I’ll work on my puns but for now a new book needs a new drink! And yes, I am one of those heathens that reads two books at once (maniacal laugh).
While I was reading Carrie by Stephen King and enjoying delicious Bloody Marys, I started reading Solaris by Stanisław Lem. Since this book recommendation is not from Tim Federle list, I was on my own for pairing a cocktail.
Lem quickly introduces the world of Solaris as a giant oceanic planet (or is it?) that a team of scientists struggle to comprehend and survive. Lem has the reader discover more about this “ocean” planet along with the protagonist, Kris Kelvin, throughout the book. At the beginning, we only know this strange planet seems to have no sentient life, two suns (one red and one blue), and the scientists are experiencing strange and unexplainable events. How do I pair a drink to Solaris?! Can I make a pun out of the name and drink?!
Inspiration from IKEA
While searching for a chair at IKEA to go in our new reading nook, I found these cool (and cheap) silicon molds. The shape of this mold looks like stars and the inspiration for a cocktail pairing for Solaris hit me— Jell-O shots!
I don’t know about your college experience but mine involved a lot of Jell-O shots. The last time I had a Jell-O shot was about 7 years ago at a house party. Whoever made them added more alcohol than water and it was awful! For this project, I’m making Jell-O shots my way with less alcohol and more Jell-O. And since Stanislaw Lem was Polish, I think it is also appropriate to use vodka.
How to (kind of) make a Jell-O shot
Make Jell-O according to the package. Substitute 1 cup of cold water with ½ cup cold water and ½ cup vodka. Pour mixture into molds and let set in the fridge for 1-2 hours. To remove Jell-O shot from molds, fill the kitchen sink (or a bowl) with hot water. Let mold sit over hot water for 20-40 seconds (do not let water into mold- it will fuck up the Jell-O). Remove mold from hot water and turn over on top of a plate. Pray it actually works and if it doesn’t eat Jell-O shot quickly so no one notices.
Jell-O is the closest (and cheapest) thing to plasma. Of course strawberry and berry blue were inspired from Solaris’ two suns. While the stars mold looked cool and fit with the space theme, it completely failed! Well, it failed in a fits-the-theme-better kind of way. The more I read Solaris the more my failed Jell-O stars look like something from the planet Solaris!
The inspiration for a Jell-O shot came from the description of Solaris. At first, it appears to be a planet covered in water with one tiny island. After a pilot becomes lost on an exploration of the atmosphere, a member of the rescue team discovers the planet isn’t water but another substance completely. Protagonist Kris Kelvin recalls the history of scientific discoveries on Solaris in his attempts to understand the plasma-like planet.
I’m half way through the book now, but so far Lem is one of the best writers I have read in a long time. Even if you don’t like Science Fiction books, read it just for Lem’s writing style. Get lost on the planet Solaris! I hope you pick up this book because I have a strong feeling it will be five out of five cat emojis 😻😻😻😻😻