I like small little wacky articles and I think this is one of them... The other day I watched a famous movie, an epic trilogy, invented, imagined by a man with an adventurous spirit... JRR Tolkien. I re-re-re-re-re-watched Lord of the Rings. It was at that moment that I realized that the Hobbits were drinking beer... Mr. Tolkien has shown great imagination for costumes, fairytale characters, mythical places and chivalrous epic adventures. He even invented languages !! By cons in beverages, it remained quite... human!
So I considered the question... What are the invented drinks ? Where did they come from ? What is the legend that surrounds them ? Finally, there are not that many invented beverages ! Let's take a closer look...
'It was a beautiful dream to drink : but when you are actually thirsty, you have to wake up to feed' Sigmund Freud
In fact, this is not quite accurate : Tolkien has invented a drink but it’s not actually mentioned in the film by Peter Jackson. The miruvor is a cordial (specific drink to revive the heart). This is a warm, aromatic drink made by the Elves. It’s extracted from the flowers of the Yavanna garden and it would restore strength to anyone who takes a sip. Tolkien compares this nectar to another drink, real this time : Mead.
The Mead (I wrote an article about it if you're interested) is an alcoholic beverage made from honey : it was very consumed but today it’s not really relevant. By cons, mead is often compared to Ambrosia. It is used to feed the Gods of Olympus but in some writings ragweed is not liquid, it’s rather a grass... So there is the nectar to replace the wine and ambrosia which is replacing solid food. Yet there is also Ambrosia liquid form, characterized by its extreme softness : Ibycus (nine times sweeter than honey). The gods are using it for sustenance themselves but also to anoint their muscled bodies... It is a dream! Isn’t it Morpheus ?!
Conversely, the Nectar - liquid - is red : it would be a mixture of wine and honey where have macerated flowers. Half-Gods use many Nectar to treat their wounds. But too widespread use would be harmful.
To stay in the divine drink, Soma is another imaginary beverage. Native to India, it’s made by Indra, the King of the Gods and is supposed to give immortality to the Gods of the Hindu pantheon. This drink is a juice from the roots of a heavenly plant. It is now passed into the human world by priests in Vedic rituals.
Are there other imaginary drinks outside those of Religions? Yes, There are some drinks that are inventions of the Druids, witches or wizards ! Still magical !
Among the best known is the magic potion of our dear indomitable Gauls heros of the comics by Uderzo and Goscinny ! Getafix, the druid, has the secret of the amazing strength potion that the Romans would pierce ! Heated in a pot during preparation, this drink is a mix of mistletoe cut with a gold sickle, lobster (optional, but it’s for the taste), strawberries (same as lobster), salt, carrots, 4 leaf clover, fish and rock oil or beet sugar because it gives flavor ! The magic potion tastes like vegetables soup. It can be dangerous because if consumed in large quantities, the drinker will become granite ! You all know, Obelix has been lucky and takes his uncommon strength to the fact that he fell in the potion when he was a baby ! When the Gauls consume the magic potion, the effect is about ten minutes ! The magic potion also strengthens animals and accelerates plant growth !
An other drink made by our friends magicians is the love potion ! The principle is simple : when two people are drinking this beverage, then they fall madly in love with each other without a possible rollback. One of the most famous legends with this potion is Tristan and Isolde story. Women are usually the instigators of such subterfuge... That means that its more magicians or witches who make filters !
The Elixir of Life is also known as the Elixir Vitae... A bit like the love potion, the elixir is an imaginary drink men seek to create, not Love with a capital L, but to seek eternal life or eternal youth. Many efforts have been made to discover the famous recipe for the elixir of youth : they have not been instigated by magicians but by alchemists. In China, legend says that valuable materials are used in its realization as jade or gold... But not only... Indeed arsenic, mercury or sulfur were mixed by alchemists... The Emperor Jiajing of the Ming Dynasty, unfortunately died after ingesting too much arsenic ! The race for eternal life is not easy... And it will be eternal rest for him ! In India, in the Arab world and in Europe, precious stones and gold are used in particular in the elixir. The Fountain of Youth and the Philosopher's Stone echoed this elixir myth. !
All these drinks are imaginary... But if they come from magical beliefs, religion or witchcraft, some drinks were created from scratch by men ...
The Harry Potter fans know that thess novels are full of beverage : the fire whiskey, nettle juice carnation, cherry syrup soda, the soda Gillyweed, water wallflower or butterbeer... are creations of JK Rowling. Butterbeer is the most famous drink ! It is a mixture of beer with melted butter and vanilla ice cream flavored with cinnamon and nutmeg. It is drunk at the pub and everyone consumes it, regardless of age ! There are a lots of drinks in Harry Potter ! The imaginary names often echo real life alcohol as Firewhiskey which is simply whiskey.
Therefore another drink inventions remains with cute little blue creatures... Yes, I speak of the Smurfs with the sarsaparilla drink ! Well my dear friends, you should know that this plant really exist ! It’s a vine with yellow flowers and small very poisonous fruits like gooseberries ! It’s the favorite food of the Smurfs. In fact, it’s a bit a false friend of our group of invented drinks because in alternative medicine you can drink this concoction... Will you try ?!
Here is a small preview of invented beverages. Hope you enjoyed it ! And you, do you know others drinks ?