What're ya drinking, stranger?
Theres no shortage of desirable videogame watering holes that wed all like to frequent, whether youre after a revitalising tankard at Tifas 7th Heaven or some mysterious space juice at the Purgatory Bar, just to keep you hydrated between bouts of Dad dancing and trying to talk aliens into coming back to your cabin. Sadly no matter how hard you wish or punch your hand through the screen youll never be able to bring the cocktail menus of these imaginary inns to life. Thankfully Mitch Hutts of the Drunken Moogle has you covered, with his blog filled to the brim with game-inspired cocktails. From Bioshock Infinite to Pokmon and even Resident Evil, whatever your taste in games Hutts has something to quench your thirst.
I believe the first time I ever saw a geeky drink was the Triforce shot, by the Domestic Scientist, says Hutts. I also stumbled upon scrollbar.dks Final Fantasy Bar Night and was amazed. It was incredibly inspiring to see such a fresh way to show passion for gaming in other aspects of culture. I started The Drunken Moogle as a personal Tumblr blog to post any geek-related drinks I could find and to log my own experimental drinks inspired by games. It just took off from there.
With so few games having actual drinks in them to base cocktails off of, a creative approach is required to really capture the essence of a game while still making an appealing tipple. Each drink is different, tells Hutts. Sometimes Ill think of a character I really like and try to find ingredients that match the idea that also go well together. Other times I will be having fun trying new mixes and will find something I like, then name it based on the ingredients. The LeChuck was one of the latter. The Pokmon cocktails were created with the idea of each Pokmon. Charmander simply had to be red, smokey, and on fire. It was all about finding the ingredients to match the theme that also worked well together.
However, its not always easy Hutts admits, I feel so close to some characters and stories that its sometimes hard to create a drink and say, This is it. This is the drink for all the fans of X, because what if someone doesnt like it? I love making drinks inspired by games because Im a huge fan of these games and I dont want to let other fans down.
The Gates of Hell
Of course not every drink has alcohol on its ingredients list so theres something for you even if booze isnt your thing, such as the refreshing Columbia Liber-tea inspired by Bioshock Infinite (pictured) and featuring Manhattan mix in place of sweet vermouth. Even if you are a fan of intoxicants, each of TDMs concoctions are designed to be savoured: theyre not the generic, sugary, 2-for-1 bargain bevvys of student bars designed to send your knees sideways as quickly as possible and fill your mornings with regret. Each one has a carefully measured balance of flavours that will stay with you even after the last sip.
The Monkey Island-inspired LeChuck is a personal favourite of Hutts: Its bold, strong, and I feel it really fits the pirate theme, while a trio of blue shots and mixers based on Squirtle, Wartortle and Blastoise Pokmon evolutions has gone down a storm with its readers, being that its based on water types, the recipe is inspired by the classic Hurricane cocktail. The Pokmon shots have been wildly popular and variations are served in gaming bars worldwide. However, knocking together such beloved concoctions is no easy feat, It can take an hour to years, admits Hutts. Some drinks just make sense. The Dratini (just because of the name and color) simply had to be based on a martini and blue, and so there werent many other options I could go with besides the recipe that I came up with. Other drinks Ive been sitting on for years trying to find a good recipe that Im happy with and that I think fans will be happy with.
The Pelican Inn
You dont have to limit your gaming cocktail party to the living room, however. The Drunken Moogle has had such success with its drink designs that several real-world venues feature its beverages on their menus, including the UKs very own Now Loading bar.
James Dance from Loading approached me a few years ago, telling me about his gaming bar. It was the first bar I did a collaboration with, so it was very exciting, says Hutts. We shot some ideas back and forth and ended up doing a small Street Fighter X Tekken collaboration of shots. James is a very talented mixologist and its always great to see the creative drinks he thinks up! Many other bars often reach out to say they are serving my drinks and its always an amazing compliment to me. Well raise a Mario Mojito (copyright GM) to that.