Single-Malt Movies: Star Trek VI Turns 21!

There are a variety of reasons I chose to review Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991).  First of all, this is the sixth Star Trek film (6 just happens to be my favorite number), which premiered on Dec 6th, 1991.  Dec 6th also happens to be my birthday (I’m 22 today!).  Even more fitting, Star Trek VI turns 21 years old today.  I’d say it deserves a drink.

Romulan Ale

Note to Galley: Romulan Ale no longer to be served at diplomatic functions.

Paramount Pictures
Note to Galley: Romulan Ale no longer to be served at diplomatic functions.

  • 1 part Bacardi 151
  • 1 part Everclear
  • 1 part Blue Curacao

Combine ingredients in parts of 375 mL each in a (just over) one-liter bottle. Chill in freezer for two hours. Serve in shot glasses.  Die.

Plot: The USS Enterprise makes its last voyage under Captain Kirk’s command to negotiate a peace treaty with the Klingons; their moon exploded, forcing them to seek support from the Federation.  After a good night of drinking Romulan Ale, the Klingons go back to their ship and their president is assassinated.  All signs point to Kirk.  Will he be able to prove his innocence?  Will he receive a death sentence in the Klingon court?  Is this possibly the worst Romulan Ale hangover ever?  Stay tuned.
I’ve seen every TOS episode of Star Trek.  It’s fun seeing what pop-culture mediums make references to old episodes.  South ParkFuturamaThe Cable Guy…  The same is true for Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn (1982).  To date though, I’ve seen nothing modern that references Star Trek VI.  Does that mean it’s a bad film?  No, not at all.  In fact, this movie was nominated for 2 Oscars: best effects/sound effects editing, and best makeup.  Unfortunately, it won neither, but it’s still a very good movie.  Sure, I enjoyed watching Star Trek: The Motion Picture; there’s an entire Futurama episode dedicated to it, but it dragged on.  Star Trek VI was much better paced.
Speaking of pace, you’ll need to pace yourself with this drink.  It’s notorious throughout the galaxy for its high alcohol content.  It’s banned from Starfleet and has given Captain Kirk the worst hangover of his life multiple times.  The recipe above will surely do the same.  Lucky for my liver, I’m a poor college student, so I just mixed all the blue alcohols together I could find with some ginger ale (Romulan Ale makes more sense when it has ginger ale in it, doesn’t it?).  Here’s the recipe I actually ended up with:
Makeshift Romulan Ale

Look how blue it is!

Look how blue it is!

  • 2 shots Coconut Rum
  • 1 shot Hpnotiq Liqueur
  • 1 shot Blue Curacao
  • Splash of Ginger Ale
 Ingredients should be chilled.  Combine rum, Hpnotiq, and blue curacao shots into glass.  Stir. Add a splash of ginger ale to taste.  Serve.
Even though Captain Kirk drinks Romulan Ale in the movie, William Shatner is 60 years old, and it shows.  This leads to one of the few problems I had with this movie.  Now, this might just be me, but I don’t reminisce about how old I am (not constantly, anyway).  I didn’t get the sense that I was watching Kirk and McCoy and Spock and Uhura 30 years down the line.  I felt like I was watching the 30-years-older actors trying to play their 30-years-ago characters’ selves, while acknowledging still that so much time had passed.  I don’t want to say the acting was bad, but maybe a little too self-aware.
Acting aside, I still thoroughly enjoyed this movie.  The plot was engaging.  A mystery, if you will.  Who framed Kirk and McCoy?  I’ll tell you who it wasn’t though.  A new Vulcan lieutenant who took Kirk’s drunk “I hate Klingons” rant a little too seriously and decided to kill them for him.  Not that.  Watching Kirk and McCoy try to get out of their dilemma is quite entertaining, though.  Even if the cast is just playing themselves, there’s something endearing about well-established actors not taking themselves seriously.
Personally, I think not taking yourself seriously is a little bit required when trying to make the galaxy’s most alcoholic drink out of bottom-of-the-barrel shots that have been in yours or a friend’s fridge since before Thanksgiving.  As always though, I sampled each alcohol individually before mixing them together.  Proceed with caution.  Hpnotiq is delicious.  It’s described as vanilla vodka with exotic fruits and a touch of cognac.  It’s a soft blue color and goes down the throat very easily.  Among the smoothest, least fake-tasting fruity liqueurs I’ve ever had.  Blue Curacao, on the other hand, tastes like a hard candy.  Or orange cough syrup.  It’s only meant for flavoring drinks, apparently.  I do not recommend using this as the main ingredient of a drink.  The excess amounts of blue dye would do more damage than would the alcohol content.  It certainly adds an alarming splash of blue color, but that’s about it.  Mix wisely.
Do you need a drink this strong to enjoy Star Trek VI?  Absolutely not.  It might be fun, but as a standalone movie, it does quite fine.  I recommend this film for any Star Trek fan, and maybe even any Sci-Fi fan as well, if you can stand special effects like 3D floating purple blood.  Another treat for the true Star Trek fans is actually pretty cool: All the Klingon scenes go un-dubbed.  There are plenty of people out there who actually speak and understand Klingon, and watching this movie is their time to shine.  I didn’t understand the Klingon language, and the film felt a little fancier because of it.  Go Star Trek.
Also, conveniently coming out today is the first teaser/announcement for Star Trek: Into Darkness.  You get to nerd out over Sherlock Holmes and Spock having a battle of wits.  Good God.  A 21st birthday, a new trailer, my birthday…it’s certainly been one hell of a day for Star Trek.  Cheers!

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