Hacker Tribute Cocktail: The Black Hat Cocktail

While the definitions of Hacker and Cracker are disagreed upon even within their own community, the public at large seems to think all hackers are evil criminals. The truth is the activity of hacking is way more chaotic neutral than most non-hackers have come to believe. While some hackers certainly illegally exploit security vulnerabilities for personal gain, others hack for the personal challenge the way some people pick locks – to test their security and see if it can be done. These hackers, both those employed by the company and those outside, often notify entities of their security vulnerabilities and the increased security offered in security updates is the result. Most notably, as we’ve seen many excellent examples of this past year, many hackers or Hackivists hack to protest injustice, exploitation, and oppression and fight to preserve the flow of information and Free Speech around the world.

One thing is for certain, if you want to know more about hacking, this movie will get you nowhere.

Hackers laugh at their ridiculous portrayal in Hollywood.

It doesn’t matter if you consider yourself a Hacker, a Cracker, or a Phreaker . . . or if the hat you choose to wear is a Black Hat, a White Hat, or Gray Hat. If you fight for the preservation of Free Speech and against oppression, injustice, and exploitation in the world, I raise this cocktail to you. It’s not for the Script Kiddies, though. Like all The Nerdista’s cocktails it contains copious amounts of alcohol.

Black Hat Cocktail


  • 1 cup black coffee, hot
  • Hacker ingredient: 1 oz. Jim Beam Black doubled aged whiskey
  • Cracker ingredient: 1 oz. Kraken Black Spiced Rum. Yes, this exists. RELEASE THE KRAKEN!

Because hacking often involves exploiting the weakness in security systems, and that weakness is often the human element, I’ve added the following two ingredients.

    • 1 dash aromatic bitters and
    • a pinch of sugar


There is only one way to serve a Black Hat cocktail. Trojan Horse style, of course. Empty a can of Mtn Dew, via consumption recommended, and allow can to come to room temperature. Add whisky, rum, aromatic bitters, and pinch of sugar to one cup of steaming hot black coffee. Stir. Pour mixed cocktail into empty Mtn Dew can. Serve. Enjoy with a side of Cap’n Crunch cereal.

Black Hat Cocktail Variations:

Prefer your Hats more on the Gray side? To the above recipe add milk.

Prefer your Hats to be White? Add cream. You’ll have to keep your aromatic bitters, though, because even White Hats likely all cut their hacking/cracking teeth on more Gray activities.

Cheers to Free Speech!

Love, The Nerdista

Posted in Cocktail, Computers & Tech, From the Laboratory, Noms | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mole Day Tribute Noms: Avogadro’s Mole

A mole [mōl] is a unit of measurement in chemistry. A Mole [ˈmō-lay] is the name for a category of thick, dark brownish red sauce used in Mexican cuisine as well as the name for dishes that utilize this sauce.

The great thing about a Mole sauce is your recipe doesn’t need to be exact. A Mole sauce is a *type* of sauce, with some general characteristics, but the exact specifics are up for interpretation. Have you ever wondered how some people can look into a seemingly empty fridge and pantry and somehow come up with the ingredients for an amazing 5 course meal? It’s because they understand how ingredient substitutes work. What a great Mole sauce needs is a few non-negotiable ingredients such as oil, onions and garlic, cumin, and chili peppers, and a few more flexible ingredients such as a tomato product, a liquid ingredient, your choice of various green/dark/red spices to make your mole more or less green, brown, or red, a chocolate ingredient, and a whole group of additional ingredients that give your mole sauce its distinct individual flavor.

In honor of Mole Day and Avogadro’s Number [6.0221415 × 1023], The Nerdista presents your chance to create some kitchen chemistry with this Mole recipe presented chemistry style. Ready for some culinary science? Here we go!


