If you love good games and interesting drinks, we have the cocktails for you
Last year, we teamed up with James Dance, owner of video game-themed bar Loading, to create a range of cocktails based on our favourite games of 2011. It was such a success that James has agreed to concoct a new selection, based on this year’s top titles.
As well as running Loading, Dance and his collaborator Will Edgecombe have created themed drinks for a variety of games companies like Ubisoft and Turtle Beach, as well as crafting one-off showpieces, including an amazing cocktail landscape created to resemble Minecraft.
So, before planning that last minute Christmas get-together, or your New Year party, you might want to check out these rather astonishing concoctions. Just remember to drink – and play games – responsibly.
XCOM Ingredients Unknown
What you’ll need
Not just one cocktail, but an unassailable team of drinks, representing the different classes of soldier available in this challenging sci-fi strategy sim.
For the Sniper, replicate the hyper-alert ‘Squad Sight’ skill with a mix of Kahula and Pernod. Simply pour the Kahlua into a shot glass then carefully add the Pernod, pouring it down the side of the glass to help the layering.
The Assault class is your basic infantry, prepared for close, personal damage – just like this drink. Combine the Vanilla, Citron and a splash of overproof rum with crushed ice for a potent, shotgun-style mix.
Then we have the Heavy class, the chaps with the really big guns. To lay down a ‘suppressing fire’ at your party, simply serve cherry sambuca and creme de Fraise in a shot glass, and maybe add a dash of milk to give it extra weight. “The red colouring symbolised the game’s laser weapon upgrades,” assures Dance.
The psychically-powered Psy-Ops class is all about messing with the enemy’s – or your guests’ – minds. Simply mix the La Fee clear absinthe and sparkling wine and everyone will be under your control.
Last, we have the crucial medic class – and you’ll probably need it after drinking the others. Here, we have a mix of three health boosting ingredients – just splash the passion fruit syrup, orange and cranberry juice into a long glass and gulp it down. There, all better.
The Spelunky Gold Rush
What you’ll need
Derek Yu’s ultra-uncompromising platformer is all about digging deep into a series of randomly generated temples looking for treasure. “You spend the whole game avoiding death and chasing gold,” says Dance. “So it seemed fitting to create a drink all about the loot you painfully leave behind with each inevitable restart…”
Start buy putting ice, lemoncello, white rum, and the JD Honey into a shaker. Next, prepare your sugar by pouring some into a freezer bag, add a few drops of yellow food colouring and shake. Run the lemon around the rim of a highball glass and dip in the sugar. Now shake your spirits and carefully pour into the glass avoiding the sugar, top up with lemonade and start your adventure.
The Dishonored whale oil burner
What you need
Whale oil is the viscous liquid that powers the steampunk city of Dunwall in this atmospheric stealth adventure. Our drink allows you to build your own whale oil furnace. Put the Creme De Cacao, Baileys, vanilla ice cream, milk and todka into a blender and pour out into a glass or old jam jar. Finally, take a spoon and rest it on the surface of the drink and slowly pour on the overproof rum. Now carefully light the rum and you have your whale oil burner! Now roast your marshmallows over the top.
The Journey desert cooler
What you’ll need
- 175ml Mulled Wine
- 50ml Sloe Gin
- 15ml Cointreau
Journey is a mysterious yet minimalist adventure – challenging qualities to capture in a cocktail. “We settled on mirroring the main character’s robe colours and choosing a drink that would be easy to recreate,” says Dance. Start with mulled Wine but instead of warming it, shake over ice and add a shot of Cointreau and sloe gin. “Don’t serve upside down like in the picture,” warns Dance.
The Borderlands quartet of chaos
What you’ll need
Borderlands is a crazy sci-fi blaster set on a hostile planet populated by maniacs. These are the drinks we reckon the inhabitants serve when they’re not attacking each other for loot. As with XCOM, Dance has designed a set of cocktails to reflect the different classes of character available the game.
For the shoot-happy Gunzerker class, we’re going to get you to dual wield two tumblers, each containing slugs of dark and spiced rum, a slosh of whiskey and, to protect you from the cold on that inhospitable planet, half a pint of fiery ginger beer to finish. The use of classic spirits is inspired by the game’s most old-fashioned and reliable arms manufacturer, Jakobs.
The stealthy Assassin class is represented by this impossible to detect mix of vodka and Jagermeister, equipped with coke to act as a shield. The Siren, meanwhile, gets things off the ground with a Martini glass, a blast of Lychee Liqueur and a ‘phaselock shot’ of Chambord. You can add the ‘Maliwan Grace skin’ by sneaking a few less conventional spirits into the mix: blue curacao and a fire-resistant spirit of peach water shaken over ice and strained.
Our Commander drink starts with gin paired with white rum for combat stability and then covered with a regenerative shield mixer of lemonade. Now you’ll need a separate shot glass – or gun turret – containing a mini white Russian of Kahlua, vodka and cream. “Drink this combo and you should still be fine to lead the team to greatness,” says Dance. To be honest, I’m not sure you’ll be leading anyone anywhere.