TA Top Five: Beverages

By Chewie, 2 years ago
Ever since Dirk the Daring (and rather accident prone) first picked up a bottle enticingly labelled "Drink Me" in 1983's Dragon's Lair and subsequently disintegrated into a pile of hot white ash, gamers everywhere have felt the urge to force protagonists to guzzle down whatever strange bottled liquid is put into their mitts. Add to that the introduction of alcohol into gaming with classic bar-management title Tapper (also from 1983 strangely enough), and the root(beer) of intoxicating and inebriating beverages soon took hold. Whilst these drinks often take the form of life-giving health potions or similar attribute-boosting brews, they can also have other, less savoury, side effects. From Soulstorm Brew in Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus, which was made from innocent Mudokon's bones and tears, and allowed the drinker to possess his own explosive farts, to the multitude of alcoholic beverages available throughout the BioShock games (something Irrational and 2K referenced with their unique drinks menu at the BioShock Infinite (Xbox 360) Gold Party), there's no getting away from the fact that gaming gives you many different liquid ways to get thoroughly messed up.

In this top five we highlight some of the more unique and unusual beverages found in games on the 360. We've also taken the list twelve steps further thanks to our resident mixologist, osubluejacket, who's crafted unique recipes so you can suck them up yourselves. Suck them all up. Just remember kids, drink responsibly and within the agreed age limitations of the region where you reside.

5. Nom juice - Bulletstorm

Being extracted from the vegetative matter of the pulsatingly poisonous Nom Parasite seemingly justifies calling this intoxicating beverage a "juice". I may just start calling wine "grape juice", gin "juniper juice" and whisky "grain mash juice".

Nom Juice's intoxicating effects include blurred vision and difficulty moving in anything resembling a straight line. However, killing enemies whilst under the influence of this beverage also gives bonuses to skillshots, so it's swings and roundabouts. There's even an achievement related to drinking 20 bottles of the stuff. Although to seemingly counteract the negative message that could send to Bulletstorm playing youths, there's also a conflicting abstinence friendly achievement for destroying 20 bottles instead of necking them back.

Nom Juice

To create your own skillshot improving glass of Nom Juice:

1 ounce gin
1 ounce vodka
1 ounce tequila
1 ounce white rum
1 ounce pineapple juice
1 ounce orange juice
1 ounce lime juice
1 ounce lemon juice

In a pint glass combine all ingredients with ice and stir to mix.

This Nom Juice will definitely put a kick in your skillshot. The sour of the lime and lemon should make you pucker a bit while the sweet of the orange and pineapple should bring it home.
4. Grog - The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition / Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge

This pirate's drink of choice was traditionally simply rum diluted with hot water with a spot of lime and sugar or nutmeg to add flavour. However, the pirates in the Monkey Island series aren't just any wishy-washy buccaneers; their Grog includes a number of secret ingredients that help give it its uniquely volatile, tankard-melting properties. These ingredients may or may not include kerosene, propylene glycol, artificial sweeteners, sulphuric acid, acetone, red dye no. 2, scumm, axle grease, battery acid and pepperoni. Oh, and rum. Although that last one's debatable.

In the games, the drink is frequently used as an inventory item to aid Guybrush as he stumbles through his adventures: in The Secret of Monkey Island its corrosive properties are used to spring recalcitrant flower-picker Otis out of jail and in Monkey Island 2 it is used in a drinking contest with grizzled veteran boozer Rum Rogers Jr, where the lightweight Guybrush can only win by substituting his drink with the distinctly less haemorrhage-inducing (and therefore less fun) Near Grog.


To make your own pewter tankard full of "liquid courage":

3 ounces Dark Rum
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Angostura bitters
Slice of orange
3 ounces hot water

In a mug or stein, combine orange slice, brown sugar, a dash of bitters, and a splash of hot water and muddle until sugar has dissolved slightly. Add in rum and two more ounces of hot water. Stir to combine and garnish with another orange slice.

This is a perfect, warm drink for a cold night of grinding out achievements. This should give you a nice sweet, spicy, and fruity concoction to sip on and enjoy as you’re plugging away at achievements that will drive you to drink.
3. Spitfire - Dead Rising (Xbox 360) / Dead Rising 2 (Xbox 360) / Dead Rising 2: Case Zero / Dead Rising 2: Off The Record (Xbox 360)

The Dead Rising series is chock full of barely edible concoctions that can be created by putting two food items together in a blender, holding your nose and hitting "blitz". These mixed juices come with a variety of side effects, from the undead-luring Zombait to the speed-improving Quickstep and the tummy-ache-inducing Randomizer. However, one of the most fun blends is the Spitfire.

This blue goo is the result of such gag-reflex-testing combinations as Onion Rings & Bacon, Donuts & Coffee or Beer & BBQ Wings among many others. In the original game it allowed snap-happy protagonist Frank West to fire bullets made of phlegm from his mouth. In the sequel and its associated spin-offs, the drink got a sizeable "does what it says on the tin" upgrade giving the protagonist a flaming stream of spittle that can be used to set alight nearby zed-heads. Don't try and think too hard about it with questions such as "does that mean the inside of his mouth is on fire?" or "doesn't he really need a Gaviscon?", just bask in the simple joy of feeling like a man-dragon.

We aren't going to ask you to blend some of the game's suggested ingredients for Spitfire (Apple and Burrito anyone?), nor are we promising breathy expulsions of actual flames, but we do aim to produce a deliciously crazy tipple that will make you feel like your mouth is on fire, even if it actually isn't.


To brew your own mouthful of pure firey death:

1 ounce Bacardi 151
1 ounce Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey

In a cocktail shaker add all ingredients with ice and shake vigorously for about 10 seconds, then strain into a large (bar-sized) shot glass or split between two smaller ones.