-1 Tablespoon olive oil
-1 small onion, finely chopped
-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
-1 teaspoon cumin
-approximately 4 oz. canned or fresh chili peppers, chopped: ancho, chipotle, pasilla, and or mulato (quantity according to spice tolerance)

Choose one tomato product from the following list of ingredients:
-1 can chopped tomatoes,  1 can condensed tomato soup, 1 & 1/4 cup plain marinara sauce, 1 & 1/4 tomato bruschetta, 1 can tomato sauce OR 1 can tomato paste plus 1 can chicken broth, or other similar tomato product you keep on hand.

Choose one liquid ingredient:
-chicken broth or chicken stock (TheNerdista always prefers chicken stock but feel free to use what you have on hand.) The amount you use depends on how much liquid you gained from the tomato product of your choice and how many dry ingredients you chose to add. Tomato products with high moisture content need closer to a cup and will require about 10 minutes simmer time. Drier tomato products will need closer to 3 cups and will require about 30 minutes simmer time.

Choose one of the following chocolate ingredients:
-1 Tablespoon dark chocolate cocoa powder, 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, 2-4 oz. dark chocolate bar – chopped, or 1-2 squares bakers chocolate* [*If you chose a less sweet form of chocolate or want a slightly sweeter Mole, add 2 teaspoons brown sugar]

For more green mole, add one or both of the following green spices:
-1 tsp. dried oregano, 1 tsp. dried cilantro

For more brown mole, add as many or as few of the following dark spices:
-1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground cloves, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp anise

For more red mole, add as many or as few of the following spices:
-2-5 tablespoons chili powder, 1/8 tsp. cayenne powder, 1/8 tsp paprika.
Vary amounts based on your heat tolerance.

Completely optional ingredients you can use to season to taste. List is not exhaustive:
-salt, sesame seeds, raisins, dates, or seedless grapes (finely ground), 1 bay leaf (removed prior to serving), your favorite nut, ground (pine nut, peanut, walnut, etc.), pumpkin or squash seeds, ground, etc.


Saute the oil, onions, garlic, a dry spices (except optional brown sugar) over medium heat till onions are soft. Add chilies, tomato product, and liquid ingredient.

Bring mole to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 10-30 minutes or until the liquid in the sauce has reduced to a thick consistency. (Think enchilada sauce.)

If your mole is still too liquid for your taste even after it has reduced, you may stir in 1-3 tablespoons of flour to thicken the mixture.

Finally, remove from heat and immediately add your chocolate ingredient. Mix well. Season to taste with additional pepper and or salt.

Serve on top of your favorite cooked meat, poultry, or fish of your choice. Mole can also be used as a marinade or cooking sauce. Vegetarians and Vegans can even use this sauce on vegetables and other non-animal products.


Love, The Nerdista

Posted in From the Laboratory, General Geeky Nerdiness, Noms, Science! | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Do You Want to Playdate My Avatar? Baby Codex’s Staff

No Baby Codex costume is complete without a baby sized Cleric staff.

I nerfed Codex's staff for a level 1 Cleric

I made a few significant modifications to the materials and construction The Guild prop maker Greg Aronowitz used to make Felicia’s staff so Baby Codex’s would be more baby-friendly in size, weight, and materials. Basically, I nerfed the weapon.

Instead of a wooden dowel for the long handle, I used a lightweight and hollow piece of PVC pipe. The headpiece is made out of a flexible and baby-friendly sheet of red foam sandwiched between two pieces of the same type of foam in gold sparkle. The globe didn’t work as well in foam, aesthetics wise, so I replaced the hard plastic ball with a softer paper-mache globe painted on the outside with green pearlescent paint. Obviously this, and all the other paint I chose, was labeled non-toxic if swallowed. Baby Codex tends to lick and nom things while leveling up.

"They nerfed my weapon!" - Baby Codex (if she could speak)

The rings on the staff are painted O rings and the center is wrapped with a piece of scrap leather secured with hemp rope.

Handle sized for a tiny, chubby baby hand

My most favorite detail is the bottom of the staff. Instead of building one from scratch like in Greg’s tutorial, I used a T-shaped PVC connector joint I sawed nearly flat. The jewel on the inside is a piece of rounded recycled plastic painted with red sparkle toenail polish.

