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Botanicult Fiction: The Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster for a Weekend Treat

May 25, 2020

By Alex Henderson, Curator of Collections, Royal Botanical Gardens

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams follows the adventures of Arthur Dent who is trying to prevent his house from being demolished when his friend Ford Prefect beams him into space. It turns out Ford is an alien who has just saved Arthur from Earths total annihilation. Hurtling through space, Ford Introduces Arthur to many eccentric friends including one-time President of the Galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox. Beeblebrox is infamous as the creator of the Pan Galactic Gargleblaster, described as the best drink in the universe (warning: never try more than two).

Enjoying a drink of such universal notoriety might be difficult during self-isolation, but one can sample a more down to earth variety thanks to Zaphod’s nightclub in Ottawa and their popular version of this drink created in the 1990s. (Don’t look for Zaphod’s anymore, it sadly had to make way for a Vogon hyperspace bypass in 2017). To sample, procure a tall glass and fill with the following:

  • 1 oz Jack Daniels
  • 1/2 oz Peach schnapps
  • 1/2 oz Blue Curacao
  • Orange Juice
  • Ice

In a botany sense the ingredients for this earthly version of the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster include botanical constituents from the Poaceae (grass family), Rosaceae (rose family) and Rutaceae (orange family) so in a roundabout form is a fun way to learn more about plant families. If you fancy letting your hair down this weekend (and lets face it, after several weeks at home with no new hair dos, most people literally can) this might be a plant based out of this world experience for you!

Botanicult Fiction is an affectionate review of plants in pop culture viewed through the lens of plant nerds and curated for your reading or viewing pleasure during this challenging time of self isolation