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Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Cocktails: Tasting Notes for 11 Doctor-themed Doc-tails

Welcome back to Doc-tails, a two-part post in anticipation of Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary! In part one of this boozestravaganza, we introduced you to the concepts and recipes for 11 cocktails—one for each incarnation of the Doctor so far. In this post, a veritable Companionship—Interrogation? Paradox?—of fans prepare the beverages in question, getting their geek on with photos and tasting notes.

Unless otherwise specified, the photos below are by Elaine Gallagher; tasting notes by Elaine, Al, Kit, and myself were made based on the beverages prepared by Taay of Blue Dog, a Glasgow cocktail bar. Let’s get started!

William Hartnell: THE AZTECS (crème de cacao, cream, tequila)
Doctor Who Cocktails

Amal: The aftertaste is phenomenal. Mostly chocolate milk but with a wry, sardonic edge contributed by the tequila.

Al: The zip of the tequila punches through the Cadbury taste of the cream and the chocolate. A terrific cocktail to round off the evening; but after all, that’s how it all started.

Kit: I saved this for very last, so some of the fine details of the evening became blurry at this point. Did… did I almost marry a middle-aged Mexican woman?

Patrick Troughton: THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMEN (Bailey’s Irish Cream, peppermint schnapps, iced coffee, crushed ice, mint)

Doctor Who Cocktails

Photo by Kate Heartfield

Kate: I was out of ice so I made this with snow from the back deck, in my TARDIS mug. Cool, refreshing and dangerous.

Kit: This is a dessert, not a drink. Choc-mint notes in iced coffee. What booze was in this again?

Amal: Like a liquid After-Eight! Mint-chocolate-coffee. Unbelievably delicious!

Al: The coffee carries the mint over the line, with the creaminess of the Bailey’s settling quietly in the background. A cocktail to get the brain buzzing; very apt for drinkers of great intelligence.

Jon Pertwee: THE GREEN DEATH (overproof rum, Midori, pineapple juice, Sprite, cherries)

Doctor Who CocktailsElaine: Pineapple flavour and the smell of the glace cherries make a very fruity experience.

Amal: Pineapple first, with a creamy note that resolves into the melony Midori. After biting into a glace cherry, a mouthful of the drink becomes a fruitsplosion in my mouth.

Kit: Crème de Cassis cuts and mitigates the Midori, letting the juice taste linger. Still dominantly green, though. Should this not be mescal-based with a maggot at the bottom?

Al: Tastes like being caught in a Venusian Aikido attack, with Midori making its presence felt before allowing the other tastes to step to the forefront. One to taste then taste again.

Tom Baker: THE SUN MAKERS (Vodka, Cointreau, blood orange juice, fresh lime juice, cinnamon stick)

Doctor Who Cocktails

Photo by Alyson Macdonald

Alyson: Blood oranges are out of season so I used a combination of ordinary orange juice and raspberry syrup, which adds sweetness and the option to play around with layered “sunrise” effects. It’s a intensely orangey and has quite a kick, like an upgraded version of the basic vodka and orange you’d get in the pub. Attempts to use the cinnamon stick as a straw usually end in disappointment.

Kit: At first taste, mellow and less sweet than the colour suggests—the orange then comes up behind, and the flavours rise away to leave a sweet aftertaste. Maybe a dash of cinnamon as well as the stick could take the edge off?

Elaine: Lemonade scent and orange flavour. Very drinkable, but no cinnamon.

Amal: Mostly orange juice—no cinnamon detected.

Al: Smooth and summery, this one goes down easy. The cinnamon is a subtle presence, quite unlike the satirical slant to the original story…

Peter Davison: BLACK ORCHID (Vodka, raspberry liqueur, blueberry cordial, blackberries)
Doctor Who Cocktails
Elaine: fruit syrup and raspberries, very sweet and sticky.

Amal: Smell of Crème de Myrtle, and a top tasting note, but the contrast between the sweet syrup and dry alcohol is lovely.

Kit: All fruit on the nose, but no discernible blackberry in the taste—the syrup rushes the tongue, but dissolves into a very gently sour note.

Al: Lots of fruit on the nose, but the drink itself is more of a sedate country garden—the syrup comes and goes quickly like a red herring, leaving the fruit to reassert itself when the dust has settled. Very much a story in two parts.

Colin Baker: THE TWO DOCTORS (Plymouth Dr-y gin, Dr Pepper, Sazerac rye, Angostura bitters, cherry lollipop)

Doctor Who CocktailsKate: As Jamie said in episode 1, “He’s got his head doon, Doctor, and I can’t say I blame him.” The sips start bitter and end sweet. Pleasant and heady. I didn’t have a red lollipop but I did have a Colin Baker action figure.

Kit: Our cocktail architect Frankensteined his own Dr Pepper flavour out of available ingredients, and that dominates here. Subtle hidden flavours suit Colin’s performance in post Big Finish era.

Amal: Brown sugar, molasses—then the alcohol like a punch in the teeth. But in a nice way!

Elaine: Cola / brown sugar—easy to drink but not as palatable as some of the others this round.

Al: Feels like my childhood come to life in a cocktail—a spiky sweetness with a caramel finish. Like Colin Baker’s performance, it mellows as time goes on.