My toenail polish is +74 to healing and +7687 to glamour.

Why did I use red sparkle toenail polish instead of paint? Because red sparkle toenail polish is what I had on hand. Because I’m a red sparkle toenail polish kind of lady nerd. Because that’s what I did, because I wanted too, that’s why.

Greg Aronowitz, the prop maker for The Guild, posted an excellent 3-part tutorial on his blog (below) on how to make a Codex staff for yourself.  With Greg’s knowledge of almost two decades making physical special effects and Felicia’s infectious personality, the videos are enjoyable to watch even if you never have plans to make a staff of your own. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to make your own Codex staff and costume for Halloween or one of the many nerd conventions around the world.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJjJyq2yrf8 ] [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se2hlrjAsp8] [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9if6jZs3nqQ ]

Love, TheNerdista

Posted in Cosplay, Costuming, & CausePlay, From the Laboratory, Gamer, General Geeky Nerdiness | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Do You Want to Playdate My Avatar? Introducing Baby Codex!

Baby Codex Version 2.0 at Dragon*Con 2011

Baby Codex is ready to Mana Up.

The Nerdista really enjoys the web series The Guild about online gamers written by and starring uber renaissance nerd Felicia Day. If you’ve never watched The Guild, then you’re missing the web series that defined the whole genre. Stop what you’re doing right now and click the above link. We’ll wait for you right here.

Back? Fantastic! What could be a better tribute to neurotic Cyd’s uber suave fantasy avatar Codex than a chubby and totally pinchable miniature version!

The first step in creating a tribute costume is the consultation of source material. Inc the “Do You Want to Date My Avatar” video.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urNyg1ftMIU ]
The Nerdista added substantially to the view count while rewatching to get details just right.

Judging by how the white portion of Felicia’s costume fits snugly under the bust-line even when she moves, I suspect hers is a body suit with a separate skirt, the waistband of which is hidden under the detachable corset. Felicia’s costume could also be a dress with a separate corset but this would be more likely to bunch up a bit while moving. Either way, I built Baby Codex’s costume with four objectives in mind: safety, baby comfort, ease of dress and removal, and washability.

Instead of a screen accurate recreation of Felicia’s costume, I decided to go the route of a distinctly Codex costume while being simultaneously baby-esqe. For the top portion of the costume, I modified a white Onesie – the quintessential baby garment – by cutting the sleeves and neckline into V-shapes and adding gold trim. Because babies are . . . let’s just say “accident prone,” I modified three Onesies so to triple my chances of getting an unsoiled version out of the house.

Baby Codex has a detachable skirt with a comfortable elastic waistband. I used double the amount of elastic necessary inside the waistband and plenty of gathers in the fabric so I could easily accommodate a sudden growth spurt from The Nerdling while the costume was still in progress. This foresight came in handy a year later when The Nerdista let out the waistband enough for The Nerdling to comfortably wear the same skirt in version 2.0.

It’s often the adult details rendered in wee miniature that make a baby costume squee worthy. Behold! Baby bracers with itty bitty hand-applied eyelets!

O hai miniature gauntlets!

I searched long and hard for red rhinestones that could be sewn instead of applied with sharp metal prongs. Version 1.0 were painted red sparkle. Version 2.0 were the real deal. With both versions I used fishing line for extra strength and sewed them on as if The Nerdling’s life depended upon their attachment. Then, just for paranoia’s sake, The Nerdista used safety pins behind the rhinestones between the embellished portion and the corset itself.

Having said that, we never left The Nerdling in costume unless being directly supervised, i.e., held, and the costume was slipped off quickly for naps. The decorative front piece is detachable for washing, as is necessary for little-ones who can quickly ruin an outfit with a variety of bodily fluids.

Shaped square through the middle to accommodate a bulging baby tummy.

