The pantheon of fictional booze is plentiful and fun to ruminate on while sipping other non-fictional types of booze. But for every Romulan Ale and Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster, there could be something far more sinister lying in wait.
What I’m saying, Star Wars fans, is don’t ever head into the Mos Eisley cantina (known as Chalmun’s, to the locals), and order a cup of Jawa Juice.
But why? you ask. It sounds like a perfectly decent beverage.
I thought so too, friend. I thought so too.
But as it happens, I was wondering about the composition of Jawa Juice the other day. It does sound like a very nice beverage, after all, if you presume that it is a juice made by Jawas. Which I did. There wasn’t any indication that it was even alcoholic, frankly; the first time that we encounter the drink is in Attack of the Clones at Dex’s Diner. You know, a family-style lunch joint. Obi-Wan is offered a cup of the stuff by the server droid FLO, and accepts it graciously. It can’t be too terrible if Obi-Wan is drinking it on the job, right?
…I should pause here to point out that Obi-Wan drinks on the job a lot.
Probably more than is healthy. In fact, he’d already had a drink during work hours in this very same film, the day before.
Obi-Wan, are you okay? (He’s not okay.)
They’re like the two hallmarks of his personality: sarcasm and drinking at work.
Anyhow, the more I thought about it, the less obvious the composition of this drink seemed. After all, Jawas can be found in many parts of the galaxy, but they originate on Tatooine. A desert planet. Which doesn’t seem likely to produce a lot of fruit that could be made into juice. So I did a little research and found out that Jawa Juice is just a bit of vernacular that the denizens of the galaxy passed around—the real name of the drink is Ardees.
Ardees the drink is named after the eponymous beverage company that produces it, which kept its facilities on Mandalore back in the days of the Galactic Republic. (That’s the place where Boba and Jango Fett get their armor from, for anyone who’s not regularly deep down the Star Wars well.) Seeing as the name is not particularly snazzy—it sort of sounds like the lost, sad cousin of Arby’s—”Jawa Juice” is certainly a preferable moniker.
But really, why call it that?
The truth is… there’s no good reason, unless Jawas have a particular taste for the stuff. Or it could be the fact that Jawas are from the same planet that one of the key ingredients of Jawa Juice heralds from. Can you guess what it is?
Well, here’s the secret formula: Jawa Juice is a bitter alcohol made from a mash of fermented grain… and bantha hide.
You know, these big furry beasties?
They are in the alcohol.
I’m sorry, Obi-Wan, I didn’t mean to interrupt your important MEAT WHISKEY session. Meat. Whiskey. The more I turn the phrase over in my brain, the weirder I feel.
Look, I know that fat-washing is a thing for fine spirits, but this is not that. This is putting leather into the stew that makes your booze. And sure, some people have also tried this here on Earth (hey, a list of beers made using meat!), but the point is, this is a common beverage in Star Wars. It’s the sort of thing you offer a Jedi working his usual shift.
And it’s not even the only beverage that uses bantha parts! There’s another one called a “bantha blood fizz,” which is a drink made from purified bantha blood. It’s sparkling! Of course. I mean, that’s gotta be someone’s bag, right? Really sophisticated vampires, probably? I’m sure Star Wars has a few of those hanging around. If nothing else, this sounds like a thing that Nightsisters would love.
The point is, while Star Wars has a fair share of weird and whimsical alcoholic offerings, there are certain things best left to the imagination. So maybe don’t go the Obi-Wan route and happily guzzle down fermented meat juice.