Being a geeky mixologist is sometimes just as simple as mixing two or three ingredients with the proper presentation for impressive results. This is also a good way to teach kids that those fancy drinks they see at restaurants don’t have to have alcoholic to be cool.
Here’s a week’s worth of simple ideas:
Ever since J.K. Rowling wrote the word “butterbeer,” Potter fans have concocted their recipe ideas. After The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park introduced their own version, there have been even more copycat recipes.
A quick and “lazy” version of this recipe kids can make anytime is to take one 12-ounce can or bottle of cream soda and drizzle in some butterscotch syrup (ice cream topper) to taste. Mix together and top with plain old whipped cream (hence the “lazy” version). For those with snow-cone makers, this mixture also tastes great blended in with a cup of shredded ice for a frozen butterbeer.
Smaug’s “I Am Fire” Sipper
Take a cup of cranberry juice and one-half cup of orange juice for a fiery drink, and give it a little extra heat with a teaspoon of cinnamon dolce syrup.
For presentation, dip the edge of the glass in water and in a small plate of gold sugar sprinkles (before adding the drink, of course). Cut a slit at the end of a gold-wrapped chocolate coin for a garnish on the side, and your drink is ready to accompany a dragon’s hoarde.
Superhero Layered Smoothies
Every superhero and villain has one thing in common: a color scheme. These super smoothies can also get kids excited about different types of fruit and flavors. The base of all of these smoothies is a mix of vanilla or Greek yogurt and a small amount of milk (about three parts yogurt to one part milk is a good consistency). Then, make the colors:
- Red (strawberries or raspberries)
- Orange (orange juice or mangoes)
- Yellow (bananas or pineapple)
- Green (green mint syrup, or for veggie lovers, spinach)
- Blue (most “blue” fruit will be purple, so use a very small drop of blue food coloring and coconut extract)
- Purple or black (blackberries or blueberries)
- Brown (powdered cocoa or natural cacao powder)
- White (eave the yogurt mixture plain)
Find a favorite character’s colors and add a toothpick garnish of their symbol (stickers and paper cut-outs are fine). For example, red, white and blue for Wonder Woman or Captain America; black and yellow for Batman or Batgirl; orange, brown and yellow for Rocket Raccoon; or green and purple for Hulk or Joker.
Let kids mix and match their own “hero” ideas, but be careful. It’s really easy to get carried away and over indulge on these, healthy or not.
Those Disney Drinks 1 (New Orleans Square Mint Juleps)
Disneyland’s New Orleans Square likely goes through a swimming pool’s worth of those non-alcoholic mint juleps. For good reason too, as they are as addicting as the strongest alcoholic drink. They do have an official recipe for these, but an easy version is to take a can of concentrated limeade, add a tablespoon of lime or lemon juice, and a tablespoon of green mint syrup. This will make the base mix. Add one part of this mix to two parts club soda per glass. Modify this ratio if too sweet, or not sweet enough. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and a mint sprig.
Those Disney Park Drinks 2 (Non-alcoholic Sangria)
Walt Disney World’s Tortuga Tavern had a popular nonalcoholic sangria. As a native Texan, I’ve learned the key to Sangria is fruit. Lots and lots of fruit!
To get this effect, add sliced apples, oranges, grapes, and limes and soak them in a pitcher of grape juice for at least an hour. Some people like include berries like blueberries and strawberries, as well as even pineapple. In my opinion, the more the merrier.
Once the fruit has soaked, add one part grape juice with one part club soda, lemon-lime soda or sparkling water. Pour into individual glasses, fruit and all. Garnish with even more fruit. I can’t stress enough the importance of the fruit.
Tatooine Blue Milkshakes
Star Wars blue milk is so easy to make, it’s a shame to not modify it for party purposes. Instead of just adding a drop of blue food color to milk, mix in some vanilla ice cream for a blue milkshake and garnish with a green, blue, or red glow stick. We have some lightsaber chopsticks we like to use as well.
Hint for My Little Pony Fans: Tie strips of thin multicolored ribbon or tissue paper to bamboo skewer for decoration and the blue milkshake becomes “The Rainbow Dash.”
Mix a can of lemon-lime soda with a drop of blue or green food coloring. Then, add a little flavor to taste celebrating one’s favorite Doctor (banana extract or vanilla for custard-lovers).
The garnish is what makes these. Place a bamboo skewer through the middle of a Jammie Dodger (we’ve found these in gourmet food stores, but any shortbread jam-filled cookie will work), a slice of banana, and a “jelly baby” or gummy bear. Use a glow stick or novelty glowing ice cube (available at party supply stores) to give it that sonic glow.
Gather the ingredients for all of these drinks over the course of the week, and work on perfecting a different drink each day. By the weekend, you should be ready for a springtime “Geeky Tiki” party, where you can serve your friends some colorful concoctions. Make it a potluck-style event where everyone can bring their own geeky snacks.
*A popular trend among some hipster Whovians of recent has been to order an orange soda at Sonic restaurants, and add a bit of vodka to it when they get home. They call it, of course, the Sonic Screwdriver. I can’t vouch for how they are, but I’ve heard they are quite good for any geeky parents looking for date night options