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Gargle Blaster
You just need to get used to it!

"Never drink any drink with a paper umbrella in it, never drink any drink with a humorous name, and never drink any drink that changes colour when the last ingredient goes in."
Mustrum Ridcully, Hogfather

A drink so potent the whole room hushes when someone orders it. The bartender pales and asks, "Are you sure?", and then, after putting on a welding mask and asbestos gloves, takes the bottle out of a locked safe and pours it with tongs. When the stirring spoon is removed, it's been melted away, and the ice cubes jump out with a yelp when dropped into it. And that's just the beginning of the fun.

Consumption often results in a Fire-Breathing Diner, Intoxication Ensues, the Mushroom Samba, or if you're lucky, quick, merciful unconsciousness. If you're UNlucky, all of the above. Except unconsciousness, at least until the least opportune moment.

A common scene involves a character (often a Cloud Cuckoolander) downing an entire Gargle Blaster and suffering no ill effects, causing everyone else in the room to be thoroughly confused. Someone else tries it, because obviously it must be weaker than it's supposed to be, and ends up with the usual effects.

Named after the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy; drinking one has been compared to "having your brains smashed out with a slice of lemon wrapped around a large gold brick." You may need a Hideous Hangover Cure to recover from it. The Screwball Serum is an explicitly non-alcoholic variant, whose end results may be equally disturbing. Another variant is the Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce, which is served as a condiment, not as a drink. For the opposite, see Klatchian Coffee. May be served with a Masochist's Meal.

Count on the Military Moonshiner dishing up this.

Beware of anyone who has this as their Drink Order.

Contrast with I Drank What?, when someone drinks something that's not supposed to be drunk at all. Compare/Contrast with Unsuspectingly Soused, when someone drinks a Gargle Blaster without realizing it's alcoholic, and A Tankard of Moose Urine, when beer is just bad without excessive (or necessarily any) alcohol content.

Example subpages


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    Comedy 
  • In one bit, Patton Oswalt talks about the Guinness in Ireland, which he describes as tasting like a "cupcake and handjob smoothie". He goes on to say, "You don't even realize you're getting drunk, until two hours later, when you're punching a fire hydrant."
  • Jay Mohr talks about the "gret" beer he had at a pub in Scotland, which he describes as "black, with leaves in it, and piping hot. I took one sip, and instantly shit my pants."

    Comic Books 
  • In the Achille Talon album Viva Papa!, the only product of the Banana Republic of Tapasambal is an alcohol made from cactus juice. The locals seem able to drink it without trouble, but when the hero and his sidekick Lefuneste sip a little, they instantly turn red and produce cartoonish jets of steam. Along with the obligatory Les Tontons flingueurs (see films) Shout-Out: "Cha, ch'est une boichon d'homme, cha!" ("Now, jhat'sh a men'sh drink, jhat!").
  • In Buck Godot: Zap Gun for Hire, nigh everything served at Al's bar is one of these. This is a plot point when one of the PSmith collective decides to sample a little of everything, expecting to be drunk at worst, and instead gets floored so fast and so hard that the rest of the collective think he's been murdered.
    Buck: Al, anything you serve can be considered "alcohol" in the same sense that a fractal bomb can be considered an "explosive"...
  • Knights of the Dinner Table has a couple of examples:
    • During a Hackmaster campaign, a particular bar requires first-time patrons to order Gut Busters. They use it to weed out low-level characters; drinking a drink of it does 1d10 damage, which is more than most first-level characters have. Bob's character, after being assaulted by certain patrons, gets a double, forgetting both that he's been injured and that each shot does 1d10 damage. He dies from the drink, to the shame of his party members.
    • And Mojo Dave's "mojo juice". Sipping it causes "Hawg" Waller to pass out.

    Fan Works 
  • Bait and Switch has the "Hathon hammer", a cocktail made from bloodwine (a Klingon liquor twice as potent as whiskey), kava juice, and kanar (a Cardassian liquor). It's described as being tasty, but like its name says it hits you like a hammer. Eleya also calls the bartender who invented it insane.
  • The Shadowchasers series has some potent potables that are not meant to be drunk by humans.
    • The original fic introduced viperwine, a type of whiskey made from Indian pit viper venom, which is lethal to anyone except reptilian Shadowkind. You need a special permit to sell it legally.
    • Shadowchasers Ascension introduced some drinks that consumed by devils (who cannot get drunk from alcohol, due to their supernatural anatomy, and need to consume magical substances to experience intoxication). Rank and file devils drink gughalaki, which is compared to very strong rum, and delivers "a powerful, nearly hallucinogenic punch". Upper class devils, including the Big Bad Jalie Squarefoot, drink Demon's Blood from wine glasses, the equivalent of fine wine to the aristocracy of Hell

    Gamebooks 
  • Bor-brew ale from the Lone Wolf series doesn't look that threatening and even has a pleasant taste ("malted apples"). It has a fearsome reputation because it's the favored beer of dwarves. The first time Lone Wolf can drink it, he runs the risk of falling unconscious and waking up with a hangover that robs him of Endurance. Later it seems the brew became even more potent; the second time he can drink it, he runs the risk of suffering horrifying hallucinations, falling unconscious, and waking up with a hangover that again robs him of Hit Points. Yes, even the beer is trying to kill Lone Wolf.

    Radio 
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
    • The aforementioned "Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster" from is described as the best drink in existence. It also says that the effect of a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster is like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick, and it sums the entire drink up as the alcoholic equivalent of a mugging. That is to say, expensive and bad for the head. It was invented by Galactic President Zaphod Beeblebrox who, naturally, has had a few. The book noted that there exist a number of twelve step programs on numerous worlds that can help a person begin recovering from the drink. Not recovering from a drinking habit, mind you, just from one drink. In the TV series, it corrodes a table. It's worth noting that the incident where the table was corroded occurred when a drinker collapsed after one sip. Whether the person was unconscious or dead is entirely unclear.
    • Hitchhiker's Guide also features Old Janx Spirit, which in addition to getting people drunk also suppresses their telepsychic powers. (This property is exploited in an amusing Drinking Game, which Ford plays to lose.) An old Orion mining song describes its side effects as: "my head will fly, my tongue will lie, my eyes will fry and I may die". Naturally, it's an ingredient in the Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster.

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