The Feast is back! On our debut episode for Season 3, we dig deep into one of the most beloved sci fi universes of all time: Star Trek. Forget the transporters, phasers, and warp speed, on this episode, we look at the food and drink that kept the Enterprise crew flying through the stars. We talk to Glenn McDorman and Valerie Hoagland, hosts of the Lower Decks podcast, about how the future of food has changed since Star Trek debuted in the 1960s. We’ll also visit their speakeasy in the Jefferies tubes to get try some hearty Romulan ale not to mention a classy cocktail homage to Jean-Luc Picard’s favorite beverage: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
Written and Produced by Laura Carlson
Mixing by Mike Portt
Special Guests: Glenn McDorman & Valerie Hoagland, hosts of the Lower Decks Podcast, where they review and discuss each new episode of Star Trek: Discovery
Valerie is also the curator of the Plants in Star Trek Instagram feed (yay plants!)
Glenn also hosts the The Gene Wolfe Literary Podcast, about the infamous science-fiction writer who also invented the machine that makes Pringles.
Looking for A Star Trek-Inspired Libation?
Although there are many tasty morsels throughout the galaxy, sometimes all you need after a long day of travelling among the stars is a relaxing drink. The Star Trek universe has given us a great glimpse into some interstellar libations, many of which can be replicated (see what I did there) at home.
Romulan Ale: Two Ways!
Romulan ale comes to us from the planet Romulus. Highly potent and vibrantly blue in color, it was banned by the Federation for many years. Despite this, it seems like everyone from Captain Kirk to Dr. Bashir was able to get their hands on a bottle of the stuff. Although Romulus might be a tad difficult to get to these days, never worry, you too can make your own version of this high-powered highball at home.
Method 1: Red Cabbage + Baking Soda = Science
To make your own blue food coloring at home (because buying some would be cheating), roughly chop a head of red cabbage. Add it to a deep soup pot and fill it with enough water so that the cabbage is submerged. Bring the cabbage and water to a boil, and keep the water boiling for approximately 20 minutes. Remove the cabbage (feel free to make some lovely soup with it), and reserve the resulting reddish water. Add 1/8 tsp of baking soda to the reddish water, stirring thoroughly. Continue adding small amounts of baking soda until you achieve the blue you want. Remember to stir thoroughly after each time you add baking soda. Once you have the blue food coloring, you can add it to anything you want, such as simple syrup (sugar + water), making it an easy addition to any cocktail recipe (and officially “Star Trek”-ing” it.)
Glenn and Valerie’s recipe for blue Romulan ale:
1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz blue food coloring + simple syrup
1/4 oz Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
Combine all ingredients together in a cocktail shaker. Stir. Strain into a wine glass of your choosing.
Method 2: Butterfly Peaflower Gin
Although we’d never turn down a cocktail, it turns out earthlings have developed their own way to naturally turn alcohol blue. Using extracts from the butterfly peaflower, Empress 1908 Gin is naturally blue. And bonus Star Trek points: if you add tonic water (or another type of acid) to the gin, it turns a delightful purple or dusty pink! If that isn’t sci fi, I don’t know what is.
An Humble Homage to The Next Generation: The Picard Cocktail
If you were lucky enough to watch Star Trek: The Next Generation, you’ll know the captain of the enterprise tends to have the same order for the replicator: Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. Although that might be an appropriate beverage while you’re captaining a starship, after your shift ends and you’re looking for something stronger while lounging in Ten Forward, Glenn and Valerie have a cocktail recipe with a bit more kick.
The Picard Cocktail
Steep some earl grey tea bags in a dry London gin. The gin will slowly absorb the colours of the tea, turning it brown. Leave this in to taste (depends on how much you like bergamot!).
Combine in a cocktail shaker with ice:
2 parts earl grey-steeped gin
3/4 part Lillet (in honour of the Picard family winery)
1/4 part Suze, a French liqueur made from Gentian root. Depending on where you live, this can be hard to find (we swapped in Amaro).
Strain into a chilled martini glass. Serve with a lemon twist (or an orange twist as you’ll see in the picture- we had no lemons on hand…).