Sylvester McCoy: GHOST LIGHT (Maker’s Mark bourbon, peach schnapps, mint, shaved ice, simple syrup, peach slice)

Doctor Who CocktailsDouglas: No Makers available so Gentleman Jack was a thematic substitute though both are inappropriately un-English. Once properly stirred this became surprisingly drinkable.

Elaine: Heavy, main note is of peach, balancing the bourbon, especially if you’ve debated rye vs bourbon in terms of smoothness with your friends in the past.

Amal: Agreed with the heaviness, but there’s a lingering mint aftertaste that cuts through it.

Al: I’m a big bourbon fan so this was a terrific one for me—the mint comes through sharply afterward and carries the whole thing away.

Kit: A very chilled julep—the booze flavours nestle in the middle of the palate, then evaporate almost immediately to let the mint rise and fill the aftertaste completely.

Paul McGann: INTERFERENCE (Plymouth Dry gin, crème de cassis, elderflower cordial, white grapefruit juice, lemonade, fresh wild thyme)
Doctor Who Cocktails
Elaine: Sweet! Like alcoholic Ribena.

Amal: Delicious! Not getting much of the thyme, but it’s very tasty—grapefruit first, then elderflower rounds it off.

Kit: The sweetness rushes the tongue, but the fruit, elderflower and lemonade are all fairly well blended. A tangy kick from the gin follows, but then fades behind the sweetness. The wild thyme is barely detectable, as though she isn’t really part of this book drink…

Al: A zing from the lemonade sharpened up by the grapefruit and knocked into the long grass by the thyme. If I didn’t know this was the Eighth Doctor’s signature drink I’d peg it as the Fourth—there’s a definite undertone of jelly babies. So good it almost made me have a mini episode.

Christopher Eccleston: BOOM TOWN (Bourbon, sweet vermouth, sparkling wine, angostura bitters, cube of sugar, lemon peel twist)

Doctor Who CocktailsAmal: Sweet, then a bourbon SLAM, and the finish is all the sparkling white wine.

Kit: The sparkling smuggles in the other flavours. Bourbon and Vermouth erupt—Boom!—only at the back of the tongue and in the throat, after a silky, fizzy walkway into the palate. The Vermouth shows up only to complement the bourbon, no sweetness from it at all.

Al: Boom is the word, for sure—the fizz of the sugar bounces off the fizz of the wine and makes for a real explosion of taste. Bourbon and vermouth act as an able Jack and Rose to the wine’s confident, grinning presence.

David Tennant: THE WATERS OF MARS (gin, vodka, cranberry juice, lime juice)

Doctor Who Cocktails

Photo by Kyle Cassidy, featuring Mike VanHelder and Jennifer Summerfield

Amal: Beautifully balanced—refreshing and fruity without being too sweet.

Elaine: Fruity and slightly bitter, very refreshing.

Al: The sour hits, then the sweet—one to sip slowly.

Kit: Sweeter than it thinks, wetter than it aims to be. Luckily, no Ood then appears.

Matt Smith: THE POWER OF THREE (Cognac, rum, bourbon, angostura bitters, orange bitters, Peychaud’s bitters, simple syrup)

Doctor Who CocktailsElaine: Subtle, bitter and fruit blending with the bourbon.

Amal: The bitters dominate, but give way to a warm orangey… Glow, for lack of a better word.

Kit: The cognac slightly dominates the other boozes, but the bitters linger on the palate, delicately blended.

Al: Warmth of rum sinking into deeper warmth of bourbon, with the sweetness of the Cointreau fighting the bitters to a happy truce. Perfect for a cold winter’s night, sitting by the fire, anticipating a special TV episode.

Amal El-Mohtar is the author of The Honey Month, a collection of stories and poems written to the taste of 28 different kinds of honey. She has twice received the Rhysling award for best short poem, and her short story “The Green Book” was nominated for a Nebula award. She has contributed essays on Doctor Who to Chicks Unravel Time and Queers Dig Time Lords (Mad Norwegian Press), and also edits Goblin Fruit, an online quarterly dedicated to fantastical poetry. Follow her on Twitter.

Kyle Cassidy is a globe-trotting rock star photographer based in Philadelphia. Tom Baker is his doctor, but he also likes David Tenant a whole lot. You can stalk Kyle on twitter @kylecassidy.

Jennifer Summerfield (aka Trillian) is a Philadelphia based actor who has traveled through space and time in the stage production of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and, most recently, as a WWI era Lady MacBeth.

Mike VanHelder is a Philadelphia-based content producer and weird social facilitator. His favorite companion is Peri Brown, because he is but flesh. Find him on twitter as @yagathai.

Alyson Macdonald has a day job in higher education and thinks that Terry Pratchett’s Unseen University is surprisingly realistic. She tweets as @textuallimits.

Kate Heartfield is a journalist and fiction writer in Ottawa, Canada. Her stories have appeared recently in Daily Science Fiction, Waylines and Postscripts to Darkness 4. Her website is and her favourite Doctor is Patrick Troughton.

Douglas Townsend watches too many music videos and reposts the interesting ones at

Al Kennedy is one half of HOUSE TO ASTONISH, an irreverent podcast about comics, featuring news, reviews, Scottish accents and the ever-daft Official Handbook of the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe.

Kit Brash has been cocktailing around the world from Australia for about six months. See more cocktail photos of varying blurriness at @awardtour.

Elaine Gallagher writes reviews for Interzone, and can be found on Twitter and in various spoken-word groups in Glasgow and Edinburgh.


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