Unless a bodice cinches or holds the torso in a specific shape and isn’t merely fitted to the body, it is known as a basque. Baby Codex’s squee-worthy corset-esque details on the back feature more of those tiny and meticulously hand-applied eyelets and working laces. The Nerdling’s laces were never pulled tight and the elasticity of the ties gave them even extra give. Seriously, how cute is this baby basque?

Baby's 1st Corset doesn't actually corset a darn thing.

The edges of Baby Codex’s bodice fit more closely together when The Nerdling was an infant. I re-laced the eyelets with longer ties and let the bodice out a bit for her second wearing a year later when her tum tum was a bit bigger . . . just like you would on a real corset.

Baby Codex made her first appearance in costume version 1.0 for Dragon*Con 2010 and her second appearance a year later in 2011. We heard it all: “do you want to burp my avatar?” and “do you want to change my avatar?” everything except, “do you want to date my avatar?” because the answer to that question is absolutely no. Even Baby Codex says “nope” and shows off her most serious business face.

Baby Codex Hulk smash your draining health bar with sweet HoTs

[Don’t send me hate mail about her angry expression; I’m pretty sure it was just a quick pang of gas as it passed as quickly as it came. The rest of the time she was all smiles. PS, see what I did there?]

Love, The Nerdista

PS, Baby Codex isn’t complete without her Cleric staff. See The Nerdista’s Baby Codex Staff post here.

Posted in Cosplay, Costuming, & CausePlay, From the Laboratory, Gamer, General Geeky Nerdiness, Warcraft | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ada Lovelace Tribute Cocktail – The Analytical EnGine

October 7th is Ada Lovelace Day – a day designated “to celebrate the achievements of women in technology and science.”

Ada Lovelace, the estranged daughter of Lord Byron, worked with Charles Babbage in the mid-19th century on the development of the Analytical Engine – the world’s first general-purpose computer. Although the Analytical Engine was never built, Ada’s extensively detailed notes on the algorithm and method for calculating a sequence of Bernoulli numbers by the Engine is widely recognized as the first computer program, giving Ada the distinction as the world’s First Computer Programmer.

Ada, who had a remarkable aptitude for advanced mathematics, was described by almost everyone as beautiful, dainty, and charming. Babbage himself declared her “The Enchantress of Numbers” when he wrote:

Forget this world and all its troubles and if
possible its multitudinous Charlatans – every thing
in short but the Enchantress of Numbers.
-Charles Babbage, writing of Ada Lovelace in 1843

Ada’s only detractor was a friend of her father’s, John Hobhouse, whose advances she had apparently rebuffed. Afterwards, he described her as “a large, coarse-skinned young woman but with something of [Lord Byron’s] features, particularly the mouth.” Not only was Ada a beautiful and intelligent woman who had a hand in the development of the first computer, but her interaction with Mr. Hobhouse inspired an early version of today’s internet troll commenters.

Mrs. Lovelace died in 1852 at the young age of thirty-six from the bloodletting attempted by her physicians to cure her uterine cancer. A century and a half later The Analytical Engine was finally built, and the computer language Ada named in her behalf.

The Analytical EnGine Cocktail –


  • 2 oz gin
  • 3/4 oz orange liqueur (TheNerdista used Triple Sec)
  • The Juice of 1 freshly squeezed lime (about 1/2 oz)
  • 2 dashes aromatic bitters (TheNerdista used Angostura)


Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with a generous amount of ice. The Analytical EnGine tastes best when you shake it till you earn one cardio exercise unit for the week. Shake, shake, shake this baby till the liquid is filled with tiny shards of broken ice. Strain cocktail into a martini glass. Serve immediately!


The century-and-a-half difference between the invention of Babbage’s Analytical Engine and its production so many generations later is the basis for the Alternate History genre Steampunk. Babbage’s machine wasn’t built in the 1850’s due to lack of funding but many authors imagine how the world might have looked if the computer age came during the victorian era. One such book exploring this idea, and featuring the character of Ada Lovelace, is The Difference Engine, penned by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling.

