Let's have some juice for the Jedi! We're celebrating 'May The 4th Be With You' Day aka all things Star Wars, here at Slurrp. And what could be better than a small sip of this drink from a Galaxy far, far away that's captured our imaginations here on Earth?
This post was originally published as part of our daily newsletter, Just One Thing. Subscribe here. (We're awesome about not spamming your inbox!)
AS DRINKS GO, Jawa Juice doesn’t have a particularly memorable introduction sequence in the Star Wars universe. Unlike, for instance, Green Milk, which we saw Luke Skywalker obtain himself from a Thala-Siren, and chug fresh. It clearly doesn’t have the universal appeal of Blue Milk, which was delicious enough to be incorporated into recipes for butter, buttermilk biscuits, cheese, custard, ice cream, yoghurt and mixed alcoholic drinks. Still, Jawa Juice has a certain mystique.
We first encounter the drink at Dex’s Diner in CoCo Town, Coruscant (Attack Of The Clones). Obi-Wan (Ewan McGregor) strides in, is offered the beverage by FLO the waitress droid, and settles down in a booth to enjoy a glass of it. Diner owner Dexter Jettster also joins in. We don’t really know whether or not Jawa Juice has the psychedelic look of Green Milk or the pleasing hues of Blue. The tumblers Dex and Obi-Wan drink from are unfortunately opaque. What we do know, however, is that the Jawa Juice packs a potent punch.
Its name, it turns out, is a misnomer. First, it’s not a juice — it’s an alcoholic beverage, made from fermented grains (and another ingredient we’ll get to in a moment). Its flavour profile should be similar to a sharp/sour/bitter mead. Second, it contains no Jawas. The rodent-like Jawas have a few excellent virtues, but we’re fairly certain being delicious (when made into juice) isn’t one of them. Despite the absence of juiced Jawas though, the drink can’t carry a “no beings were harmed in the making of this beverage” label.
Jawa Juice’s actual name is Ardees, the same as the beverage company that manufactures it. And its major ingredient — apart from the aforementioned fermented grains — is Bantha hide. Banthas, like the Jawas, are found on the planet of Tatooine, but that’s where the resemblance ends. A cross between the woolly mammoth and long-horned bison of yore, the large and furry Banthas serve as pack animals.
Bantha skin is used to make boots and other clothing, and their meat and milk features in a variety of foods across the Galaxy. The famed Blue Milk, so beloved of all beings, is obtained from Banthas. Their hide, as we know, goes into Jawa Juice. There’s a third drink — Bantha-Blood Fizz — made from exactly the ingredients you’d imagine based on its name, unlike Jawa Juice.
While Jawa Juice may no longer sound quite as appealing once we realise there are bits of hairy Bantha hide in it, the fact remains that our real world cocktails aren’t above using meat to enhance their flavour profile either. From bone broth and beef stock to “fat washing” (where a spirit is “made savoury with rendered fat, such as bacon”) and drinks with actual slivers of meat (or even a whole chicken!) in them — there’s a history of this sort of usage and it isn’t newfangled either.
Of course, even in the Galaxy there’s no mention of a beer made from coffee beans that were — checks notes — pooped out by elephants. Which is a drink that actually exists in our world. Now can Jawa Juice really compare?