Original image
Getty Images

10 Cocktails Inspired by Pop Culture

Original image
Getty Images

Have you ever wanted to drink just like your favorite book, TV, movie or video game character, or at least drink a cocktail inspired by them? Well, good news. Thanks to the creativity and goofiness of many amateur mixologists, now you can, and here are some of the best cocktails based exclusively on pop culture icons.

Special thanks to The Drunken Moogle, which specializes in pop culture cocktails.

1. Harry Potter

While the Harry Potter series might be written for kids and young adults, there are enough references to Butterbeer and Firewhiskey that plenty of adult fans were inspired to create their own versions of the drinks. In fact, there just might be more butterbeer recipes out there than there are for any other drink inspired by a fictional series. While the books don’t make it clear whether butterbeer has a low-level alcoholic content or if it’s just named like root beer, if you’re looking for a real cocktail, the most delicious option might be the butterscotch schnapps, cream soda and whipped cream concoction found on Little Pink Blog.

Little Pink Blog has a whole series of Harry Potter cocktails, including drinks inspired by Hermione, Lord Voldemort, Sirius Black, and The Golden Snitch, but the most visually impressive by far is the Goblet of Fire, which contains vodka, blue Curacao, lemonade, Bacardi 151 and a pinch of cinnamon and is served flaming.

2. The Avengers

After the movie came out last summer, dozens of drink recipes appeared online based on the characters. One of the most comprehensive sets was created by Lily Mitchell and Paul Harasiwka of The More I Arty. Of the entire series, the most fitting cocktail was the God of Thunder based on Thor, which is comprised of mead, Lillehammer and lingonberry vodka.

Comic site MegaCynics also created a number of Avengers creations, with The Hulk being the most impressive. The drink starts with a Bruce Banner (1 part vanilla vodka and 4 parts club soda) and then a gamma bomb (3 drops green food coloring and one ounce of any alcohol you prefer) is dropped in the cup to create a Hulk.

3. Pokemon

If you’re into Pokemon, then you already know that they can evolve into stronger versions when they gain enough experience. So it only makes sense that their cocktails would do the same. The Drunken Moogle has three such Pokemon recipes: a Charmander, Charmeleon and Charizard; a Pichu, Pikachu and Raichu; and a Squirtle, Wartortle and Blastoise. Of the three though, the Squirtle, Wartortle and Blastoise seems the most appropriate, as each evolved level still contains the ingredients from its previous incarnation—they just keep getting stronger as they go.

4. Final Fantasy

With 14 Final Fantasy games on the market, it’s no wonder that the series has inspired so many drinks. In fact, The Drunken Moogle has 24 drinks in their archives based on the games. Unsurprisingly, many of the cocktails are based on Final Fantasy VII, which remains one of the most adored games in the series. If you want to engage in your own Final Fantasy fantasy world, you might try the Phoenix Down (above), which contains absinthe, zwack, simple syrup, grenadine and club soda.

5. Mario Bros

Similarly, Mario’s long-standing success has ensured the series has inspired its own line of cocktails. In fact, when Denmark’s Scrollbar held a Mario-themed night, they invented ten new drinks specifically for the occasion. In fact, the Yoshi (Apple Pucker, Melon Bols, lime juice and apple juice) was so popular that it was even added to their regular menu. Of course, the 1-Up shot might not have been as tasty as the Yoshi, but with white and green frosting, it certainly stole the show when it came to appearance.

If you’re looking for a seasonal geek-themed cocktail, you might want to try Yoshi’s Eggnog, which looks like Yoshi’s egg and tastes like sweet, boozy eggnog goodness.

6. Breaking Bad

Love Breaking Bad but don’t actually want to develop a meth habit just to intoxicate yourself in a fitting style? Then try a Blue Sky or a Heisenberg. The Blue Sky (above) is more appropriate for the “Crystal Blue Persuasion” aspect as the cotton candy vodka, UV Blue and Sprite blend provide a flavor and color that are more authentic. On the other hand, the Heisenberg looks cooler since it’s made with dry ice and served in an Erlenmeyer Flask, even if it is essentially just a gin and tonic with food coloring.

