragraphs later.

I’m almost certain that somewhere in the book, a real Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster even had an umbrella in it.

This recipe assumes a reasonably sized plastic drinking cup. R2, most likely, if drinking cups were measured in R-ratings, which they should be.

I don’t know if they come in standard sizes, but the silver shaker that came with my cheap bar set is R4. That is, it takes and makes a double recipe so that you can, once you’ve moved the appropriate green pieces of paper, share with another person.

While the act of shaking the drink is impressive and thus very worthwhile, do not shake more than once, or twice at the most. A spinning motion is probably more appropriate. This is a powerful drink and is apt to explode if shaken violently.

When the vodka is gone, whoever feels most like a caveman rather than a marketing executive should break the glass and eat the pepper.

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