The Star Trek universe has had its share of both alcohol debauchery and prudishness. And bourbon has been featured.
By the time the series Picard aired, Star Trek Voyager's Seven of Nine (played by Jeri Ryan) could hold her liquor. When Picard offered Seven a drink -- tea, wine? -- she said bourbon, straight up. She downed a couple of fingers in one gulp. But what was also rather impressive was that Jean Luc had the bourbon readily on hand, no replicator in sight.
She asks Picard for another shot.
Seven of Nine drank before on Voyager, but she couldn't hold it as well. Laughing uproariously with cheesecake and alcohol , she talked about assimilating 1000s of cultures. "I'll say this for the Borg, we certainly do travel!"
(Photo: Jeri Ryan, Wikipedia, Creative Commons Gage Skidmore. "Ryan notes her portrayal is 'much more human' and developed a new speaking cadence to reflect the character's two decades living on Earth." Gizmodo.)
Before we circle back to bourbon, here's another Star Trek character, not used to drinking, getting plastered. Troi and Cochrane drunk:
Bourbon made a few other appearance in the franchise. In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier we learn Tennessee whiskey is a secret ingredient for McCoy's Southern baked beans, the family recipe. As Jack Daniels has said many times in their marketing, Tennessee whiskey is "not" bourbon..
Back to Bourbon: as per Memory Alpha:
"While trapped in Shuttlepod 1, believing that the Enterprise's crew had been killed, Malcolm Reed and Trip Tucker got drunk on a bottle of bourbon which had belonged to Jonathan Archer."
Scotty and Scotch
Lieutenant Commander Montgomery "Scotty" Scott was a Scotsman on the USS Enterprise who enjoyed his Scotch whisky.
In the episode, By Any Other Name, Mr. Scott gets one of the Andromedeans drunk, after they have hijacked the Enterprise. In his quarters, Scott goes through his supply, including Saurian brandy, and something "green," finally pulling out his "very, very, very old scotch -- whisky!" which he had been saving but oh well.
It certainly puts the alien Tobar under the table but it knocks out Scotty too, and he's thus unable to complete his task, which always seemed kinda pointless.
In the Next Generation episode Relics, there is a homage to the the original series episode. When Scotty asks Data what the drink is, from Guinan's stash at Ten Forward, Data answers, "It is green."
Later, Picard joins Scotty for a drink and the Captain promptly gulps a shot even though Scotty advised being careful. Picard replies that it's Aldebaran whiskey, and that he is the one who gave it to Guinan.
(Photo: Greybeard Heather Dew Scotch whisky, Wikipedia, public domain. Scotty pulled out his very, very, very old scotch. Perhaps it was something like this.)
Prudish Pre-Riker's Beard Drinking
Season Six Picard should have had a word with Season One Picard, known as the pre-Riker's Beard episodes when the Next Generation series had yet to gain its footing, and the episodes were, well, mostly not very good.
In the last episode of the first season The Neutral Zone, the writers made the Enterprise crew entirely uninterested in boldly going where they should be thrilled to go. Waiting for Captain Picard to return to the ship, the crew comes across an ancient earth capsule, and couldn't care less about the historic find. Commander Riker is asked by Worf whether they should even bother to adjust the heading of the craft, to keep it from being destroyed.
"Let nature take its course."
Imagine a future earth starship coming across debris from the dawn of the space age, Yeah whatever, let's move on.
If it wasn't for Data's responsible curiosity, the Enterprise would never have known about, nor rescued, the three ancient humans (cryogenically preserved) he capsule contained.
Ancient Country Music Star, "Whatever"
Even after the historic moment of rescuing 500-year-old live humans, the crew in this episode still couldn't care less. Dr. Crusher awakes them because she's got nothing better to do.
Maybe the most interesting of the three ancient Americans is "Sonny Clemmons," who appears to be a country music singer with a fondness for drink and smoke. But this episode would have none of that. As per one review:
"There was marked deterioration of every system in his body,' Crusher tells Picard. “Probably from massive chemical abuse. Unbelievable.”
Picard goes into full fauxlosipher mode. 'That sounds like someone who hated life. Yet he had himself frozen presumably so he could go through it all again.'
Sensing the need to raise he own patronizing to meet the bar set by her commanding officer, Beverly adds, 'Too afraid to live, too scared to die.'"
The life of the party, these two!
Imagine this story in the hands of later, more mature seasons:
Clemmons would finally get that guitar replicated. Maybe a Martin D-28 Herringbone 1934, and he gives a concert somewhere on the ship. (Ten Forward was introduced in the second season.)
Picard pulls out one of those bourbons he keeps for special occasions, like first contact. (What better first contact than meeting your planet's ancestors). Data decks himself out in country-western garb and sings chorus.
So much more fun it would have been.
Bourbon, the most-sought-after spirit in the galaxy
It was good that the Picard series finally gave bourbon its due. Seems that instead of being all science-fictiony with blue and green drinks, it would be good to imagine bourbon whiskey as the talk of the galaxy; a hooch aged in the fine charred oak barrels in the land of America of earth; copper-colored goodness. Perhaps banned on Romulus for encouraging Federation-type ideals, like freedom and liberty.
Imagine Guinean or Quark having a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 12- Year in their stash.
Synthehol What the Hell
Why would a race do this to themselves? As we've seen in this article, Season One Picard was less fun to hang out with than the wise, well-lived Season Six Picard, and Picard pouring Seven of Nine a couple shots of bourbon in the latter series is even more interesting, at least in our opinion.
Real whiskey or whisky, of the earth, from the earth, aged to perfection by the wood and the seasons, from the soil of the land is infinitely more interesting.
(Published by colonelbourbontshirts.com)