The 'Space Juice' Drink Inspired By A Mission To Jupiter

The European Space Agency (ESA) isn't only interested in the celestial. The space-investigating agency took it upon itself to solicit mocktail ideas that could pay homage to the JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE), an initiative dedicated to exploring and taking stock of Jupiter and the planet's surrounding moons.

Drink inventors were encouraged to think about the atmosphere of Jupiter and the various undertakings that have attempted to collect information to better understand the planet. Alcohol-free drink recipes entered into the competition could contain an assortment of juices, cream, coffee, syrups, food coloring, carbonated beverages, garnishes, or any other mocktail-friendly ingredients. In addition to the taste of the drinks, judges assessed the appearance of each entry and how the recipe interpreted the creative brief. Since the winning drink would be served to many guests at ESA events, the ability to source ingredients and make the drink fairly easily was also considered when choosing the winner of the competition.

From recipes made with frozen fruit to glasses decorated with candy floss, judges were faced with an array of drinks to choose from, yet Margherita Gagnoni's drink took home the competition's grand prize. The sparkly blue drink was colored by spirulina, an algae Gagnoni included to symbolize the possibility of life on one of Jupiter's moons. In addition to merging both tropical and European flavors in the drink recipe, Gagnoni looked to lunar geology for inspiration to develop the drink's presentation.

A drink made with space in mind

On Instagram, Gagnoni explained that the sparkling powder used in the recipe represented the geological landscape of one of Jupiter's icy moons. Crushed ice and cinnamon were used to mirror the surface of the moon, and rock crystal sugar symbolizes the rocky interiors found among the orbiting satellites. When garnished and photographed, Gagnoni notes that shadows cast from garnishes made from star anise appear like rising palm trees, similar to those that spot the area from which JUICE was launched.

To make the drink, Gagnoni instructs that 30% of the drink should be tonic water, 30% coconut water, 20% ginger ale, and 20% apple juice. A third of a teaspoon of blue spirulina is added to the drink to provide color, and a pinch of edible sparkling powder is included to add sparkly texture. When mixed, the combined ingredients are poured into a glass in which brown rock crystal sugar is added, and the glass is topped with crushed ice and powdered cinnamon. Perhaps Gagnoni's mocktail creation can inspire a celestial drink recipe of your own making.