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10 Cocktails Inspired by Pop Culture

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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?

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9 Things You Should Keep in Mind Around Someone Observing Ramadan
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To mark the ninth (and most holy) month in the Islamic calendar, Muslims around the world observe Ramadan. Often compared to Lent in Christianity and Yom Kippur in Judaism, Ramadan is all about restraint. For one month, Muslims observing Ramadan fast during the day and then feast at night.

By abstaining from food and water (as well as sex, smoking, fighting, etc.) during daylight, Muslims strive to practice discipline, instill gratitude for what they have, and draw closer to Allah. To be respectful and not annoy observers, here are nine things you should never say or do to someone observing Ramadan.

1. DON'T JOKE ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS.

A traditional iftar meal.
A traditional iftar meal.
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Although it might be tempting to joke about Ramadan being a good excuse to lose weight, it is a time for spiritual reflection and is a serious matter. Observers undertake the challenge of fasting for religious and spiritual reasons rather than aesthetic ones. And, once the sun sets each night, many Muslims prepare a hearty iftar (the meal that breaks the fast) of dates, curries, rice dishes, and other delicious foods. The suhoor (the pre-dawn meal) is often fresh fruit, bread, cheese, and dishes that are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. So the idea of a cleanse is pretty far from their minds.

2. DON'T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS.

An Indian Muslim student recites from the Quran in a classroom during the holy month of Ramadan.
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There are approximately 1.8 billion Muslims around the world, but not all of them observe Ramadan the same way. Although most observant Muslims fast for Ramadan, don't assume that every Muslim you meet has the same methods, traditions, and attitudes towards fasting. For some, Ramadan is more about prayer, reading the Qur'an, and performing acts of charity than merely about forgoing food and drink. And for those who may be exempted from the daily fasting, such as pregnant or nursing women, the elderly, or those with various health conditions, they might not appreciate the reminder from nosey busy-bodies that they aren't participating in the traditional way.

3. SAY "RAMADAN MUBARAK" INSTEAD OF "HAPPY RAMADAN."

A sign which reads
A sign which reads "Ramadan Kareem" in Arabic is seen pictured in front of the Burj Khalifa in downtown Dubai.
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Rather than wishing someone a happy Ramadan, being more thoughtful with your choice of words can show that you understand and respect the sanctity of their holy month. Saying "Ramadan Mubarak" or "Ramadan Kareem" are the traditional ways to impart warm wishes—they both convey the generosity and blessings associated with the month. The actual party comes after Ramadan, when Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr, an up to three-day festival that involves plenty of food, time with family, and gifts.

4. DON'T BE A FOOD PUSHER.

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Even if the idea of not eating or drinking all day might be unfathomable to you, don't push food onto anyone observing Ramadan. While fasting all day for a month can cause mild fatigue, dehydration, and dizziness, don't try to convince participating Muslims to eat or drink something—they are fully aware of any side effects they may feel throughout the day. Instead, be respectful of their decision to fast and offer to lend a hand with something like chores, errands, or anything unrelated to food.

5. ACCEPT THAT WATER ISN'T ON THE MENU.

Dates and a glass of water.
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Muslims who observe Ramadan don't sip any liquids during daytime. No water, coffee, tea, or juice. Zilch. Going without water is even harder than going without food, so be aware of the struggle and accept it. It's all part of the sacrifice and self-discipline inherent in Ramadan.

6. RESPECT PEOPLE'S PRIVACY.

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Some Muslims choose not to fast during Ramadan for medical or other personal reasons, and they may not appreciate being badgered with questions about why they may be eating or drinking rather than fasting. Children and the elderly generally don't fast all day, and people who are sick are exempt from fasting. Other conditions that preclude fasting during Ramadan are pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menstruation (although, if possible, people generally make up the days later).

7. BE MINDFUL OF ENERGY LEVELS.

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Eschewing food and drink for hours at a time can cause lethargy, so be aware that Muslims observing Ramadan may be more tired than usual. Your Muslim friends and coworkers don't stop working for an entire month, but they may tweak their schedules to allow for more rest. They may also stay indoors more (to prevent overheating) and avoid unnecessary physical activity to conserve energy. So, don't be offended if they aren't down for a pick-up game of basketball or soccer. We can't all be elite athletes.

8. DON'T OBSESS OVER FOOD AND HUNGER.

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One of the worst things you can do to someone on a new diet is to obsess over all the cheeseburgers, pizza, and cupcakes they can't have. Similarly, most Muslims observing Ramadan don't want to have in-depth conversations about all the food and beverages they're avoiding. So, be mindful that you don't become the constant reminder of how many hours are left until sundown—just as you shouldn't joke about weight loss, you shouldn't call attention to any hunger pangs.

9. DON'T BE AFRAID TO EAT YOUR OWN FOOD.

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Although it's nice to avoid talking about food in front of a fasting Muslim, don't be afraid to eat your own food as you normally would. Seeing other people eating and drinking isn't offensive—Muslims believe that Ramadan is all about sacrifice and self-discipline, and they're aware that not everyone participates. However, perhaps try to avoid scheduling lunch meetings or afternoon barbecues with your Muslim colleagues and friends. Any of those can surely wait until after Ramadan ends.

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