Alien Resurrection Tribute Cocktail: The Betty

The Nerdista's version with crushed fruit

This tribute cocktail is brought to you by Kokomoka from Citizen Azeroth, a World of Warcraft podcast with his wife Renata Kane, a former co-host of World of Warcast. Some of you may know Koko as Cryler, the name he was referred to when occasionally guesting on World of Warcast during his wife’s tenure.

What you may not know is Koko is a master mixologist who earned his unofficial degree in the school of awesome. Koko, Ren and The Nerdista love to discuss cocktail crafting together. The Nerdista is proud to bring you this tribute cocktail, it’s history, and inspiration in Koko’s own words.

For those of you who might not be fans of Alien Resurrection, Betty is not a person; she is a ship. The drink named in her honor is inspired by a scene in which Ron Perlman’s character Johner, sneaks a potent homemade beverage onto the military starbase. Before I talk about the drink itself, though, I want to take just a moment to share a couple thoughts about why I love this movie.

First, the cast is really superb. Sigourney Weaver always impresses, even though we don’t get to see her with her head shaved or in skimpy prison garb in this flick. She only gets one outfit, but it’s tight and it’s leather, and that’s good enough for me. We get Ron Perlman, Winona Ryder, and an early Gary Dourdan in bad ass mode. There are underwater fight and chase scenes in which we get some terrific swimming warrior alien shots. Both Ron Perlman and Winona Ryder nearly drowned themselves filming these sequences. The realism shows.

Now, I know that a lot of people, including Joss Whedon, feel that this film falls short. It’s not my favorite in the series, but it’s still a movie I go back to and recommend to those who haven’t seen it. Whedon has said that the Betty was in some ways his first take on what later would become the Firefly concept. For that reason alone, we should all love Alien Resurrection. Anyway, on to the drinking.

My first thought in re-creating this drink was that it should be some variation of rocket fuel. But this is a path that everyone who’s ever been to a WorldCon, a DragonCon, or for that matter a frat party has already been down too many times. So, what I imagine here is something home fermented, possibly under Johner’s bunk, from alien tropical fruit. Then, perhaps he kicked it up with some wild local rum. Serve it straight up, ice cold from the thermos. And, of course, no garnish.

For the makings: first, a homemade sour mix. I used half a lemon, a whole lime, and some kumquats. That yielded enough juice for four cocktails. I scrubbed them well and used them whole in my Juiceman. If you don’t have one of these, you should. You can extract the juice from just about anything, and in this case it gives me a pungent sour mix, strong, pulpy, and redolent with the bitterness of the peels. You can use a food processor and a strainer, or just muddle the fruit and leave it in the glass. But, do use the kumquats if you can. They add novelty and tang, and make the color pop.

The main ingredients are sake and cachaca. Cachaca is Brazilian rum made from whole sugar cane. You could use regular rum or even vodka, but don’t. Trust me here. I used Momokawa Pearl sake. If you can get it, I strongly recommend it because it is an unfiltered Nigori sake. Not only does the creaminess add to the character of the drink, but it is robust in flavor and it has a pineapple and coconut note to it which is tremendous with the other ingredients. Another sake that might be fun to try with this is G Joy. It’s another big one, which is what you want for this drink. I chilled the cachaca and the sake thoroughly before beginning, rather than using a great deal of ice.

Mixing up the Betty once you have everything ready couldn’t be simpler. I used 2 ounces of sake well chilled, 1 ounce of cachaca frozen, and 1 ounce of the sour mix well chilled. If you find it too bitter and sour, by all means add some superfine sugar to your sour mix. For you cocktail culture fans, it’s a caipirinha with sake added and pulpy fruit juice instead of muddled limes. And, we pre-chilled the ingredients and serve it up, rather than with rocks. In the picture, you can see how pulpy the fruit juice is in the cruet, and the fantastic color of the finished drink. If you just smash the fruit up well with the rocks and pour on the sake and Brazilian rum, you won’t be disappointed.

The Betty, in the glass, really looks like something that might have been fermented in a plastic bag on a rogue freighter between ports of call. But the flavor, with its Latin Asian fusion and pungent citrus, will surprise you. Serve some up the next time you’re marooned in a top-secret military starbase, and something is crawling around under the floor.

Cryler's version with juiced whole fruit has a more alien-esque look and feel.

Homemade Sour Mix Ingredients:

half a lemon
a whole lime
handful of kumquats
Directions: Scrub outside of fruit well and juice whole. Alternately, you can use a food processor and a strainer, or just muddle the fruit and leave it in the glass. For The Nerdista’s version, I squeezed the fruit with a hand press then added the remaining fruit to the cocktail glass. 
yield: Juicing Whole – enough juice for four cocktails; Squeezing Fruit – enough juice for one-two cocktails

Cocktail Ingredients:

1 oz Cachaca, frozen
2 oz Momokawa Pearl sake or G Joy sake, chilled
1 oz homemade sour mix as outlined above, chilled (NOTE: you will only use 1/4 of the recipe above per cocktail)
Directions: Combine ingredients and serve straight up (no ice) and chilled. If a sweeter drink is desired, superfine sugar can be added sour mix, to taste.


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One Response to Alien Resurrection Tribute Cocktail: The Betty

  1. Hi NERDista,

    Hope to meet you this summer. Lisa has such wonderful things to say about you. She is amazing BTW. We both were hoping you might come for our NERDS BBQ & Science Trivia if your schedule should allow for it (July 3, 2013, noon to 1:30 pm). I know she invited you last month but I thought I would send a quick e-mail to say that I think your blog is so much fun.

    Kind Regards, Diana
    Cal NERDS Director
    UC Berkeley

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