Daily Illuminator

March 19, 2024: Experiencing Arrakis With Spice Flavored Drinks

Frank Herbert's Dune has been a mainstay of science fiction since it was first published in 1965. There have been numerous interpretations of the original novel for both the small and big screens, including the most recent films by Canadian director Denis Villenueve. I'm a fan of both Villeneuve's version and the David Lynch film from 1984, but there's one version of the Dune saga that I have yet to fully experience. You see, the YouTube channel How To Drink has an episode that centers on a very niche aspect of Dune – namely, the flavor of the all-important spice Melange. 
Greg, the host of the series, creates hilarious videos focusing on alcoholic and non-alcoholic drink recipes from both the past and the present. However, some of his best segments focus on beverages of a more fantastical nature. To that end, he has made several episodes in which he tries to make drinks based on descriptions drawn from Dungeons & Dragons, Baldur's Gate 3, Cyberpunk 2077, Skyrim, and other games. But my hands-down favorite episode is the one where he shows his love for Dune, right down to recreating the entire monologue from the beginning of the David Lynch film. 
According to Greg, Melange is described as having a flavor that is similar to cinnamon, but with hints of both bitter and citrus notes. Using a combination of cinnamon, gentian root, wormwood, and orange blossom water, he creates a simple "Spice Syrup" that he uses as a flavoring agent in two original recipes – Spice Beer (similar to root beer) and Spice Coffee (an alcoholic dessert drink). They both sound incredible, and not just because I'm a sucker for fantasy recipes. The combination of flavors would lend itself well to a host of beverages and desserts – I can already imagine both Spice Hot Chocolate and some sort of Spice Sponge Cake. I look forward to trying out these recipes and enjoying them with family and friends, perhaps as we gaze at the stars and contemplate stories of other worlds and far-flung futures.

-- Katie Duffy

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