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Bonus: A Dangerous Cocktail

Stan and Betula set out to design the perfect cocktail.

A full-length bonus episode from our Patreon archives!

Starring Hugo Jones, Art Carlson and Marisa King
Written and directed by Sean Howard and Eli McIlveen
Sound design by Eli McIlveen
Produced by Sean Howard
Supporting producers: Kim Bellinger, Ryan Cushman and Kona

Content warning: drinking, illness and bodily functions.

ELI

Hi everyone! Hope you’re well out there.

It’s Eli here, and we thought it was time to open up the vaults again and release a few of our favourite Patreon bonuses from the past little while.

This one’s an Axe and Crown special inspired by… okay, I mean you’ve heard podcasts, right? You might recognize the inspiration for this one. It’s called “A Dangerous Cocktail”.

Music sting.

THE BAR

Stan tears open an envelope.

STAN

Hey Gubbin, we should really go through the mail more often.

GUBBIN

Yeah, like I need more bills.

STAN

Well yeah, there are a lot of those. But every envelope holds a chance of something special.

Hey, look, a flyer!

GUBBIN

Ooo! Not just mail, but junk mail! Excuse me while I contain my excitement.

STAN

Actually, this sounds pretty cool. Pestle and Mix: A cocktail subscription service.

GUBBIN

A what?

STAN

Look at this! They send you a box of cocktail supplies every month.

GUBBIN

Cocktails, schmocktails. This is a bar, not some cutesy little North Side night club.

STAN

Hey, bars can serve cocktails. Hello? People like to try new things, you know—get out of their comfort zone and live a little?

GUBBIN

Well, this here barkeep is quite comfortable in his comfort zone. That’s why it’s called a comfort zone, and he’s in it. Thank you very much.

STAN

You know the Blue Pantaloons by the Palace? They have an artist on staff who will sketch your cocktail before you drink it.

GUBBIN

Why would anyone want a picture of their drink?

STAN

You share it with your friends, so they see how amazingly perfect your life is.

BETULA

What are you two up to?

GUBBIN

Starting to doubt humanity again…

STAN

Betula, you talk to him.

BETULA

About?

STAN

Let’s put some cocktail drinks on the menu. Jazz things up a little bit.

GUBBIN

No. What the hell is “jazz”? No. Just no.

STAN

Fine. I’m sorry I brought it up. I’ll just throw this away.

He starts to crumple up the flyer.

BETULA

No, no, let’s see that.

“Three new recipes every month from Farloria’s top bartenders.”

STAN

They send you a box with all the ingredients. We just add the alcohol.

GUBBIN

What’s wrong with just drinking the alcohol we already have?

STAN

This is about the experience. A night out wearing your very best, laughing and jibing with your college buddies. As if the whole town was your oyster!

GUBBIN

Yeah. The last thing we need is a bunch of entitled, loudmouth whelps running around my bar, puking on my floor because they can’t keep their oysters down.

STAN

Come on, Gubbin. Here, look. Look at this one. Doesn’t that look tasty?

GUBBIN

Ugh. I drink my alcohol like a real troll, thank you.

BETULA

You know, maybe Stan’s on to something. Cocktail culture is big in Melluria, and now it’s starting to show up here. I hear there’s even a cocktail bar back in Trølsund.

GUBBIN

Ugh. Now I really don’t need to go back.

BETULA

I think it’s called De Appel Tvig.

STAN

You see, Gubbin? We need to jump on this bandwagon before it sails!

GUBBIN

I don’t know if you two have looked around lately, but this ain’t exactly a high-end Palace Street establishment. Who the hell do you think is gonna come here to the Axe and Crown for cocktails?

STAN

No, listen! The down-and-out vibe is totally in. Slumming it, diving in, living life like a Mellurian artiste—starving, yet sophisticated.

GUBBIN

Stop.

BETULA

I’m not saying this is gonna work. But the city crowd would bring pretty fat wallets.

Silence.

GUBBIN

Okay, I’m listening.

STAN

So this Pestle and Mix service gives us the recipes. All we need are the cocktail glasses!

BETULA

And maybe we could all take a bath and dress up a little?

STAN

Yeah, all of us.

GUBBIN

Why are you all looking at me?

(scoffs)

Can you picture me in a suit and tie?

STAN

C’mon. What do you say, Gubbin?

GUBBIN

Ugh. You guys are exhausting. All right, all right. How much is this cocktail box going to run us, anyway?

STAN

Here.

GUBBIN

WHAT?

(he snatches the flyer from Stan)

40 crowns! Are you insane? Your hoity-toity bourgeois clowns can just sip unadulterated ale out of big person glasses like the rest of us!

