The Kanar Sazerac is Drink of the Day to commemorate debut of the TV series Star Trek on September 8, 1966. Their mission: to boldly drink where no man has drunk before. The crew of the Enterprise did this well, discovering concoctions from around the universe, and while the original series is long gone the franchise continues its explorations. Today we need a Star Trek cocktail.
The Origins of Star Trek
It all began in 1964 when Gene Roddenberry drafted a story line for a sort of science fiction western set in the 23rd century. He presented drafts to Desilu Productions, a leading independent TV production company led by Lucille Ball, the scatterbrained redhead you know from the I Love Lucy show. She was actually a savvy businesswoman, the first woman to head a Hollywood studio, and stinking rich.
Desilu Productions had a first-look deal with CBS and took the concept there, but CBS refused to purchase the show because they already had Lost in Space in development. So CBS ended up with a show featuring a robot that would say “Danger, Will Robinson!” which is all anyone remembers about it. After the CBS rejection Desilu took the show to NBC, which commissioned a pilot. But it wasn’t a one-and-done affair.
NBC turned down that pilot in the belief that it was “too cerebral.” They liked the concept and made the unusual decision to pay for a second pilot. The second pilot retained only Leonard Nimoy as Spock and was satisfactory to NBC. It was a go ahead. That second pilot introduced the world to Captain Kirk, Chief Engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott, Helmsman Lt. Sulu, Communications Officer Uhura and Dr. Piper, with Dr. McCoy taking over the role when the actual season filming began. (You’re probably thinking we forgot about Chekov, but he didn’t show up until Season 2.)
Drinking on Star Trek
The drinking started with the first pilot episode. In The Cage Captain Christopher Pike of the Starship Enterprise was captured while investigating a distress call from a survey mission that crashed on the planet Talos IV.
At one point Captain Pike was dubious about heading as far as Talos IV to look for survivors. He summoned the chief medical officer Dr. Boyce to his quarters. That led to Boyce offering Pike a Martini and noting “Sometimes a man’ll tell his bartender things he’ll never tell his doctor.” Soon enough Spock communicated from the bridge and the mission was back on.
While drinking started with the familiar Martini that’s not exactly a Star Trek drink. Andorian Ale, Draylaxian Whiskey, Saurian Brandy, Temtibi Lagoon, Klingon Blood Wine and many others, often in striking colors. The most famous was Romulan Ale, but that has been banned in the United Federation of Planets since 2285. The Enterprise-D under Captain Picard even had its own bar, Ten Forward. Sadly, by that time Federation ships only poured the dreaded, non-intoxicating Synthahol. The Federation’s legal department may have decided that piloting Starships while drinking was a bad idea. Guinan the bartender was known to always have a few bottles of the good stuff stashed away to help morale.
Star Trek characters also indulged in wines like the 2343 vintage of Chateau Mouton Rothschild. Captain Picard himself came from a winemaking family. A tip for wine lovers: the 2386 Chateau Picard is a particularly good vintage. You might want to buy futures now.
The Kanar Sazerac
To find a Start Trek cocktail as Drink of the Day we tread that fine line between the familiar and the bizarre. We’re only using ingredients readily available on this planet. Today it’s the Kanar Sazerac, created by bartender and cocktail writer John deBary. It doesn’t use actual Kanar, which is unavailable on this side of the Alpha Quadrant, but would still probably be acceptable to the imperialistic Cardassians. (Note: at this time our Editorial Board has been unable to confirm any direct relation to the Kardashians but the investigation is ongoing.)
The Kanar Sazerac is similar in concept to the Sazerac, which we enjoyed for Mardi Gras. The Kanar Sazerac splits its base spirit between cognac and Fernet Branca and makes use of bitters instead of absinthe.
- Old Fashioned Glass
- Cut lemon twist and use to moisten half of the outer rim of the Old Fashioned glass.
- Roll the moistened portion of the Old Fashioned glass rim in salt.
- Fill glass with ice and water to chill.
- Add Cognac, Fernet Branca, Simple syrup and bitters to mixing glass.
- Add ice to mixing glass and stir until chilled.
- Dump ice and water from Old Fashioned glass.
- Strain drink into now empty Old Fashioned glass and express lemon twist over the drink. Discard twist, it has given its all.