So begins our Star Wars series of drinks, in which I attempt to decode beverages in the Star Wars franchise (and Expanded Universe), as tribute for when the [reboot?] so cruelly takes my novels and comics from the grand canon. To my surprise, the first drink I pulled at random out of our list is actually featured both in EU and in a film proper.
1 cube (~=1 tsp dry sugar)
1scrsp (2 dashes, ¼ tsp, or 1.25mL) cinchona bitters (Campari recommended, Peychaud’s, Aperol, or Calisaya also valid)
.0.25oz (7.5mL) sparkling water (seltzer or soda)
1 cup (240 mL) sour beer, chilled
In chilled 10.5oz Pilsner goblet, add sugar, bitters, and water
Mix with hammer-ended bar whisk to combine
Pour beer over
She may not look like much, but she’s got it where it counts, kid.
Attack of the Clones gave us some great and terrible things. The good: overall some of the best musical themes of the prequel trilogy (yes, Duel of the Fates tops that list but it’s only one piece), especially the Arena theme music, the Asteroid Field, the Across the Stars love theme and the transition music over the first wide shot of the Grand Army of the Republic that melts into the Imperial March/Vader’s theme. Glorious. The bad: the introduction of Hayden “Hormonal” Christensen as Anakin Skywalker, where the lynchpin character of the saga is written into a hot mess for 2 movies before resuming badass status in A New Hope. (Don’t worry Hayden, I blame the script, not just you). The ugly: Natalie Portman…
Yeah, right. Just kidding everyone
More relevant to today’s post, however, is a scene where a Jedi gets wasted and goes home to rethink his life. Or just drinks a mildly alcoholic drink. Mostly the latter.
Dex’s Diner is a( wretched hive of scum and villainy)n honest restaurant with most of its history in Expanded Universe YA novels (starring Obi-Wan as a moody teenaged Padawan), whose ownership eventually falls to Dexter Jettster, this hulking many-armed Besalisk that serves food, drink, and the occasional bit of information. In the film, his server asks Obi-Wan if he’d like a Jawa Juice, which he accepts. The original script, however, and parts of the novelizations refer to the drink as Ardees, hence the title of this post.
We know a few things about Ardees. Firstly, it’s mentioned as originally being a product of the Ardees Beverage Company, an AB-Inbev or Pepsi sized soft drink manufacturer as their flagship product (, and that while the beverage came to be known primarily as an alcoholic product, non-alcoholic versions existed) . Secondly, it’s described in the SWRPG as a “sharp, bitter alcoholic beverage”. Thirdly, it’s mentioned as being made with “bantha hide and fermented grains”. Despite early fan theories, the mixed drink did not contain fresh-squeezed Jawas.
What does that tell us? Fermented grains means by definition we’re headed to some form of beer, and we’ll have to figure out what type. How to translate bantha hide into a drink, though? As a reminder, banthas are basically wooly mammoths with spiral ram ears that can survive living on a desert planet with two suns.
You know this bantha is thinking “I hate Sand. It gets everywhere and….never mind”
Now, since we’re not putting elephant leather in the drink, my best guesses on the hide contributes are oil, dried sweat, and…funk. Considering Tatooine had to farm moisture, I don’t see them bathing, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some nasty bacteria or extra yeasties were growing under all that hair. Combine that with beer, and it makes sense to go with a sour beer for the cup. That covers bantha, grains, and a sharp taste.
However, we’re looking for a distinctive bitter flavor in the drink as well. While the world of mixed drinks has started to add bitters to anything requiring a hipster quotient, in this case it makes sense. True bitters, those with a strong bitter principle as a bitter flavoring agent, not only contribute flavor, but also distract from the “burning” sensation of drinking alcohol. In this case, I decided on bitters from the cinchona family, as wood bark fit in my mind with the Jawa Juice format more than say, fruit bitters like orange or grapefruit.
Since the beer-as-alcoholic-product seemed to take center stage in this drink, with just a bit of bitterness to cut the burn, it makes sense to sweeten just a little to mediate the bitterness and dilute the slightest bit to open flavors a bit more. This lands the recipe firmly in sling territory. As a bittered sling, it can properly[link to drink types] be called a cocktail, even. Adapting this to a standardized cocktail form on beer, and there you have it: Jawa Juice.