Love, TheNerdista

Posted in Cocktail, Computers & Tech, From the Halls of Academia, From the Laboratory, General Geeky Nerdiness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Tribute Cocktail: The Steve Jobs Appletini

Steve Jobs 1955-2011

This simple tribute to the man who touched and changed so many lives is a Steve Jobs’ asthetic version of the Appletini. This version utilizes completely clear ingredients devoid of color and is served simply and elegantly in a classic clear martini glass. Any hint of green or cloudy ingredient would not a proper tribute make.

The Steve Jobs Appletini Recipe


  • 2 oz. vodka, chilled
  • 2 oz. clear ginger apple vodka OR 1 oz. apple vodka and 1 oz. ginger vodka, chilled

***All ingredients must be perfectly clear. No exceptions.***


Add cocktail ingredients to shaker with a generous amount of ice. Shake vigorously. Strain cocktail into perfectly clear martini glass. Serve immediately.

Steve, you will be greatly missed.

Love, The Nerdista



Posted in Cocktail, Computers & Tech, From the Laboratory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Star Wars Imperial Belt

One of the fun things about deciding to build a movie accurate costume is it can open the door for you to work with new materials. Not only will you learn new skills, you’ll be required to execute them well. When The Nerdista decided to make a screen accurate Star Wars costume, I knew I’d be jumping feet first into gaining whole new skill sets.

Ooh shiny!

The Imperial Belt is worn in all three original trilogy Star Wars movies by members of the Empire:

Imperial Officers, Imperial Bridge Crew, Imperial Mechanical Crew, both variants of the Imperial Scanning Crew, all variations of TIE Pilots including the Reservist, Imperial Gunners, The Black NCO Uniform from A New Hope, Imperial Grand Admirals, Imperial Security Bureau members, Line and Staff Officers, Imperial Navy Troopers and Officers, 181st Fighter Wing Dress Uniforms, and many of the face characters from the original trilogy, prequels, and extended universe such as Grand Moff Tarkin, Admiral Daala’s Green Officer Uniform, Grand Admiral Thrawn, Juno Eclipse Rogue Shadow, Director of Intelligence Ysanne Isard, and TIE Pilot Baron Fel all utilize the Imperial Belt.

In case you are wondering, yes it is possible I missed a few here. I’m confident that one of you will let me know in the comments who I missed.

Obviously nearly every member of the Empire has an Imperial Belt in their wardrobe. I imagine even Stormtroopers must have one in their closet somewhere for when they are not busy not hitting anything with their BlasTech E-11 Blaster Rifles. I decided making my own Imperial Belt is an excellent place to start.

Unless you count summer camp as a child, I’ve never really worked with leather before. Fortunately there are excellent resources available for costumers and if you are interested in Star Wars costuming specifically, you’ll want to head over to the forums at the 501st and the Rebel Legion respectively. In fact, if you’re going to build or buy a Star Wars costume for anything other than a one-off for Halloween, do not start until you have visited these forums first. You will thank me later. For the Imperial belt, I found the home of the TIE Fighter Pilots the Jolly Roger Squadron Forums to be especially helpful.

I found nearly everything I needed to make my Imperial belt at Tandy Leather Factory. and bought the following items:

Natural Cowhide Belt Blank 2″ – item #44518-00
Rectangle Buckle Blank 2″ – item #11688-00
Fiebings Dye 4 oz USMC Black – item #2100-01
Fiebings Leather Balm with Atom Wax in Neutral 4 oz. – item #2180-00

I used a new kitchen sponge cut in half to apply the dye and the sealant. This created less streaking in my dye job than those small wool daubers. Pro Tip: lightly dampen the leather belt and the sponge with water for a smoother dye application. Remove the excess water from the sponge before applying the dye. You basically just want enough water to soften the sponge without having enough to leak when squeezed.

After spreading plastic down in a well ventilated area and donning a pair of disposable latex gloves, I used three coats of dye over the course of 12 hours, giving three to four hours of dry time in between coats. The gloves are a must since your skin is essentially unskinned leather and the dye won’t know the difference between your fingers and your belt. 🙂

Not long ago, this used to be cow colored.

