We want you to be ready on April 5, 2063 for First Contact Day, so we’re introducing the Ready Room cocktail. That day marks the first official contact between humans and Vulcans. Sure, we had the Roswell Incident in 1947 when a Ferengi shuttle (the warp-capable equivalent of a Gulfstream) crash landed in Roswell, NM. But that was covered up and never recognized as a true contact. So we may be a few years early, but figure we might as well celebrate meeting the Vulcans in advance.
First Contact Day
First Contact refers to the first official encounter between representatives of two specific planets. The official First Contact for humans happened on April 5, 2063, shortly after Zefram Cochrane completed a test flight of the Phoenix, his first warp (faster than light) ship, out of Bozeman, Montana. A nearby Vulcan survey ship detected its warp signature, so they knew earthlings had become warp capable. The Vulcans landed in Bozeman to open relations, which led to the formation of the United Federation of Planets. This resulted in the adventures of Kirk and Spock about a hundred years later, and Jean-Luc Picard more than a hundred years after that.
It turns out Picard actually foiled a plot to prevent that first meeting by traveling back in time for an unofficial visit before it happened. As documented in Star Trek: First Contact, the Federation’s arch nemesis, the Borg, opened a temporal portal to go back in time. Picard followed them in the Enterprise, saw that the Borg were attacking Earth, and destroyed the Borg ship as it fired upon Montana.
When Picard noticed that the date is the day before Cochrane’s flight he realizes the Borg traveled back in time to prevent Cochrane from ever doing it. Without that flight Vulcan/Human contact would not have occurred and the Federation would not be formed. Picard and his crew helped Cochrane repair his damaged ship, his flight took place on time, and the Vulcans popped down to say, “Live long and prosper”. With the Borg defeated and the timeline restored, Picard headed back to where he started, the 24th Century. Picard most likely had to sit through a lengthy debrief with the Department of Temporal Investigations. But since he and his crew just saved the galaxy, again, we’re sure it all worked out just fine.
The Ready Room
First Contact Day is a holiday of the Federation and as we noted above if Picard had not intervened it would not have happened. For this reason we think the Drink of the Day should specifically honor Captain Picard, and for that we’ll be mixing the Ready Room cocktail.
The Ready Room itself is the Captain’s office off the bridge, and entered Star Trek lore with Picard and the show Star Trek: The Next Generation. Subsequent shows also have ready rooms, but the term is most closely associated with Picard. Picard’s drink of choice is Earl Grey tea, always ordered from the replicator with “Tea. Earl Grey, hot.” The Ready Room cocktail is an homage to that, as bergamot is the defining flavoring of Earl Grey.
As we know from our discussion of the Kanar Sazerac, bars inside Federation ships were only pouring the dreaded, non-intoxicating Synthaol by the time of Picard’s tenure. So we had to find a proper cocktail invented on Earth. The odds are you don’t have a replicator handy, which means you’ll have to mix it yourself rather than have it appear on command as shown.
Chris Day developed the Ready Room cocktail in 2013 when he was working at Bar|Kitchen at the O Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. The bar was an industry hangout, and the drink attracted enough attention to make it into the late Gary Regan’s list of 101 Best New Cocktails of 2013.
The Ready Room calls for specific ingredients that may be challenging for some to replicate. Our Chief Protocol Officer reached out to Mr. Day to inquire about substitutes for the Miracle Mile Bergamot Bitters if they’re not on hand. His suggestion was to add a dash of orange bitters and a barspoon of Italicus, an Italian bergamot liqueur.
Ready Room Cocktail
- Old Fashioned Glass
- 1½ oz Tennessee whiskey Original recipe calls for George Dickel #12, which is readily available.
- ½ oz Amaro Montengro
- ½ oz Sweet Vermouth While the original recipe specifies Cocchi sweet vermouth, the key here is to avoid a brand like Carpano Antica that has too strong a vanilla flavor.
- ½ oz Scotch Whisky The original recipe specifies Bowmore, but the key is to choose that or another Islay whisky with the characteristic peat.
- 4 dash Bergamot Bitters A workable substitute here is one dash of orange bitters and a barspoon of Italicus.
- Garnish: Orange and lemon twists.
- Add all ingredients to your trusty mixing glass.
- Add ice and stir to chill.
- Strain into Old Fashioned glass over fresh ice.
- Garnish with lemon and orange twists.
- Live long and prosper.