The Expanse Cocktails Project

Expanse Cocktail #AF-9
Ilus Death Slug

Ilus was never a lush paradise, but “inhospitable” turns “deadly” when strange events trigger earthquakes and flooding. The scarcity of wildlife on the Protomolecule-shaped world seemed depressing, but even earnest exobiologist Elvi has no enthusiasm for the arrival of gelatinous, neurotoxin-oozing Death Slugs… everywhere.

When researching interesting edible compounds, we were excited to find out that riboflavin, known as vitamin B₂, glows the same way the Death Slugs do under blacklight. You can shine a light on your drink in the dark the way Holden does in the ruins, and see your drink light up like deadly slug trails. The next challenge was to create the double-layered weirdness of the slugs, with a bluish-clear outside surrounding glowing yellow-green guts. The “outside” of this drink is fruity and sweet, and the gel is intense and sour. Stirring the two together makes for a fun bubble tea-like experience, with bursts of sourness. Be careful of choking, as you would with a jello shot or other drink that’s not entirely liquid.

Riboflavin is found in many foods, and in much larger quantities than in this cocktail in many energy drinks. You only need the tiniest dash - less than 1/20th of the powder found in a daily vitamin B₂ supplement capsule - to color your drink spectacularly. According to our research, Vitamin B₂ is well-tolerated, but always check your medications and consult a doctor if supplements are a concern for you. Without it, your drink won’t glow, but it’ll still be a good yellow-green.


  • 1½ ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce lychee juice blend
  • ½ ounce grapefruit juice
  • ¼ ounce ginger liqueur
  • 1 dash blue curaçao
  • 1 ounce sour slime (recipe below)


Sour Slime: Sprinkle 1 packet unflavored gelatin powder evenly over the surface of 2 oz cold water, let stand 2 minutes, then add 2½ oz lime juice, 1½ oz passionfruit liqueur, 1½ oz Grand Marnier, ½ tsp blue curaçao, and a tiny dash of Vitamin B2 powder. Add 4½ oz boiling water to gelatin mix, whisking until the gelatin is completely dissolved. For each drink, strain 1 ounce into a cocktail glass and set at an angle to chill for at least 2 hours.

Cocktail: Pour first 5 ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until cold. Strain into a cocktail glass prepared with Sour Slime. Drink under blacklight for extra creepiness, stirring to incorporate gelatinous chunks.