Occasionally we’ve all found ourselves in the unfortunate position of being at a bar, or a party, or the dreaded wedding reception where we don’t know a soul. It’s the most awkward feeling in the world, right? We try to act cool, and casual, as if we totally belong in this completely foreign environment, but inside all we want to do is run out the door as fast as our feet can take us there. This happened to me not all that long ago, and the scene from the original Star Wars that takes place in the Mos Eisley drinking establishment know as Chalmun’s Cantina popped into my head. It’s filled with all manner of life forms that are one stranger than the next, and I entertained myself that evening by looking around the bar and trying to figure out which planet some of the patrons might call home. All in good fun; I’m quite certain they were wondering the same thing about me. In the movie, Luke Skywalker looks as out of place as a person can possibly look anywhere, but he’s already been forewarned by Obi-Wan to play it cool. “Watch your step. This place can be a little rough.” Excellent advice. When the bartender tells Luke that C-3PO has to leave because of the bar’s no-droid policy, Skywalker quickly acquiesces and C-3PO is quite relieved to have to make a fast exit.
In terms of plot action, this scene is important for two reasons. First of all, it’s where Obi-Wan finds Chewbacca, the Wookiee who will lead him to Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon. Secondly, when Luke gets into a bit of a scuffle at the bar, we get to watch Obi-Wan unleash his power as a Jedi and get things back under control rather quickly. Oh to have Jedi mind tricks and a light saber at our disposal! The cantina plays an important role later when the bounty hunter Boba Fett learns Skywalker’s identity, and takes this information back to Darth Vader. It is at that point that Vader realizes that he has a son. By doing just a little bit of digging into the vast, and somewhat strange world of Star Wars lore and legend, I was able to find out an interesting fact about the bartender Muher. Apparently he studied biochemistry just so he’d know which drinks would work best for all the different species that frequented the bar. Now that’s a mixologist!
For today’s cocktail, I could have made Muher’s blue milk drink, but I decided to focus more on what we actually do when we find ourselves in a situation where we’re in a totally unfamiliar bar, or when we truly don’t know anyone at the party. In terms of cocktails, we tend to stick with what we know! I had many options to choose from in terms of popular drinks, but landed on a variation of a whiskey ginger that would allow me to use two unusual ingredients that are favorites of mine. I chose Standard Wormwood Rye from Brooklyn as my base spirit because I’ve truly grown to love it’s flavor and versatility. I feel the same way about Sukkah Hill’s Etrog liqueur, with its lemon, herb, and honey profile. The Rye and the Etrog blended perfectly with one another, and the honey ginger syrup, lemon juice, and DRAM bitters echoed their combination. It’s a cocktail that would make me feel right at home even in Chalmun’s Cantina while I passed the time by perusing its list of house rules. Numbers 2 and 7 are my favorites. Cheers everyone. Happy Monday!
- Leave your droids outside. You don’t want Wuher on your case.
- Keep your blaster holstered! Why ask for trouble?
- Find an empty table or barstool. Crowding other customers will only end in tears.
- Be friendly. Buy a drink for your neighbor at the bar.
- Applaud the band—even if they’re way off-key!
- Make pleasant conversation and try to laugh at bad jokes.
- Tip the bartender, especially if you make a mess.*
Wait Outside C3P-O
Place all the ingredients except the ginger ale in a shaker tin with ice. Shake until cold and strain over fresh ice into your most not-of-this-galaxy glass. Top with the ginger ale and stir. Garnish with a lemon peel cut into a star shape. Enjoy!
*House rules from starwars.wikia.com