Crystal Maze Cocktails

Today, I crave your indulgence as I take a trip down memory lane to one of the greatest game shows ever created; naturally, I speak of The Crystal Maze.* Whilst I was watching a recent re-run of an episode, I got the idea for making Crystal Maze themed cocktails; this post displays  the results of my experimentation. There is one cocktail for each zone, plus a few bonuses.

This was a sand-filled zone, set in an Aztec Village in 1518.
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25ml White Tequila
50ml Pulque
25ml Lime Juice
Shake and Garnish with some Lime Zest.
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The Aztec Zone drink features Pulque, an ancient alcoholic beverage that was originally reserved for Aztecan nobility. It also contains some – more contemporary – tequila, in addition to lime juice. The Pulque is quite thick and of a milky colour; when shaken, you get a slight froth on top of the drink.

Set within a chemical plant, this zone was based within a post-apocalyptic, nuclear-fallout era.
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50ml Vodka
100ml Schweppes Ruschian
15ml Rose’s Lime Cordial
Add ingredients, with ice to a conical flask or other (clean) laboratory glassware
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In the Industrial Zone, vodka is cheap and plentiful as it is so easy and quick to make (and, sadly, there are no fresh botanicals with which to make gin!) With no plant life in this baron wasteland, any fruit flavours in this drink come from a sparkling, pink, berry-flavoured liquid & concentrated lime cordial.

Set in 1302 in a Medieval English castle, this was the ancestral home of the Master of the Maze, Richard O’Brien. He lived here along with “dear-old” Mumsie (see below).
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20ml Calvados (Apple Jack is a suitable substitute)
20ml Mead (I like Moniack)
40ml Apple Juice (The fresher the better)
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This drink is based on a combination of the English Tradition of making (and drinking) mead, with Calvados, which was brought over  by the Norman Conquest in 1066.** In true Medieval style, it is served in a leather cup.

The flavours are, unsurprisingly, quite appley, but the mead (a sort of honey-wine) sweetens up the drink. Calvados and mead are quite nice together, but the apple juice improves the drink further by lengthening it. My one word of caution would be to use an apple juice that is not too sweet.

The Futuristic Zone was set in 2494 (after the Second Galactic War of 2245) on board a space station, far away from Earth. Its only permanent inhabitant was a rather sarcastic and occasionally gloomy computer.
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Sacred Gin (distilled in Outer Space (well, a vacuum))
Tonic Water
Cardamon Distillate Float

In the future, all drinks will obviously be served super-chilled in test tubes for the ultimate level of convenience. With space travel an everyday occurrence, all spirits will be distilled in outer space (the vacuum of outer space means that you can distill at low temperatures); Sacred is tomorrow’s gin, today.

Despite it being the 23rd Century, the perpetual popularity of the Gin & Tonic persists. A cardamon float on the top of this drink represents the ultimate in a consumer’s choice to customise their drink.

2

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You have braved the zones and escaped to the Crystal Dome. You need to collect 100 gold tokens to win a prize, but any silver tokens that you collect by accident will be deducted from your total score, so be careful!
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To a Champagne Flute Add:
1 sugar lump
3–4 drops of orange bitters
Juice of ¼ of a lemon
About a measure of gin
Champagne
Add two dozen edible silver hearts and a edible dozen gold stars
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The Dome is a celebration and, to me, nothing says celebration quite like a French 75. This recipe was kindly donated by Mr. Clayton Hartley. I used gold star and silver heart cocktail flakes from www.edible-glitter.co.uk to represent the tokens floating in the Dome. Try and drink just the gold ones!

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The die-hard Crystal Maze fans will also recall the Ocean Zone, which replaced the Industrial Zone in series 4. This was set on the S.S. Atlantis, a sunken ship trapped in an air bubble on the edge of an abyss in the Pacific Ocean. The ship sank in 1947 when the drunken Captain steered the ship into a mine.
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50ml Dark Rum
10ml Pimento Dram
Dry Ginger Ale

The teacup and Champagne flute are a reflection of the glamour and sophistication of the Golden Age of travel. It’s up to you how you drink this: with the ginger ale on the side or mixed in with the spirit in the teacup.

The Dark Rum has an evident Naval connection (I used Skipper’s), the Pimento Dram reminds me of the exotic spice of tropical islands, and the ginger ale, with it’s Champagne-like appearance, provides light refreshment.

In the Crystal Maze, the games were sorted into four categories: Physical, Mental, Skill and Mystery. I set my own challenge for the Skilled & Mysterious barkeep, Adam Smithson (an exceptionally skilled cocktail creative from Graphic Bar in Soho), to come up with a cocktail which reflected all of these aspects.
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40ml Super Berry Tea (good for the mind)
20ml Agave Syrup & 10ml Egg White (both good for the physical strength)
35ml Lemon Juice and 10ml Super Cherry Wine
40ml Oxley Gin (lots of skill is need to create this gin)
20ml Dame de Fumer Syrup (the Mystery!)
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This an intensely fruit and juicy drink very refreshing and full of flavour. A great balance between a jammy sweetness and the tartness from the lemon. The gin comes through and whilst not over=powering add a sturdy juniper presence. The mystery pops up at the end the delicious flavour of the Lapsang Souchong Syrup ( Dame de Fumer).

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Living in the Crystal Maze with Ravenous Rick, the Master of the Maze, was Mumsie, his new-age, fortune-telling matriarch. She lived in the Medieval Zone and liked to ask contestants riddles. This cocktail is a tribute to her.
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20ml Knockeen Hills Heather Gin
20ml Pedro Ximenzez Sherry
10ml Lemon Juice
100ml Hot Water
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“Mumsie” is the comfy nickname that Rick uses to refer his mother and I wanted to reflect this comfy nature in the drink. Mumsie also often had heather around her and so this is reflected in the drink, too. This is a comforting toddy recipe with the sweetness coming from the sherry, which also provides a Christmas spice note to the drink. The lemon acts as balance, whilst the gin adds herbal notes of juniper and heather, as well as some fortification.

 

** Historically inaccurate but so his a hippy living in 1302.
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About DTS

partial to a martini? to a smoke-hazed gin joint & a perfect tipple poured with the style, swank & skill of a true aficionado? …then pull up your stool to the bar, prepare to stock up your cocktail cabinet & get ready to drink it all in as we introduce you to a stitch in times’ resident barman… David T. Smith is a drinks enthusiast currently residing in the U.K. a long-time fan of tasting & exploring various types of alcohol, he has a fascination for vintage spirits and cocktails, in particular their heritage & origins; this was strengthened last year when he presented a talk and accompanying monograph on the Martini. it was as a result of his research of this topic that he was introduced to drinks paraphernalia, & he is now the happy owner of a colourful collection of bottles, books, and gadgets from a wide range of eras… an avid believer in the validity and variety of personal opinion, particularly in the subjective area of tasting, he enjoys hosting tasting sessions for friends, constantly challenging them to find their own favourite tipple. in addition to all of this, he is also interested in economics, three-piece suits, board games & keeping alive the art of engaging in enjoyable conversation with a good glass of port whilst surrounded by pipe smoke… www.summerfruitcup.com Thanks to Analiebe for writing this rather flattering blurb for me.

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