In the meantime, I began the process of smoothing and giving my belt buckle a proper brushed finish. The Nerdista has never worked with metal before except when I went through the jewelry making obsession that strikes half the female population at one point or another. Imagine my surprise when buying a metal file, I discovered them described as “bastards.”

First there is the “Round Bastard.”

Next we have a slightly more personable file; it’s only a “Half Bastard.”

Half-Bastard or Half *Round* Bastard?

For those in a more rural area, there is a “Mill Bastard.”

Finally my personal favorite, the “Flat Bastard.”

I call him Stanley.

Starting with my Flat Bastard file and always moving horizontally across the face of the metal, I smoothed out all the wield marks. With 60 grit sandpaper wrapped around a block, I removed the file marks and put the brushed metal marks into the buckle. I finished with a 100 grit sanding sponge to refine the brushed finish. The key is to always, always file and sand in the same direction horizontally back and forth across the buckle.

After drying overnight and giving a light buff, I applied Atom Wax to the front, edges, and end of the now black leather belt. Four hours, and a more vigorous buff later, I had a finish shiny enough to not need a second coat of sealant.

Having zero metal machining ability, I bought an Imperial Code Disk greeblie from a member of the 501st named Elvis Trooper. Yes, Elvis + Stormtrooper = Elvis Trooper. ET has three styles available; the High Detail Disc without the notch is the most accurate for the Imperial Belt buckle. I used my file to slightly rough up a patch in the center of the buckle smaller than the greeblie so the epoxy would have a little more surface area to grab. I used the tiniest possible amount to attach my greeblie so it wouldn’t squirt out the sides. Pro Tip from an adhesive expert: since the buckle has a slight curve and the greeblie has a flat back, place a small bead of adhesive on the two sides of the greeblie but place barely any in the center. This way the adhesive will help to fill in the slight gap on the sides. Pro Tip 2: use less epoxy than you think you’ll need. It is way easier to apply more epoxy later than it is to clean up extra epoxy squirting out the sides. Think of the minimum possible epoxy you need and then use less.

To make the holes for your belt buckle you can buy a leather punch kit from Tandy but I recommend heading to your local shoe repair shop who will punch a hole for you for a nominal cost and possibly even free. They can also trim the end of your belt for you if your waistline is anything less than 46 inches. Use a black Sharpie to re-blacken the cut end.

Screen accurate Imperial Belts have a large silver snap or rivet on the belt about one inch to the left or right of the buckle. I read in several places where costumers have had difficulty finding secure, permanent solutions for this detail that won’t pop off the belt. One of about a million reasons why we need more females in the nerd kingdom is most crafty chicks I know could tell you in a heartbeat what item you can use that will be a permanent and secure addition to your belt. The “button” in question is a bedazzling stud. Specifically, it’s a “half-inch nickel-plated/silver heavy duty round domed stud,” the type with prongs you would use with that infamous as-seen-on-TV item the Bedazzler. I think this is just one of those crafts that’s often taught to females while you boys are off learning how to do something much cooler like start a campfire from a box of wet matches and a piece of pine straw. 🙂 [Nerdista edit: I’ve never actually used a Bedazzler; I just somehow have knowledge of these things. I blame Girl Scouts.]

Tandy actually sells these items too – Round Spots 1/2″ Nickel Plated  – but in packages of 100 for about ten bucks. It’s the type of thing a whole garrison might like to go in together for a bag.

Not actual size.

Now don’t go out and buy yourself a Bedazzler. I’ve seen them and the cheap plastic construction wouldn’t hold up to the toughness of your thick leather belt and would be a waste to apply only one decoration. You only need to obtain one of these studs, a pair of needle-nosed pliers, and something to punch some very small holes in the leather such as a fine leather punch, an exacto knife, or even the sharp tip of a dart.

Press the stud over the place you want, I placed mine on top of the belt snap, so that the two prongs make slight indentions into the leather. Now you know exactly where you want to place your holes.