7. Lost

If you like incorporating dry ice into your cocktails, then you might just enjoy this Lost-themed Smoke Monster made with Sprite, mint, vodka, food coloring and, of course, dry ice.

8. Pulp Fiction

If you really want to scare your guests with your presentation, then try this Adrenaline Shot that is sure to freak out the more squeamish attendees at your next party. Of course, for those brave enough to try it, the Redbull, cherry vodka and Amaretto concoction will be a pleasing surprise that will give the guests a little shot of energy as well.

9. Resident Evil

For zombie-lovers who are also big into style and presentation, The Drunken Moogle’s drinks based on Resident Evil are a great option. Their T Virus and T Virus Antidote (above) are both basic shots with a flavored Twizzler twisted in the glass to resemble their namesakes in the game.

If you get injured while fighting the infected, you can always try to cure yourself by mixing some colored herbs together into a tasty, and pretty, shot. In this case, the red herb is made from grenadine and 5 Hour Energy; the green herb includes Midori and Green Apple Pucker and the yellow shot features gold rum and honey bourbon.

10. How I Met Your Mother

If you want a cocktail that is actually mentioned in a series, even if the writers presumably believed no one would ever actually make it, then try the Thankstini, which combines cranberry juice, potato vodka, and bullion in order to create a drink that tastes “just like a turkey dinner.” According to The Campus Companion, the flavor isn’t actually that bad, since the bullion just gives the cosmo a little splash of salt flavor.

Personally, I’m a bit of a lightweight, so if I was going to indulge in any of these, it would probably be the butterbeer or Yoshi’s eggnog since they seem the least intoxicating. But for those of you who are bigger drinkers, which of these cocktails would you prefer? Or, do you have any of your own pop culture cocktail recipes you’d like to share?

Original image
IFC Films
10 Surprising Facts About The Babadook
Original image
IFC Films

In 2014, The Babadook came out of nowhere and scared audiences across the globe. Written and directed by Aussie Jennifer Kent, and based on her short film Monster, The Babadook is about a widow named Amelia (played by Kent’s drama schoolmate Essie Davis) who has trouble controlling her young son Samuel (Noah Wiseman), who thinks there’s a monster living in their house. Amelia reads Samuel a pop-up book, Mister Babadook, and Samuel manifests the creature into a real-life monster. The Babadook may be the villain, but the film explores the pitfalls of parenting and grief in an emotional way. 

“I never approached this as a straight horror film,” Kent told Complex. “I always was drawn to the idea of grief, and the suppression of that grief, and the question of, how would that affect a person? ... But at the core of it, it’s about the mother and child, and their relationship.”

Shot on a $2 million budget, the film grossed more than $10.3 million worldwide and gained an even wider audience via streaming networks. Instead of creating Babadook out of CGI, a team generated the images in-camera, inspired by the silent films of Georges Méliès and Lon Chaney. Here are 10 things you might not have known about The Babadook (dook, dook).


Jennifer Kent told Complex that some people thought the creature’s name sounded “silly,” which she agreed with. “I wanted it to be like something a child could make up, like ‘jabberwocky’ or some other nonsensical name,” she explained. “I wanted to create a new myth that was just solely of this film and didn’t exist anywhere else.”


Amelia isn’t the best mother in the world—but that’s the point. “I’m not a parent,” Kent told Rolling Stone, “but I’m surrounded by friends and family who are, and I see it from the outside … how parenting seems hard and never-ending.” She thought Amelia would receive “a lot of flak” for her flawed parenting, but the opposite happened. “I think it’s given a lot of women a sense of reassurance to see a real human being up there,” Kent said. “We don’t get to see characters like her that often.”


Noah Wiseman was six years old when he played Samuel. Kent and Davis made sure he wasn’t present for the more horrific scenes, like when Amelia tells Samuel she wishes he was the one who died, not her husband. “During the reverse shots, where Amelia was abusing Sam verbally, we had Essie yell at an adult stand-in on his knees,” Kent told Film Journal. “I didn’t want to destroy a childhood to make this film—that wouldn’t be fair.”

