Everyone has an opinion on Coke versus Pepsi or white versus red, but what about butterbeer versus ambrosia? We’ll never actually taste Duff Beer or a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster, but we decided to rank made-up drinks anyway, based purely on what we’d most like to sample ourselves. Here’s your complete, scientifically rigorous ranking of fictional drinks, from amped-up soft drinks to hallucinogenic dairy.
15. Milk of the poppy
Seen in: Game of Thrones (2011-2014) It’s basically Game of Thrones-speak for morphine, and it’s kind of a terrible substitute for all the post-medieval medicine Westeros so obviously lacks. Still, there are reasons to believe it’s awesome: a) It’s called “milk of the poppy, which just sounds cooler than “morphine,” and b) it’s distributed by people called “maesters” who wear giant chains and hang out in castles. Just enough cool factor to land it on the list, albeit in last place.
14. Minotaur Energy Drink
Seen in: Role Models (2008) From underrated bro-buddy comedy Role Models, Minotaur is basically a parody of Monster—not that much is required to make Monster into a parody. Its slogan is “Taste the Beast” and its signature vehicle is a flame-covered monster truck, which Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott drive to high school anti-drug assemblies until they get fired and forced into community service. Funny, but not anything we’d consume voluntarily.
Seen in: Brave New World (1931) Aldous Huxley’s description of the drug speaks for itself: “All the advantages of Christianity and alcohol; none of their defects.” The perfect intoxicant is the opiate of the masses in Huxley’s dystopian Brave New World, distributed by the state to keep the people happy and maintain the rigid class system. Since soma occasionally comes in strawberry ice-cream flavor and inspired a Strokes song, however, it’s still a rung above milk of the poppy.
12. Elsinore Beer
Seen in: Strange Brew (1983) Under normal circumstances, Elsinore is your average Canadian beer, albeit good enough that Bob and Doug McKenzie attempt to scam their way into scoring some for free. Then Brewmeister Smith gets his hands on the stuff, and Strange Brew‘s title substance becomes a form of bottled mind control. The possiblities are endless…but also, um, terrifying.
11. “Drink Me!”
Seen in: Alice in Wonderland (book: 1865; film: 1951) The first of many, many trippy things the heroine of Alice in Wonderland comes across is a potion that somehow tastes like cherry tart, buttered toast, roast turkey, pineapple, custard, and toffee—without being nearly as nasty as it sounds. No wonder she downed the whole bottle—only to shrink down to ten inches high. You win some, you lose some? (Photo: Disney)
10. Duff Beer
Seen in: The Simpsons (1989-2014) Poison of choice for Homer, coworkers/drinking buddies/probably more-than-best-friends Lenny and Carl, and resident alcoholic Barney Gumble, Duff Beer is the most popular offering at Moe’s Tavern. Repped by muscled spokesman DuffMan, Duff is part of The Simpsons’ ridiculously thorough fictional universe. But it’s also just a beer, and not a particularly good one, so Duff stays out of the top five. (Photo: Fox)
Seen in: Futurama (1999-2013) There’s something to be said for truth in advertising, so props to Slurm (from fellow Matt Groening brainchild Futurama) for its slogan: “It’s Highly Addictive!” Produced in a Willy Wonka-esque factory, Slurm is possibly the only substance out there with an origin story more disgusting than Soylent Green, involving a massive, wormlike alien queen and her bodily fluids. Still, it’s good—or at least habit-forming—enough that Fry keeps drinking anyway. (Photo: Fox)
8. Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster
Seen in: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (book: 1979; film: 2005) Invented by three-headed former President of the Universe Zaphod Beetlebrox, what The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy deems the “Best Drink in Existence” contains, among other things, Arcturan Mega-Gin, Fallian marsh gas, and an olive. The effect apparently resembles “having your brains smashed in by a slice of lemon wrapped around a solid gold brick,” making the cocktail a little too intense for regular (hypothetical) consumption.
7. Fizzy Lifting Drink
Seen in: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (book: 1964; film: 1971) Forget Red Bull—this Willy Wonka creation lets the drinker fly without wings. In a typically morbid Roald Dahl twist, Charlie and his uncle nearly die after floating too close to a giant industrial fan, but Fizzy Lifting Drink is still a soda that lets you fly. That’s why it beat out even the giant river of drinkable chocolate for this list’s obligatory Wonka entry.
6. Uncle Jemima’s Down Home Pure Mash Liquor
Seen on: Saturday Night Live (2000) Everyone knows Aunt Jemima, but SNL introduced us to her lesser-known husband. Played by Tracy Morgan (and accompanied by cartoon animals recalling Disney’s so-racist-you-can’t-see-it-anymore Song of the South), Uncle Jemima argues there’s nothing wrong with selling what he knows: “She says selling booze is degrading to our people. I always say that black folk ain’t exactly swelling up with pride on account of you flippin’ flapjacks.” Razor-sharp racial satire and a 75% ABV (“It gets you fucked up for less money!”) land this one just outside the top five. (Photo: NBC)
Seen in: Battlestar Galactica (1978-1979, 2004-2009) Sure, it’s the mythical drink of choice for the Greek gods, who supposedly subsist entirely on ambrosia and nectar. But it’s also the bright green, absinthe-like primo alcohol of the Battlestar Galactica universe, and anything Starbuck downs during her poker games is good enough for us.
3. Samuel Jackson Beer
Seen in: Chappelle’s Show (2004) Because who can resist a slogan like “It’ll git ya drunk!”? Just don’t expect Samuel L. Jackson (or Dave Chappelle’s impression of him) to stop screaming while he’s hyping his product—it’s his acting style. Mmmmm-mmmm, bitch. (Photo: Comedy Central)
Seen in: Harry Potter (books: 1997-2007; films: 2001-2011) All kids born in the ’90s, and most adults born before, have fantasized about the perks of the wizarding lifestyle: magic, Quidditch, and happy hour at the Three Broomsticks, complete with the bar’s signature beverage. Technically, butterbeer is available IRL at Harry Potter World, but it’s probably not the same butterscotch-esque, lightly-alcoholic goodness J.K. Rowling envisioned. (Photo: Universal)
Seen in: A Clockwork Orange (book: 1962; film: 1971) The namesake product of A Clockwork Orange‘s Korova Milk Bar, this drink is your classic, calcium-rich glass of milk…stuffed chock-full of hallucinogens, opiates, or any other drugs the customer wants. And in Stanley Kubrick’s film adaptation, Alex and his droogs get their “milk plus” out of dispensers shaped like naked women, a stroke of set design genius that puts moloko at the top of our list.