The Nerdista's looked best on the first snap. Yours may look better on the second depending on your waistline.

Using your sharp implement of choice, make your holes. The Nerdista used a dart tip to make the holes shown above. Place the stud through the holes, using a pair of needle nosed pliers to pull the prongs through from the other side. Use the pliers to bend the prongs outward i.e., away from the snap. Voila! Finished!

Oh snap!


Love, The Nerdista

Posted in Cosplay, Costuming, & CausePlay, From the Laboratory, Sci-Fi, Star Wars | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Pirate Cocktail: Rumfustian

Fer September 19,  International Talk Like a Pirate Day, what could be better than a mid-to-late-seventeenth century recipe fer spiced grog that warmed th’ bones ‘o many a sea farin’ scurvy pirate – th’ Rumfustian. Thar be surprisin’ly no spiced rum in ’tis fizzy, scurvy pirate drink but that don’t stop many from misspellin’ it “Rum Fustian.” ‘Tis recipe isn’t fer lilly livered lasses ‘n sprogs, however. Th’ popularity ‘o th’ Rumfustian among “gentlemen ‘o fortune” possibly came from th’ drink’s high alcohol content. After a couple ‘o these ye’ll be loaded to th’ gunwales, so share wit’ ye hearty matey!

*AVAST YE!* ‘Tis recipe contains raw egg. Consumin’ raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, o’ eggs, may increase ye risk ‘o foodborne illness, especially if ye have certain medical conditions. Some may refrain from ’tis recipe because they not be wantin t be in Davy’s Grip!

Now tha’ we have th’ warnin’ fer th’ landlubbers out ‘o th’ way, let’s be on to th’ recipe! Quantities below ar’ fer one drink apiece. It’s Mateys!TM The Breakfast o’ Pirate Champions. Arrrrrr!

Ye In’redients:

  • 6 oz. (3/4 cup) beer o’ ale (ye fa’orite grog)
  • 2-3 oz. (1/3 cup) gin
  • 2-3 oz. (1/3 cup) dry sherry
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 pinch ‘o whole cloves
  • 1 lemon peel (twist t’ release flavor)
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 dash nutmeg

‘Ye Directions:
Put t’ grog, gin, an’ sherry in a saucepan with t’ cinnamon, cloves, an’ lemon peel and simmer just t’ t’ boilin’ point. While t’ mixture heats, beat t’ egg yolk with t’ sugar in a metal or glass bowl until frothy. Strain t’ cinnamon stick, cloves, an’ lemon peel out o’ t’ heated liquid an’ beat into t’ egg mixture till a light frothy foam forms on top. Garnish with a light sprinkle o’ nutmeg. Serve drink smartly while still warm.
Bonus points awarded fer warmin’ ye servin’ mugs prior to pourin’ ye scurvy pirate libation. ‘Tis can be done in th’ diswasher on th’ warmin’ settin’ or by immersin’ mugs in a sink full ‘o steamin’ water. (Dry prior t’ use.)

ye lass The Nerdista

Need more drinks t’ be a warming’ ye shiverin’ bones? Ye may also enjoy th’ likes o Butterbeer, another hot grog ser’ed in ‘e hearty mug.



Posted in Cocktail, From the Laboratory, General Geeky Nerdiness, Noms | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Doctor Who Tribute Cocktail: Sonic Screwdriver #9

The Doctor of Doctor Who rarely travels anywhere in the universe without two things: his TARDIS and his Sonic Screwdriver. One gets him where he needs to go and the other does everything else. What more fitting tribute for The Doctor than a drink matching the unique characteristics of each regeneration!

The Nerdista presents – the Doctor Who tribute cocktail The Sonic Screwdriver #9!