Kent explained a “kiddie version” of the plot to Wiseman. “I said, ‘Basically, Sam is trying to save his mother and it’s a film about the power of love.’”


IFC Films

Kent told Film Journal that “The Babadook is a film about a woman waking up from a long, metaphorical sleep and finding that she has the power to protect herself and her son.” She noted that everybody has darkness to face. “Beyond genre and beyond being scary, that’s the most important thing in the film—facing our shadow side.”


In an interview with Uproxx, William Friedkin—director of The Exorcist—said The Babadook was one of the best and scariest horror films he’d ever seen. He especially liked the emotional aspect of the film. “It’s not only the simplicity of the filmmaking and the excellence of the acting not only by the two leads, but it’s the way the film works slowly but inevitably on your emotions,” he said.


Tim Purcell worked in the film’s art department but then got talked into playing the titular character after he acted as the creature for some camera tests. “They realized they could save some money, and have me just be the Babadook, and hence I became the Babadook,” Purcell told New York Magazine. “In terms of direction, it was ‘be still a lot,’” he said.


Even though Kent shot the film in Adelaide, Australians didn’t flock to the theaters; it grossed just $258,000 in its native country. “Australians have this [built-in] aversion to seeing Australian films,” Kent told The Cut. “They hardly ever get excited about their own stuff. We only tend to love things once everyone else confirms they’re good … Australian creatives have always had to go overseas to get recognition. I hope one day we can make a film or work of art and Australians can think it’s good regardless of what the rest of the world thinks.”


IFC Films

In 2015, Insight Editions published 6200 pop-up books of Mister Babadook. Kent worked with the film’s illustrator, Alexander Juhasz, who created the book for the movie. He and paper engineer Simon Arizpe brought the pages to life for the published version. All copies sold out but you can find some Kent-signed ones on eBay, going for as much as $500.


It started at the end of 2016, when a Tumblr user started a jokey thread about how he thought the Babadook was gay. “It started picking up steam within a few weeks,” Ian, the Tumblr user, told New York Magazine, “because individuals who I presume are heterosexual kind of freaked out over the assertion that a horror movie villain would identify as queer—which I think was the actual humor of the post, as opposed to just the outright statement that the Babadook is gay.” In June, the Babadook became a symbol for Gay Pride month. Images of the character appeared everywhere at this year's Gay Pride Parade in Los Angeles.


Kent, who owns the rights to The Babadook, told IGN that, despite the original film's popularity, she's not planning on making any sequels. “The reason for that is I will never allow any sequel to be made, because it’s not that kind of film,” she said. “I don’t care how much I’m offered, it’s just not going to happen.”

Original image
Bruce Weaver / Stringer / Getty Images
NASA Is Posting Hundreds of Retro Flight Research Videos on YouTube
Original image
Bruce Weaver / Stringer / Getty Images

If you’re interested in taking a tour through NASA history, head over to the YouTube page of the Armstrong Flight Research Center, located at Edwards Air Force Base, in southern California. According to Motherboard, the agency is in the middle of posting hundreds of rare aircraft videos dating back to the 1940s.

In an effort to open more of its archives to the public, NASA plans to upload 500 historic films to YouTube over the next few months. More than 300 videos have been published so far, and they range from footage of a D-558 Skystreak jet being assembled in 1947 to a clip of the first test flight of an inflatable-winged plane in 2001. Other highlights include the Space Shuttle Endeavour's final flight over Los Angeles and a controlled crash of a Boeing 720 jet.

The research footage was available to the public prior to the mass upload, but viewers had to go through the Dryden Aircraft Movie Collection on the research center’s website to see them. The current catalogue on YouTube is much easier to browse through, with clear playlist categories like supersonic aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles. You can get a taste of what to expect from the page in the sample videos below.

[h/t Motherboard]


More from mental floss studios