Centusian swamp juice is a difficult beverage to make, and very profitable to those who can produce it successfully. However, if a single misstep is made in the process of producing it, the whole package may combust violently, usually ending the life of the brewer and destroying their equipment. Even if it does not combust, it may be fatal to the drinker if brewed incorrectly.
Steps of Production
- Harvest Centusian swamp flowers while in full bloom. Because these plants only bloom once a month, and only do so while underwater, it is difficult to find a stand of them. Eight flowers will yield approximately one bottle of swamp juice. Due to the animal life that inhabits the brackish water of Centus IV, simply harvesting this plant may result in dismemberment.
- Separate leaves and petals from stalks and other nonessential components. While the petals give the drink most of its potency, they would be instantly fatal were it not for the addition of the leaves to the mix.
- Grind petals and leaves. If they were not ground up, the beverage that resulted would be too concentrated kill the drinker.
- Take brackish water from swamp and add ground petals, then stir constantly for 48 hours. The brackish water from the swamp is the only water that will work with the ingredients and produce an alcoholic beverage. The mixture must be stirred for a full 48 hours before proceeding, or it may combust when the ground leaves are added.
- Add leaves, then stir constantly for another 24 hours while maintaining a temperature of exactly 329 degrees Celsius. This precise combination of temperature and agitation will result in the formation of certain compounds, which are necessary for the next step.
- Add sugar harvested from epidermis of Centusian swamp spider, then stir for another 72 hours while maintaining a temperature of exactly 752 degrees Celsius. The Centusian swamp spider is a mid-sized arachnoid whose epidermis contains a specific sugar that cannot be replicated artificially. Brewers of swamp juice will usually keep small farms of the spiders, although this is risky in itself, as the spider has a particularly potent venom. The stirring and temperature are required in order for the sugar to dissolve completely and form alcohol.
- Store at temperature of -10 degrees Celsius and serve chilled. If the swamp juice is kept at a temperature higher than -10 degrees Celsius for longer than 12 hours, then the alcohol will begin to break down and the drink will be worthless.
The only major seller of this drink is Bob the Bartender, but bottles will occasionally surface on the black market on a number of worlds. It is believed that one of the pirate cartels holds a monopoly on the brewing of swamp juice, with independent brewers producing only a small amount of the total. The drink is a perennial favourite of long-haul freighter captains, to take the edge off countless hours spent traveling through space.
As Centusian swamp juice is a particularly potent alcoholic beverage, it will usually result in intoxication on the part of the imbiber in as little as one shot. More than two could be fatal to a human, due to alcohol poisoning. In addition to the standard alcoholic effects, swamp juice is notorious for causing ringing ears, an inability to speak coherently, the sensation of a burning throat, abdominal cramps, and an inability to distinguish between fiction and reality. It has also a powerful hallucinogen, and will often cause the drinker to see things and people from their imaginations. More than once, a spacer has had to be restrained from walking out of an empty airlock to a ship he thought he owned.