STAN

But that’s not really—

BETULA

Stan, how much do these cocktails go for? By the glass?

STAN

I dunno, last time I was at the Blue Pantaloons, I think it was about eight crowns per drink?

GUBBIN

Eight crowns.

STAN

Maybe nine? I dunno. It’s a bit hazy. Those drinks go down pretty easy, ha ha.

Long pause.

GUBBIN

Let’s get one thing straight. We’re not spending 40 crowns.

STAN

The recipes are sort of important.

GUBBIN

Then you two geniuses can get creative and come up with your own recipes.

STAN

Woo hoo! Signature Axe and Crown cocktails!

GUBBIN

Yeah, whatever. Just don’t kill my patrons, okay?

Music sting.

A FEW DAYS LATER

Stan enters carrying a box of cocktail glasses.

GUBBIN

Hey Stan.

STAN

Hey guys! Look! The new cocktail glasses are ready. I had them put axes on half and crowns on the other half.

He sets the box on the bar and opens it. Gubbin picks up a glass.

GUBBIN

People drink out of these little things? You can’t even fit a single shot in here.

STAN

Ah, let me educate you, my friend. The glasses are shaped to expose the liquid to the air so you get the full aromatic experience.

GUBBIN

I feel like an idiot just holding it.

The glass in his hand shatters delicately.

STAN

Gubbin!

GUBBIN

I barely touched it!

Betula enters with groceries in a basket.

BETULA

Ooo. Nice glasses.

STAN

Aren’t they cool?

GUBBIN

(grunts)

If they last the night. How are you two coming along with those recipes?

STAN

We’re still experimenting a little, but…

Betula hoists the basket of goods behind the bar.

BETULA

We’ve got a couple promising ones. Now move aside.

GUBBIN

It’s my bar.

BETULA

Not when I’m making the drinks, it isn’t. No. Go. Uncle. Sit. Sit at the bar and behave.

GUBBIN

Fine.

He trudges around the bar and has a seat.

BETULA

Now, this is a work in progress, but I think you’re gonna like it.

Betula pulls down a bottle from the top shelf and sets about mixing a drink.

GUBBIN

Hey, that’s the good stuff!

BETULA

Yup. Plus pomegranate juice and a quick shake… And just three sprigs of burning juniper.

GUBBIN

What? I said no burning stuff!

BETULA

Relax. It’s not literally burning, that’s just what the plant’s called. It’s a garnish.

GUBBIN

Why anyone would doctor perfectly good spirits is beyond me.

STAN

Look, it’s all about…

STAN AND BETULA

…the experience.

BETULA

Here. Just try it, Uncle.

I’m calling it a “Red Kraken”.

GUBBIN

You’ve tainted perfectly good alcohol is what you’ve done.

He takes a noisy sip.

STAN

And?

He downs the rest.

GUBBIN

That is… not bad.

BETULA

He says, after drinking it all in one go.

GUBBIN

Okay, okay. It’s, uh, pretty tasty.

BETULA

Right?

STAN

Woo hoo! Okay, my turn! My turn!

He pushes his way behind the bar and gets to work.

STAN

Okay, watch this. I just need this glass here… thank you… Let’s see, shot of gin.

BETULA

Ow… wait. Stan! Stan, you are making a mess.

STAN

I’m on a roll, let me work. Just gotta squeeze a bit of crangerine into there…

BETULA

You’re standing on my foot. Is that an egg?

STAN

Yup, sure, the egg goes in there, and then we shake-shake-shake-shake-shake, yeah, give it a good little shake, there we go, and…

Stan pours, and sets the shaker down triumphantly.

STAN

Tada!

GUBBIN

What is this?

STAN

I call this a Moonshine Fizz.

The drink fizzes and goes on fizzing.

GUBBIN

Is it supposed to be frothing all over my bar?

STAN

Still perfecting the ratios.

GUBBIN

Uh huh. Betula, would you care to…?

BETULA

Nope. All you, Uncle.

GUBBIN

(deep breath)

Okay. Here goes.

STAN

Wait! Hold on! You can’t just drink it.

GUBBIN

What am I supposed to do with it? Let it fizz all over me?

STAN

(sighs)

You have to smell it first. Breathe in the aromas and textures by waving it into your nose and taking deep breaths like this. Just bring it up to—

(he tries and breaks into a coughing fit)

GUBBIN

Or I could just drink it.

Gubbin downs it in one go.

STAN

(still coughing)

…the… experience…

BETULA

So?

GUBBIN

It’s drinkable.

STAN

…told you…

GUBBIN

Why’s there gotta be egg in it, though?

STAN

(coughing)

Gives it body.

GUBBIN

Eh. Look. These taste fine. But we can do better.

