You Are What You Drink: From Star Trek improv to Sommelier

By Jason Zinger

In addition to playing music in The Dandies’ Star Trek improv spoof, Holodeck Follies, I’m a Bartender and Sommelier at some of Toronto’s best spots. Sometimes it can be fun to pair a person’s personality with their drink of choice. Here’s what I think a few of my favourite Star Trek: The Next Generation characters would be ordering if they sat down at one of my bars.

Star Trek improv and Bartending collide with these TNG drink orders…

Commander Riker – Old Fashioned

This cocktail has gained real traction over the past ten years. There’s many small variations of it but the main ingredients always remain the same. It’s simple yet complex. Classic but also modern. Reserved yet unrestricted. Riker strikes me as the kind of person that appreciates subtlety, but is also outspoken and would enjoy good stiff drink that has layers. An Old Fashioned definitely fits this bill.

Captain Picard – Classic Gin Martini

The gin martini strikes imagery of classic beauty. The Captain has so much going on that, when it’s time to relax, he probably just wants something simple, strong, and delicious. That describes a gin martini perfectly. The great thing about this cocktail is there can be so many variations. If the Captain is feeling like something a little different, he can order it dirty, burnt, or even reverse.

Commander Data – Vodka Soda

If Data could imbibe, it would be the most simple of drinks. That is not because he himself is simple, but because the act of drinking would be so unfamiliar that he’d have to start at the beginning. A base spirit with no flavour mixed with something to dilute it that also has no flavour. I feel like he’d step up to my bar and simply say ‘vodka soda. No lime.’ Because – you know – lime has flavour.

Lieutenant Commander Worf – Barolo

Barolo is a wine made from the nebbiolo grape in Piedmont, Italy. It’s high in natural acidity and tannins, making it a very upfront wine in its youth. This is much like Worf in his TNG days. But as Barolo ages, the acid and tannins soften and develop into something softer, more subtle, and more complex. This is like what we saw Worf grow into on DS9 with his relationship with Dax. If Worf were to sit down at my bar, I’d do my best to convince him to try some nice Barolo instead of his usual prune juice.

Deanna Troi – Pinot Grigio

As a telepath, Troi always has other people’s thoughts in her head and, as ship’s Counselor, she’s responsible for the emotional well-being of every crew member. That’s why I imagine if she were to order a drink from me, it’d be a nice, crisp, fresh, simple Pinot Grigio. No need to think about the drink – you only need to enjoy.

Ready to have your drink of choice as you enjoy some Star Trek improv? Catch Holodeck Follies the second Saturday of every month at Comedy Bar!