Drinking is fun. Drinking responsibly is better, sure. But the point is, drinking is fun. And between the release of Bethesda's Fallout beer and Activision's own accompanying beverage for Black Ops 3, we've been thinking about drinks and games - specifically, drinks that feature in games.
There have been loads of fictional drinks featured in games, some of which we'd actually quite like to try. Here's a rundown of the top 10 tipples we'd like to see in our local.
Grog - Monkey Island
It might burn straight through pewter tankards and be a phosphorescent green colour normally associated with superhero origin stories, but Grog always looks lip-smackingly delicious. Look at all those happy pirates in the Scumm bar, swigging it back! Those addled, toothless maws are eternally cracked in what could be construed as a smile. And the pirate leaders are so confident in its health benefits that they reveal something of the secret recipe.
"Grog is a secret mixture that contains one or more of the following: Kerosene, Propylene Glycerol, Artificial Sweeteners, Sulphuric Acid, Rum, Acetone, Red Dye No. 2, Scumm, Axle Grease, Battery Acid, and/or Pepperoni."
It comes in standard, Diet, Cherry, Classic, Caffeine Free, Near, Lite, XD and Root Beer varieties. Guybrush describes Lite Grog as "like real grog, only without the taste, calories, or debilitating blackouts."
Chateau Romani - Legend of Zelda: Majora's
Some say The Legend of Zelda is for children, and that just because millions of adults play it, it doesn't change the fact it's intended for people who aren't big enough to ride rollercoasters.
Yet The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask includes a drink so strong you have to be a member of a special club to drink it. A drink so strong that it costs the extortionate cost of 200 rupees a serving, meaning you have own an Adult Wallet. A drink so strong that in-game children aren't allowed to drink it, unless they're deemed mature enough - or if they're about to die.
That drink is Chateau Romani, and it's vintage milk which can only be bought from the exclusive Milk Bar in East Clock Town.
Root Beer - Tapper
We always suspected Tapper of brewing up something more than old root beer. After all, the game was made in association with the bland American lager Budweiser. Even if the beer had been the much superior Budvar, we still couldn't have understood what it was that kept his customers coming back and being quite so thirsty.
These guys drink infinite amounts of beer - they'll keep drinking until the impact of catching enough beer glasses drives them back out of the door. Otherwise, they'll advance on Tapper like beer-zombies, hurling him out of the door if they catch him.
Of course, Tapper became Root Beer Tapper shortly after released because of that whole pesky 'advertising alcohol to minors' thing, and Budweiser changed to Mountain Dew. Which, as journalists, we can't endorse, without some tasty corn chips. Anyway, whatever the beer is that Tapper's serving, alcoholic or not, we want to drink it.
Nuka Cola - Fallout
In the grim darkness of the far future, there are only... bottle caps? And occasionally full bottles of Nuka Cola.
There must have been a reason that Nuka Cola became the most popular drink in the Fallout world before the War. It's hard to tell from the surviving samples, sadly, as by the time of Fallout they're flat, warm and irradiated. But its caps have become the currency of the post-apocalypse.
Apparently, Nuka-Cola is made like any other Cola, from caramel colouring, sweetener, phosohoric acid, caffeine, citric acid, potassium benzoate... and seventeen different fruits, including passion fruit.
Nuka Cola, like Grog, comes in a variety of makes. Clear is… clear, but tastes the same. Quartz was made for the US Southwest, and is clear with a white tint and glow. Victory is also unique to the Southwest but is orange. And Quantum was a late-production version that included two unique ingredients - pomegranate and a mild isotope, Strontium-90, which was strong enough to make a drinker's urine glow orange.
Bonk! Atomic Punch - Team Fortress 2
While Nuka-Cola was mostly accidentally irradiated, TF2's Bonk! series of radioactive drinks are most certainly intended to make your innards look like glowworms. Atomic Punch comes in four flavours we know about - Cherry Fission, Blutonium Berry, Exothermic Eggnog and Mulled Mistletopes.
According to the Bonk Leadwear description, it was invented by soft drink tycoon Theophilus Bonk, by taking the basic ingredients of a battery - zinc, ammonium chloride and molten salt - and adding sugar. Several hundred times the RDA of sugar. Which means each can must weigh an absolute ton.
