Calamity’s Corner: CyberPunk Drinks!

So, long before I strapped on my first corset, before I glued some gears on it, long long before Steampunk entered my life I was into Cyberpunk. I guess I can say I was introduced to things Cyber waaayyy back in the summer of ’82. It was just before my 12th B-day and I was in an arcade. There was this game, TRON, and it was so very cool. I spent a lot of quarters on that machine that summer. Better still, there was a movie attached to it! The first time I saw the trailer for the film was on my tiny 12″ black and white tv. Even then, the visuals, the music… it compelled me.


I devoured the novelization many times before the movie even came out. Opening night and I was in the theater reciting lines and humming along to the soundtrack. I had the toys (no, I don’t have anything now but one lone Flynn figure, well played with) and the shirts (all boys, as they didn’t make TRON shirts for girls back then.) Yep, I was hooked. That same summer we saw Blade Runner, which my parents took me to. I loved that as well. The two movies were quite different, one had an air of optimism (sort of) and was shiny, glowy, and bright. The other movie was dark, gritty, dystopic, but I loved them both.

As interesting as that little peek into my youth may be, you may be wondering what it has to do with drinks and booze. Well, not a whole lot. Yes, there’s certainly drinking in Cyberpunk, but there really isn’t one drink, or a category of drinks that one can point to and say, “See, Cyberpunk!” That being said, there is room for creativity. When considering drinks for the Cyber crowd there’s a lot of freedom. Anything that glows is good. (Tonic water glows blue under a UV light, fyi.) Not everyone likes the taste of tonic, though. Then again, drinks don’t need to glow to fit the theme.

Tonic Glow 680

Take a look at the past for a start. Much of cyberpunk is dystopic. It’s dark times, gritty, and often there’s a weird retr0-futuristic sense of noir. (Like in Dark City, for example.) So, personally, I think drinks from pre-prohibition and prohibition times could fit the bill. Taking a classic drink like the Gin and Tonic can be punk’d up by simply serving it in interesting glassware. Find some futuristic stemware, or what have you, that alone can dress things up to give it that interesting visual tone. Use light up cubes, or glowing shot glasses. It’s superficial, yes, but the effect is good.

You can twist drinks, change up your vodka gimlet by adding, say Midori to the mix, make it bright green, then give it an interesting name….like Neo’s Tears or something. (Vodka Gimlet: 2 parts vodka, 1 part lime juice, 1 part simple syrup served on ice.) Look to the books and movies you love, use those to pattern your drinks after. TRON had this glowing river of “water” that Tron, Ram, and Flynn used to recharge themselves when they escaped the grid. I used to pretend my blueberry-lemonade Kool-Aid was that stuff. Not that I recommend it for your cocktails, but a little blue curacao in your drink can add a vivid blue.

Tron Energy_pool2

Then there are the established drinks. Many a cyberpunk party I’ve been to haved served Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters. We have our own version here at the Labs we’ve been known to sling. Make your own drinks, get creative.

Blade Runner,  for example, has a heavy Far East influence in it. You might start by using sake as a base drink for a cyberpunk themed party. Japanse beers, sake, plum wine, all those served as is can fit right in to a Blade Runner party. Why stop there, though? Grab some Japanese soda and use it in place of sodas like Sprite or Ginger Ale in your cocktails. Go even further, look to spices used in Japanese or Chinese cuisine. Infuse vodka with szechuan spices and make a Bloody Mary, then rename it as a Bloody Pris.

Blade Runner Drink

Grab your books, watch those movies and derive inspiration from there! I’d love to see any recipes you come up with!

Calamity Labs Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster: (Our twist on the Miami Ice)

Take a tall glass or pint glass. Use simple syrup on the rim and then coat the rim with Pop Rocks.

Pan Galatic Gargle Blaster1/2 oz Vodka

1/2 oz Rum

1/2 oz Tequila

1/2 oz Blue Curacao

1/2 oz Gin

sour mix

Sprite (or ramune!)

Bacardi 151 or Everclear

In a shaker with ice add the first 5 ingredients. Add sour mix. Shake, shake, shake, senora, shake that shaker right. Top with sprite and 151, add ice if needed to bring drink to the top of the glass. Garnish with a lemon slice. If you have edible gold flakes sprinkle that on top for giggles.


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