- “After two of those babies, the dullest, most by-the-book Vogon will be up on the bar in stilettos, yodeling mountain shanties and swearing he's the king of the Gray Binding Fiefdoms of Saxaquine”
- —On the drink's effects[src]
The Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is an alcoholic beverage invented by ex-President of the Galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox, considered by the Guide to be the "Best Drink in Existence." Its effects are similar to "having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick."
Beeblebrox advised that you should "never drink more than two Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters unless you are a thirty ton mega elephant with bronchial pneumonia." However, Ford Prefect ignored this advice and consumed three Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters while at Milliways.
- Take the juice from one bottle of Ol' Janx Spirit.
- Pour into it one measure of water from the seas of Santraginus V — Oh, that Santraginean seawater! Oh, those Santraginean fish!
- Allow three cubes of Arcturan Mega-gin to melt into the mixture (it must be properly iced or the benzene is lost).
- Allow four litres of Fallian marsh gas to bubble through 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 odours of the dark Qualactin Zones, subtle, sweet and mystic.
- Drop in the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger. Watch it dissolve, spreading the fires of the Algolian Suns deep into the heart of the drink.
- Sprinkle Zamphuor.
- Add an olive.
- Drink... but... very carefully...
This drink is mentioned in every version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Many fans of Hitchhiker's have created their own versions of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster, either trying to mimic the golden/green colouring, or the severely alcoholic effects, or both. Many online debates about the drink revolve around what colour it should be, whether it should be gin-based or not, and whether it is important to include the olive.
One of the oldest known fan creations of this drink was invented in 1981 by George Mercer and Mark Borril and is still served at the Spiders nightclub in Hull, UK., costing £3.10. It was formerly known as a firebird special, and has been described as "a combination of a Harvey Wallbanger and a tarantula." The ingredients are as follows:
- 25ml Vodka
- 25ml Pernod
- 25ml Galliano
- 25ml Blackcurrant
- 25ml Orange juice
- Enough cider to top up
The instructions simply state to "pour over some ice, stir and enjoy!".
Another popular version is a recipe from a bar/nightclub called Zaphod's which resided (until 2017) in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. This adaption of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is one of the oldest created, originating in the 1990s.
The recipe is as follows:
- 1 oz Jack Daniels
- 1/2 oz Peach schnapps
- 1/2 oz Blue Curacao
- Orange juice
Fill the glass, mug or whatever about 3/4 with ice. Then, add the J.D., Schnapps and Curacao. Fill up the rest of the glass with orange juice, and stir.
More recently, the 42 Lounge in Milwaukee, USA had a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster recipe which included Jack Daniels, peach schnapps, blue Curacao, and orange juice.
Another geek-themed bar named the AFK Tavern in Washington, USA has a recipe which is described as "a variant of a Long Island, with muddled lemons, a dash of blue Curacao, and a dash of grenadine for a good purple color."
Wikibooks has curated a list of 17 different recipes for Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters, collected from different creators, bartenders and nightclubs worldwide.
Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters were also served at a couple of the stage show adaptations of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in the late 1970s, according to Neil Gaiman in his book Don't Panic: The Official Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy Companion. The recipe used is unknown, and there is currently no description of these human-made creations.
The cosmetics retailer Lush launched a mouthwash tab named the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster in 2016.
"This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most of the mouthwashes on it were rather boring, and had been for rather a long time. There was a largely unexplored space to fill, and the only way to fill it was to seek inspiration from the wider, largely unexplored, space around Earth itself. A shot of lemon oil offers warbling refreshment for the palate, quinine packs the same mouthwatering taste that’s found in tonic water, while aniseed and heaps of fizz give your mouth a feeling to remember. If you’re not currently having adventures with the ape-descended life forms of the little blue planet, it’s highly worth the hitchhike there to try this..."
It is described on the US website as an "otherworldly refreshment."
- Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy): Mitch Hutts from Geek & Sundry Vlogs on YouTube
- Recreated - "Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster" from Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy from Cocktail Chemistry on YouTube
- Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster | How to Drink from How To Drink on YouTube
Notes and references
- From Episode 1 of the television series, spoken by the Guide voiced by Peter Jones.
- From chapter 16 of the Douglas Adams novel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
- Recipe sourced from Wikibooks page on Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster recipes. The drink's ingredients are also described on Spiders' website as "Pernod, Splash of Galliano, Vodka, Blackcurrant, Orange and Cider on Ice".
- The Webtender - An On-Line Bartender, added 6th December, 1997.