BETULA

Oh, you think so?

GUBBIN

I do. Step aside.

BETULA

(laughing)

All right. This I gotta see.

They trade places.

GUBBIN

You’re getting stuck on all these expensive ingredients, eggs and crangerine and burning whatever-the-hells… You gotta think simpler. You gotta think profit margin.

He pours from two flasks at once into a glass.

BETULA

My mouth is watering already.

GUBBIN

All right, just a little bit of this… I’m gonna wave this over here, I’m gonna infuse it like this, I’m gonna put a little foam on it like this… dah dah da da… Ha ha!

I give you the newest Mud Street sensation! I call it “Dram Lake”.

He pushes the glass across the bar.

STAN

(recovering)

I’m afraid.

BETULA

Hit me.

Betula takes a sip. Then another.

GUBBIN

How’s that?

BETULA

It tastes like cheap whiskey that’s been mixed with… river water?

GUBBIN

Ya got it in one. Simple. Honest. Clean!

STAN

Is that safe?

GUBBIN

That’s goblin moonshine. Anything it doesn’t kill deserves to live. And at six crowns a drink, we’re going to be able to buy a title and land.

BETULA

Well then, your lordship… add in a garnish and I think you have something. Maybe some fish scales and mud on the rim?

GUBBIN

Sure, if you really gotta make it fancy.

(clutches his stomach)

Ugh!

An ominous gurgling sound.

BETULA

Okay, we can keep it “neat” if you prefer.

GUBBIN

(groans)

STAN

You’re looking a little bluer than normal there, Gub.

BETULA

Uncle?

The gurgling turns into a bubbling roar.

GUBBIN

(gasps and reaches out to support himself)

What… what did you put in those drinks? Hnnngh!

BETULA

Oh no. He’s going to blow! Get down!

GUBBIN

Oh no, the other end! AAAAArrgh!

INT. BAR—LATER

Dripping sounds.

Stan and Betula are cleaning up the bar and trying not to vomit.

STAN

Oh gods… there’s more behind the bottles!

BETULA

(groans)

STAN

It wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t… for all the different colours… and the smell…

BETULA

No, no, stop.

Oh, there’s some in the cash register. No. I have to take a break.

She sits down heavily.

STAN

He’s gonna be okay, though, right?

BETULA

Yeah. Alba said for him to just get lots of fluids and to stay in the bathroom until it’s done… you know, passing.

Gubbin staggers back in.

STAN

Hey, Gubbin. Gubbin. Should you really be in here?

GUBBIN

It’s my bar. I’ll damn well go where I please.

BETULA

Yeah, you proved that point.

GUBBIN

Har har har.

STAN

Look, I’m so sorry, guys. This was all my idea. And I’m pretty sure that egg was off.

BETULA

No, no, some trolls are allergic to burning juniper, it turns out. To say nothing of the river water.

GUBBIN

We all had a part to play in this.

STAN

Yeah.

I’m gonna put the glasses in the basement and we can just put this all behind us.

GUBBIN

Why? We’re not giving up.

STAN

What?

GUBBIN

You wanna make money, we gotta take some risks.

STAN

Yeah, but…

GUBBIN

You learn from those risks and the mistakes and move forward.

STAN

Really? You mean it?

GUBBIN

Sure.

STAN

‘Cause I have this amazing idea for a cocktail that you light on fire.

GUBBIN

Stan…

STAN

Look, look. Ye Olde Pointed Hatte has these “Spirits” nights where these two cool librarian ladies talk about mythology and mix all kinds of wild new drinks—including flaming ones. I just haven’t worked out how to put the flames out so people can drink it.

GUBBIN

I said, no burning down my bar!

BETULA

Maybe it would be a good idea if we just got a subscription from Pestle and Mix.

GUBBIN

(sighs)

Ugh. Yeah, okay Fine. there should be 40 crowns in the till.

BETULA

Uh-uh.

GUBBIN

What?

BETULA

About the till…

GUBBIN

What about the till.

He looks.

GUBBIN

Oh. Yeah, sorry.

CREDITS

Theme music plays.

ELI

This bonus episode of the Axe & Crown starred Hugo Jones, Art Carlson and Marisa King.

Written by Sean Howard. Directed by Eli McIlveen and Sean Howard, with sound design by Eli McIlveen.

Supporting producers: Kim Bellinger, Ryan Cushman and Kona.

OUTTAKE

GUBBIN (HUGO JONES)

Okay, there should be 40 towns…

STAN (ART CARLSON)

There are 40 towns in Melluria! I know that from my Geography class!

GUBBIN (HUGO JONES)

And they each have their own unique cuisine. Which seems to have come out of me in the last 12 hours.

Laughter.