The 9th Doctor, played by Christopher Eccleston in the modern Doctor Who series, is a serious character and not nearly as bubbly as The 10th or The 11th Doctors. Because we never saw The 8th Doctor regenerate into The 9th Doctor, we don’t know exactly what happened to him (or if he even is the immediate regeneration of #8.) Later we discover our 9th Doctor lived through some incredibly life and time altering events that give him a great depth of sadness and mystery. Christopher Eccleston’s portrayal of The Doctor seems to carry the weight of this devastating history.

His sonic screwdriver tribute cocktail is more serious in construction than the 10th Sonic Screwdriver Cocktail or the 11th Sonic Screwdriver Cocktail. Don’t get me wrong. The 9th Doctor is still happy; he just seems to smile through an immense amount of pain. Fittingly, The 9th Doctor’s Sonic Screwdriver Cocktail is bitterness mixed with sweet.

The recipe and pictures are below and remember, this Sonic Screwdriver #9 is a The Nerdista original.


2 oz Clementine Vodka (or other orange citrus-flavored vodka of choice)
5-7 dashes of aromatic bitters
1/2 oz. simple syrup
3-4 oz water, well chilled
1-1.5 oz Blue Curacao liqueur (a blue colored orange liquor)

You’ll need two pieces of glassware to turn your ordinary screwdriver into one that’s sonic:
-a 6-10 fl oz (180 to 300 mL) clear rocks glass (also known as a lowball glass or old fashioned glass)
-a clear shot glass (1-1.5 fl oz or 44-50 ml)

Place the shot glass into the center of the empty rocks glass. The rim of the rocks glass needs to be taller than the shot glass after the shot glass is placed inside. If not, select a taller rocks glass or shorter shot glass.

Very carefully pour the 1 – 1.5 oz of Blue Curacao liqueur into the shot glass, without getting any inside your rocks glass, until the Blue Curacao liqueur comes just to the rim of the shot glass.

In a shaker, pour 2 oz of clementine vodka, 5-7 dashes of aromatic bitters, and 1/2 oz simple syrup. Shake with ice, and strain mixture into the bottom of your rocks glass without spilling any on the Blue Curacao filled shot glass in the middle. Now you want to pour enough water into your glass so that your cocktail *just* comes to the rim of the Blue Curacao filled shot glass without going over the edge.

Here is the result –


The blue looks so pretty in the center of the orange.

My fellow Whovians will recognize immediately what kind of shenanigans The Nerdista is up to here. The blue of the Blue Curacao isolated in the center of the cocktail mimics the look of the 9th Doctor’s instrument.

But wait . . . there’s more!

Just tip your Sonic Screwdriver #9 back and drink as normal; the shot glass will slide and mix blue curaçao with the rest of the cocktail each time you tilt your glass for a sip.

Now look at your cocktail.

When the blue curaçao mixes with the orange-colored cocktail, the result is nearly as black as The 9th Doctor’s leather jacket.

Enjoy! Love, the Nerdista

You may also be interested in other bits of Sonic alchemy – The Nerdista’s Sonic Screwdriver #10The Nerdista’s Sonic Screwdriver #11 and The 11th Doctor’s Gin Fez.

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Doctor Who: The Eighth Doctor aka The Unknown Doctor

Any knowledge of Doctor Who’s 8th Doctor is basically Geek-level knowledge of The Doctor. He only made one mostly unsuccessful appearance in film and despite a plethora of story lines fleshed out in the Eighth Doctor Adventures, very little is known about this particular regeneration.

Dick Wall, 1/4 of the Java Posse podcast, gave this excellent Lightning Talk at the 2011 Java Posse Roundup. Clocking in at just under five minutes, he outlines what you need to know about Doctor Who’s 8th Doctor, and sets up a bit of the mystery behind the appearance of Christopher Eccleston as The 9th Doctor in the first episode of the modern series. Watching this will make you either want to dig out more 8th Doctor information or may be just the perfect missing piece of Doctor Who lore your brain needs. Either way, Enjoy!

Fans of the Java Posse will recognize Joe Nuxoll on the right hand side of the video.

For other Lighting Talks on a variety of cool subjects, visit the Java Posse YouTube channel.

Love, The Nerdista

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