Big Hero 6: Fred Firebreath Highball

Moving on through countdown until Big Hero 6, we pour down a hard soda for Fred(zilla)

Fred(zilla) Firebreath Highball

You could take out that top ice cube and serrano and put the Manzano in for that eyeball...

You could take out that top ice cube and serrano and put the Manzano in for that eyeball…


  • 3-5 nickel thick slices serrano pepper, to desired heat level
  • 1 Jigger (2 oz) dry gin
  • 1 Gill (4 oz, or 1/2 cup) blue raspberry + orange soda
  • Stem end of serrano garniture cut and notched for rim


  1. Set out a punch tumbler (capacity 10.5-11 oz.)
  2. Insert 4 1-oz (~1″ cubes) service ice
  3. In a metal mixing tumbler combine serrano pepper and gin
  4. Seal the tin and dry shake at least 10s, double/finely strain into tumbler
  5. Fill remainder of tumbler with soda, up to maximum 3/8″ from rim
  6. Garnish with serrano and add straw, serve

Welcome back to our countdown to Big Hero 6, where we’ll be going through each team member with a drink! Now, while my first preference is to take an preexisting drink and reconstruct it, I’m settling for something that I feel represents their personalities or tastes and what they would drink (if they were into alcohol), rather than something that say, looks exactly like them (without naming a few sites)… Now, we don’t have a lot of material to go on for any of these characters, so I’m going to be running entirely off of a) knowledge from their official character bios and released images, b) trailers and TV spots, and c) extrapolations from some of the general info floating around from the old comic miniseries from 2008 that Disney appears to be blending with original content and the first team.

Fred, or Fredzilla as he was more often referred to in the comics, is the otaku nerd of the group. Character study footage show him wandering around buried nose-deep in comics whenever he’s not watching movies or doing mascot-stuff. Originally of Ainu descent in the comics, Disney has shifted his character into more Caucasian-hipster territory to fit with San Fransokyo better (rather than the original Tokyo), as well as allow for a slick “surfer-brah” performance style by T.J. Miller.
While in the comics Fred was capable of naturally transforming into a kaiju-like creature, otherwise only occasionally visible as his aura, in the movie we’ll be seeing him piloting (or wearing, at that size) a monster suit. Oh, did we mention the suit breathes fire?

Thinking back to our days at the comic shop/FLGS, the drink of choice was not tea, not coffee, not even espresso. It was energy drinks. Bubbly, sugary, and dripping with artificial flavors, I knew right away after seeing Fred that his drink should have soda, and it should be blue. We were also certain that his drink should have a heat to acknowledge the fire breath. Serrano peppers are a good mild-to-mid heat chili that worked well for adjusting the heat per customer. (FYI, the other version of heat considered was cinnamon, and while good, wasn’t as well received.) Garnishing with a sliced Manzano pepper (the orange pepper off to the side) was considered as well to complement color and flavor, but was voted cluttering and distracting. Gin was our natural choice of spirit, because why use blank vodka when you can round out the flavor of the drink with some other aromatic botanicals?

As much as we wanted to make the drink blue, we faced a problem. There are no really quality, good value liquors or liqueurs that provided a blue color that we considered worth spending on to stock in our collections. There are blue and violet liqueurs, to be sure, but they are either of low proof and compounding artificial flavors into neutral spirit, or they’re naturally distilling and macerating and getting a color we’re not looking for (here’s looking at you, good creme-de-violette, parfait amour, and creme yvette (which by the way are all Different Things)). There are a few light-blue bottles, but for the price and frequency of use, we just couldn’t justify it. However…There are great quality sodas being produced now of all colors and flavors, and we were more than happy to give a bunch a try.

Parents and child soda

Parents and child soda

We had the benefit of a old-time candy and soda shop within an hour’s drive, so we were able to try in no particular order: berry lemonade, blue raspberry energy drink, blue cream soda, blue raspberry soda, and blue raspberry and orange soda. Out of those, the blue raspberry/orange combo was the winner by a narrow margin. Made by the Avery’s Beverages company, it’s actually sold under the name Toxic Slime, which given Fredzilla we found highly appropriate. We’re fairly certain it’s a blend of their blue raspberry and “dry” orange soda, which is colorless, based on blending and tasting them as well.

Pretty sure the "Dry" refers to how little perceptible sugar is in that soda.

Pretty sure the “Dry” refers to how little perceptible sugar is in that soda.

In lieu of these you could use a blue energy drink, or maybe use it as just part of the soda portion, depending on how much caffeine you want. Long soda’s like Rocket Fizz’s Rocket Fuel, or Jolt (if you still have any, they’re long since out of production) could make up the whole 4oz+. Don’t make that same mistake if you’re using the old Mana Potion. You’ll almost certainly hurt yourself with that much caffeine.

No more than one per've been warned.

No more than one per drink….you’ve been warned.

A final note on the word highball in the name. Historically that referred to a style of grog (mixed drink where a smaller amount of liquor fortifies a larger amount of mostly-water product) with a ratio of 1:2 liquor: water. You could also go with a “cooler” proportion which referred to a 1:3: proportion. Just switch to a larger tumbler, say 13oz, add 5 cubes of ice instead of 4, and fill with soda the same way. The other reason it’s important to fill with soda after the liquor is the sugar in the soda raises its density and specific gravity over that of the gin. Adding it first, the gin would float on top; adding it second it will force its way down and mix itself with the gin, no stirring required. By knowing that those service ice cubes are an oz, and knowing your glassware, you don’t need to measure your final ingredient to fill. Science!

“They say that isn’t science”. “It’s really not”.


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