What’s wrong with this sentence?
“Whoopi Goldberg’s character, an immortal bartender named after a Prohibition speakeasy owner, served up Romulan Ale on the Starship Enterprise.”
Everything, you might say, because that made no sense.
Or, you might note that Romulan Ale could not be sold on the Enterprise because the Federation banned its importation.
If you answered the latter, you’re a Star Trek fan — and you’re also the target market for a new line of alcoholic beverages.
The first was James T. Kirk Straight Bourbon Whiskey, named after the redoubtable captain of the original Enterprise.
Now there’s Ten-Forward vodka from Silver Screen Bottling, named after the bar on the Enterprise 1701-D. That’s where Whoopi’s character, Guinan, dispensed drinks and vague advice.
Since vodka is a colorless, flavorless spirit, what makes this one different?
The bottle design, of course.
The vodka’s bottle looks like the interfaces in “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and it’s no cheap imitation. Silver Screen hired Michael Okuda, designer of the Trek computer controls, to create the bottle. It’s like getting Leonard Nimoy to design a Q-tip box.
But a vodka really needs a gimmick to stand out.
Ten-Forward has a gimmick aimed right at the target market: It’s vodka from space.
The company claims each bottle has a portion of a shipment of vodka that was sent into space. A high-altitude balloon lofts a payload of vodka about 50 miles into the mesosphere. When it comes back, a small portion is blended into the vats of earthbound vodka.
It’s a natural fit. Alcohol always had a role in Trek. Scotty got an Andromeda invader tipsy with some whiskey. The Klingons drank Blood Wine, although Lt. Worf was partial to prune juice, declaring it a “warrior’s drink.” The Cardassians — not to be confused with the Kardashians — drank kanar, a potent liqueur.
True Star Trek geeks know that Ten-Forward lounge didn’t serve alcohol, its drinks made from synthehol. It supposedly tasted like the real thing, and it got you tipsy, but the effects could be “easily dismissed,” said the late Gene Roddenberry, the show’s creator.
That’s not the case with Ten-Forward vodka, the Kirk bourbon or other yet-to-be invented varieties, such as, say, Jim Beam Me Up, Scotty. □