Growing up, I spent an embarrassingly large portion of my childhood dressed up as Luke Skywalker. (I hadn't realized yet that Han Solo is the cool one.) Back then, I would have been elated to know that so many new Star Wars films awaited me as an adult. Fans have ample reason to celebrate: After enjoying Rogue One this past Christmas, we can look forward to The Last Jedi (Episode VIII) this December, and a Han Solo movie next spring.
But who wants to wait until December to watch another Star Wars movie? To celebrate May 4 (as in, May the Fourth Be With You), invite your friends, marathon your favorite Star Wars flicks, and try these cocktails inspired by a galaxy far, far away. At the end of the evening, raise a toast to the Rebel Alliance. This was definitely the party your friends were looking for.
DARTH VADER'S LIQUIFIED LIGHTSABER (CHERRY WHISKEY SMASH)
If your friends are anything like mine, they will try to convince you the prequels are actually worth watching. I'd advise you to take a shot every time teenage Anakin whines, but you'd quickly reach dangerous levels of intoxication. Instead, drink this Darth Vader-inspired cocktail and console yourself with the knowledge that soon, Anakin will transform into the black-caped villain we all love, voiced by the definitely-not-whiney James Earl Jones. With its muddled cherries floating in liquor, this Cherry Whisky Smash evokes Vader's crimson lightsaber. (It's traditionally served in a rocks glass, but if you pour it into a taller glass like a champagne flute, it will look more like a lightsaber.)
1 ounce Jack Daniels whiskey
1 ounce cherry juice
1/2 ounce amaretto
1/2 ounce ginger brandy
2 ounces cherry cola
5 maraschino cherries
Add cherries to the bottom of the glass and muddle until smashed. Add ice. In a cocktail shaker add Jack Daniels, cherry juice, amaretto and brandy, shaking for 15 seconds to combine. Pour over ice, then top off with cherry cola and stir. Serve with additional cherries if desired.
Source: How Sweet It Is
LUKE SKYWALKER'S LIQUIFIED LIGHTSABER (THE FRESH SUNRISE)
Not a fan of the Dark Side? Raise your glass to the rebellion with this blue cocktail inspired by Luke Skywalker's lightsaber in A New Hope. Just like Darth Vader's cocktail, go ahead and serve this one in a champagne flute. Covertly glance around the room as you sip. You'll know your enemies by the color of their (cocktail) lightsabers.
3 lemon wedges
1 teaspoon sugar
4 ounces Alizé Bleu
Put lemon wedges in a shaker with sugar and muddle (mush them together). Pour in Alizé Bleu, top with ice, and shake vigorously. Then strain into a champagne flute and top with sparkling wine.
FROSTED HOTH (SALTY DOG)
By this time in the evening, you should have made it through the prequels (thank God), enjoyed A New Hope, and begun The Empire Strikes Back (a.k.a. the best Star Wars movie). Celebrate with a Salty Dog — a cocktail that looks like it could have been mixed from the snowy surface of Hoth. Rimmed with coarse salt that could pass for frost, this refreshing cocktail is made with vodka and grapefruit juice. Just be glad you don't have to crawl inside a tauntaun to drink it.
Juice of 1/2 yellow grapefruit, plus more for wetting rim of glass
1 1/4 ounces vodka
2 teaspoons simple syrup
Spread coarse salt on a small plate. Wet rim of a glass with fresh yellow grapefruit juice; dip rim in salt and add ice to glass. Combine vodka, juice of 1/2 yellow grapefruit and simple syrup, and pour into glass.
Source: Everyday Food
YODA'S SWAMP WATER
When I watched The Empire Strikes Back as a kid, Yoda was my favorite character. Maybe because I wanted to train with him on Dagobah? With this Swamp Water Cocktail, I can finally come close ... although I'm sure the lime-flavored drink tastes a lot better than the murky waters of Yoda's home planet. After you and your guests down a cocktail or two, you might even see your glasses levitate. The Force is strong with this drink.
3 parts powdered lime drink
2 parts apricot brandy
1 part lime vodka
Splash sweetened lime juice
In a large pitcher, mix all ingredients together. Pour into glasses filled with ice.
Makes 1 large pitcher.
Source: Food Network
Princess Leia's Daiquiri
What kind of cocktail could properly represent Princess Leia? Simple, strong and elegant. Not only does this classic daiquiri's cream color hint at her white uniform from A New Hope, it also encapsulates her spirit. This recipe is unique, since the daiquiri is neither frozen nor mixed with fruit: Instead, it's simply light rum, shaken with sugar, lime juice and ice, then strained into a chilled cocktail glass. The recipe's creator praises it for its authenticity — a quality we can attribute not only to Leia, but to the late Carrie Fisher. Let's toast to her.
2 ounces light rum (you can also use gold rum, but dark rum can be too heavy)
3/4 ounce fresh-squeezed lime juice (about 1/2 of a lime)
1 teaspoon sugar
Pour sugar and lime juice into a cocktail shaker and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the rum and fill shaker with ice; shake well for 10 seconds and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a wedge of lime.
Source: Serious Eats
HAN SOLO'S AVIATION
At first I thought about suggesting you swig from a bottle of bourbon to honor Han Solo's tough-guy swagger. But isn't he more than just a hardened smuggler? Of course he is. What Han loves most in the world — sorry, Leia — is the Millennium Falcon. This cocktail's name says it all. "Aviation" is an elegant homage to the power of flight. If you drink it fast enough, you might just be able to make the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.
1 1/2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1 to 2 dashes maraschino liqueur (about 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon), such as Luxardo
2 dashes creme de violette (about 1 teaspoon)
1 maraschino cherry (such as Luxardo), stem removed, for garnish
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add gin, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur and creme de violette. Shake well. Strain into a coupe or martini glass and garnish with cherry.
Source: Martha Stewart
C-3P0'S GOLDEN CADILLAC
It wouldn't be a Star Wars party without droids. But what cocktail could capture the iconic personality of C-3P0? After a quick poll, I learned that my friends envisioned him as everything from a Manhattan to a Moscow Mule. You can decide what drink fits him best. I went with a Golden Cadillac, since the blend of vanilla ice cream and orange liqueur is a nice break from the many martinis in this line-up. (Plus, the sweet treat hints at the soft side of our favorite android.)
1/2 shot anise liqueur
1/2 shot orange liqueur like Grand Marnier
1 shot white creme de cacao
Splash orange juice
1 pint vanilla ice cream
Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until thick and creamy.
Source: Food Network
REY'S JAKKU (TEQUILA) SUNSET
Your guests are bound to break down into two categories: fans of The Force Awakens, or fans of Rogue One. If you serve this Jakku Sunset (also known as a Tequila Sunset) in honor of Rey, you might stir up some controversy. But what's a Star Wars party without a heated fan debate? In this tequila cocktail, reddish pomegranate juice fades into the softer hues of orange juice, evoking the colors of a Jakku desert at sundown.
4 cups orange juice, preferably fresh (from about 8 oranges)
2 cups tequila
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
In a large pitcher, combine orange juice and tequila. In each of six glasses, place 3 tablespoons pomegranate juice, then ice, then tequila mixture. Serve, stirring just before drinking.
Source: Everyday Food