This will set your mouth on fire in a way that should only make you hate yourself a little. Use with caution.
Now you just need to find some unsuspecting zombies to dribble on.

2. Sprunk - Grand Theft Auto IV / Grand Theft Auto V

"Explosive" is the word of choice to describe this beverage from the Grand Theft Auto series (it also appears in Rockstar's Manhunt games). The carbonated lemon and lime drink first turned up in 2002's Vice City and has made appearances in every subsequent title in the franchise. In all the games, a $1 can of Sprunk can be purchased from any number of the garish green vending machines dotted around the city and will help to replenish the player's health via it's strangely salty goodness.

Of course, Rockstar know how to play with words to hilarious effect and, like other series beverages eCola and Pißwasser, there's the not so subtle suggestion that something else lurks inside the can. Carrying the slogan "The Essence of Life", if you feel like adding a bit of yourself into the beverage, as its name punningly suggests, then that is completely your own disgusting decision.


To make your own lemon-limey, bubbly, strangely salty, glass of Sprunk:

2 ounces tequila
1 ounce Midori
1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 ounce simple syrup
1 ounce soda water

Begin by using a sponge to wet the rim of a rocks glass. Pour a bit of course salt (Kosher preferably) into a shallow dish and rub the wet rim around to coat it.

In a cocktail shaker add tequila, Midori, lime and lemon juices, and simple syrup with ice and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds. Strain into the salted glass then add a splash of soda water, stir, and enjoy.

Yes, this is basically a slightly modified margarita. For those who don’t enjoy tequila, you can easily substitute vodka or rum. Sour Apple Pucker Schnapps can also be substituted for the Midori (it‘s really there to provide a green tint), but it will make things a bit more sour for you.
1. Nuka-Cola Quantum- Fallout 3

A staple of the Fallout series, Nuka-Cola has become an iconic symbol of the franchise. In the games, drinking a refreshing bottle of this popular fruit-infused soft drink gives the player a delicious, slightly irradiated, health boost. What's more, the bottle caps have now become the accepted method of currency in the wasteland. Life giving liquid, minimal radiation intake and free money; what more could you want in post-nuclear war life?

After the wild success of the original drink, a special edition version was introduced right before the war kicked off that promised "twice the calories, twice the carbohydrates, twice the caffeine and twice the taste", as well as a Pomegranate infusion. Nuka-Cola Quantum also included a unique element that really made it stand out in the store and deliver that extra stomach-lining melting kick: glowing blue radioactive strontium-90 isotope. This element also had the rather alarming side-effect of causing the drinker's urine to glow. In Fallout 3, this rare drink also boosted Action Points - for the power to do more stuff - and was linked to a fetch-quest achievement for which you had to locate 30 bottles for a Nuka-Cola addict and her pervy friend. Oh, the joys of the Wasteland.

Nuka Cola Quantum

Our recipe to make your own ice-cold glass of Nuka Cola Quantum substitutes the effects of radiation poisoning with the effects of alcohol poisoning and, unless you can track down a radioactive isotope (highly inadvisable), we can't really promise the glowing urine effect.

2 ounces Cola
2 ounces Energy Drink
2 ounces Fruit Flavored Vodka of your choice
2 ounces White Rum
1 ounce Pomegranate Liqueur (Pama)
1 ounce Blue Curacao

In a cocktail shaker, combine Rum, Vodka, Pomegranate Liqueur, and Blue Curacao with ice and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds. Strain into a pint glass with ice, add Cola and Energy drink, stir, and enjoy.

In a perfect world, you’d want the blue of the Curacao to be the primary color of the drink while also retaining something of the cola flavor. Unfortunately, with the death of Crystal Pepsi, finding a clear cola is almost impossible. In the end, with six hefty shots of liquor, one or two of these bad boys will knock you down like a smash from a Super Mutant.
Honorary Mentions:

Hoptimus Prime - Fable II

Giving a huge healing and strength boost, with minimum negative effect to your purity or your waistline, this is the brew of choice for any noble hero after a hard day's balverine bothering and moral choice making. We can't tell you how to brew your own beer, but if you're in the UK why not track down some of this rich, fruity ale.

Shadowbanish Wine - The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

Are those imperial soldiers you hired to guard your garrison rather partial to the bottle and therefore completely ineffectual at stopping anything, including their own bladders? Not to worry, replace your stocks of Cyrodilic Brandy with Shadowbanish Wine and they'll be imbued with the power of Night Vision! What? Oh...yes...yes they'll still be completely drunk and barely able to swing a sword at invading Daedra. But did I mention the Night Vision?!? Look, if you don't want it, you can always sell it to Nerussa at the Wawnet Inn for a sackful of coins.

Coffee - Deadly Premonition

Inspired by Special Agent Dale Cooper's love of coffee in legendary TV series Twin Peaks, Deadly Premonition's troubled Agent York uses his morning cup of joe to help him solve cases via portentous visions. Whilst we can't promise hallucinatory premonitions, imaginary friends or heightened deductive powers, a shot or three of whisky in a mug of the black stuff will definitely get you part way there.

What are your favourite in-game drinks? What's more, what is your favourite drink to imbibe whilst gaming? Let us know in the comments, as well as if you try one of our cocktails and if your survive.

Now please give us your car keys. You aren't driving home in that state.

The TA Team will be bringing you The TA Top Five every Sunday until we run out of coolness to debate and discuss. If you have an idea for a Top Five you'd like us to do, be sure to let us know in the comments!
Written by Chewie
Chewie is a Wookiee from Kashyyyk. Since helping the Rebel Alliance defeat the Emperor, he has taken up Achievement-Hunting and Newshoundery on TA. Also, ice-skating.