When drunk, it renders the scout invulnerable for eight seconds, during which time he can't attack or carry the intelligence cases around.
What's odd is that Bonk! Atomic Punch has a pull-tab, which was last used in the late 80s. These cans are well out of date...
Witcher Moonshine - The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
Think like Geralt for a second. You've been hunting your adopted daughter for years. Now finally, she's nearly within your grasp - but you have to wait a night for an experiment of your mentor's to almost certainly fail. And you've a choice of spending that night with your love, Yen, who you've not seen properly in years, or your two oldest, most curmudgeonly companions - two fellow Witchers, one of whom has taken up brewing moonshine in his spare time. (Spoilers after the break).
Suffice to say, if you choose the latter option, the evening ends well. With all three Witchers drunk on Moonshine to the point of utter degradation and Eskil having been licked awake by his pet goat, they decide to do a prank call. Except they plan to use Yennefer's magical megascope to prank call the other members of the Lodge of Sorcesseres (probably the most powerful magic wielders in the world) while wearing Yen's dresses, to reassure them. Which is when Yen catches them, mid-call.
The hangover the following morning looks spectacular.
Sunshine - Dwarf Fortress
Dwarves in Dwarf Fortress have heard of water. They've probably seen it underground a few times, where they've deemed it both a menace to mine workings and essential for operating certain mechanisms. But they'll only drink it in dire straits. Alcohol is their absolutely-basic beverage from childhood, and they increasingly trudge the feet the more withdrawn they are from it. Good booze even increases the effect of their happy thoughts.
So it's essential in a working Fortress that they create their own booze, from the strange plants that they grow underground for food. There any many useful ingredients - the classic Plump helmet makes a nice Dwarven Wine, while Rat Weed makes a poor Sewer Brew. But nothing, at all, matches a nice glass of Sunshine, brewed from the Sun Berry, which only grows aboveground, and makes them happier than anything else around.
Hefecrocken - Deus Ex
Deus Ex: Human Revolution has a nice range of ales for Adam Jensen to metabolize in seconds using his cyber-kidneys - there's Nanbou Beer, the Old Folks Brown Ale, Purple Dragon and Paul Neumann's Pilsner. Jensen, however, isn't know for his tastes in fine craft beers or real ales, so he'd probably go for Hefecrocken, which is a sort of wheat beer pastiche of Hereweizen.
The bottle says "A premium unfiltered wheat beer, Hefecrocken is brewed from a strain of certified genetically "Pure" Weiss-hops and natural spring water. Stay pure. Say Hefecrocken. Hefecrocken Brauerei is a division of Steiner-Bisley GmbH."
The one we'd like to try is Mahara Jah Hot Devil Ale. But we couldn't find a picture of that, so Hefecrocken it is.
Pißwasser - Grand Theft Auto IV & V
Ah, the subtle joys of Grand Theft Auto. While Bioshock stocks the refined Arcadia Merlot, A subtle fragrant wine, Rockstar's puerile opus focuses on advertising a German wine that's supposedly made from "the fresh urine of Bavarian virgins." The slogan of the beer is "You're In For A Good Time", while the bottles warn "Cheap German Lager For Export Only". Even the pump labels apparently say "Ü-Rhine"
Indeed, Rockstar goes to great lengths to drive the joke home, advertising the brew on billboards, radio stations, the internet and television in the game, with a jingle that may well be spoofing Budweiser.
We don't really want to drink this, on reflection.
Shadowbanish Wine - The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
There's a huge array of booze in the Elder Scrolls series, but the best of it is Shadowbanish wine. Not only does it taste incredible, it has the Night Eye enchantment on it, so the drinker can see in the dark.
Of course, it was designed for noble purposes, according to Nerussa at the Wawnet inn, who collects this rare wine. "The vintner made it special for the Legion soldiers posted at the forts when they were active long ago. It was perfect for keeping lookouts warm on cold nights and helping them see better in the dark."
For us, it sounds very useful for that 4am stumble home, a khajiiti kebab clutched in one Dovahkiin paw.