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The description makes it seem rejuvenating like the stuff the Hobbits got from the Elves, except a burning sensation instead of magically delicious. Was it the same base recipe maybe, except infused with something evil perhaps?

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    To me it seemed more like a variety of the blood-wine family, but probably no not as good as the Klingon original.
    – Einer
    Jun 13, 2014 at 17:21
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    I'm sure you're happier not knowing, if it's been forced on you.
    – Joe L.
    Jun 13, 2014 at 17:49
  • My guess it's the carbonation that makes it burn when you chug it.
    – Morgan
    Jun 16, 2014 at 21:54

2 Answers 2

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To quote Gandalf (speaking of orcs in an entirely different context, "That, I think, no one will ever know.

As far as the miruvor of the Elves, I don't think there's enough information to tell. In The Lord Of The Rings, there are two mentions of an Elven drink; once early in The Fellowship Of The Ring:

When they came to make their meal, they found that the Elves had filled their bottles with a clear drink, pale golden in colour: it had the scent of a honey made of many flowers, and was wonderfully refreshing.

and once later:

"Give them this," said Gandalf, searching in his pack and drawing out a leathern flask. "Just a mouthful each - for all of us. It is very precious. It is miruvor, the cordial of Imladris. Elrond gave it to me at our parting. Pass it round!"

(There are actually a couple more references to the miruvor, but none that says anything about it. Nor is it clear that the first mention, of the drink that Gildor leaves for the Hobbits, is actually miruvor. Most important, there's no reference to what goes into it.)

I did some research with what was available to me, and discovered that there's no mention of it in the Silmarillion, and only two in Unfinished Tales. Neither gives any clue about what's in it. There's an additional note referring to a mention in The Road Goes Ever On, which I haven't seen in a few decades, but I suspect it's a discussion of the word miruvoreva in the song Namarie. If there's anything to that, or anything in the History of Middle-Earth series, it's unavailable to me.

As far as the Orcs' drink, it frankly sounds a bit like hard liquor:

Ugluk thrust a flask between [Pippin's] teeth and poured some burning liquid down his throat: he felt a hot fierce glow flow through him.

(The Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers, "The Uruk-Hai")

We're never told anything more.

I wouldn't be surprised if there was some kind of "magical" restorative in it; Orcs aren't dumb, and they must have some decent basis for combat medical care. But what it might be is, I think, forever lost.

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    Man, that was hard to type on a cell phone :-\ Jun 13, 2014 at 22:38
  • Impressive nonetheless.
    – plocks
    Jun 14, 2014 at 8:05
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    it always reminded me of bad tequila
    – SteveED
    Jun 14, 2014 at 18:25
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    “what it might be is, I think, forever lost” — yup, sadly Peter Jackson’s plans for a Lord of the Rings spin-off TV series tentatively titled Ugluk’s Kitchen were not well-received by the Tolkien estate. Jun 17, 2014 at 16:05
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"Some have supposed that Orc draught was a form of liquor. Merry and Pippin were sure it was not as the Orcs used as a medicine, not a libation. Sauron and Sauruman created and bred their orcs to fight their enemies. The last thing either would have tolerated in the disciplined ranks of their soldiers was drunken brawls. They were wont to fight amongst themselves by nature. They did not need alcohol to exacerbate their bloodthirsty nature.

Do you recall that Frodo and Sam found a few last bushes growing in Mordor and birds eating their fruit?

Sam, ever the hopeful hobbit and gardener took some of the fruit and seeds and put them in his bag. Years later, in the gentle soil of the Shire with the addition of Galadriel's gift of the soil of Lothlorien Sam grew the first chiles in the Shire. These first plants, originally spawned in the shadow of Mount Doom's heat and slag, were some of the fieriest ever grown. Yet under Sam's care and the good water and climate of the Shire they developed into the many wonderful strains we enjoy today.

Pippin and Merry were aghast when they tasted the first meal Sam and Rosie prepared for them with chile. The two instantly recognized the bite of the Orc draught which had been forced upon them and remembered how it's throat searing heat had invigorated and strengthened them. And what of the birds? It puzzled Sam from the moment he saw birds eating from those last straggling plants in Mordor. What nutrition could they derive from the shriveled and blighted fruit? We now recognize that birds suffer no ill effects from the hottest chiles and ingest the pods and seeds with impunity. They thus are one reason chile plants are found in so many areas outside the Four Farthings. It is believed that a form of these chiles were used to control the Oliphaunts and increase their rage in battle."

From "Herblore of The Shire" in the Red Book of Westmarch, Unpublished Tales of long long ago. Obi

The chile Sam found in Mordor was likely a form of Bhut Jolokai, the "Ghost Pepper". It is likely that the Oliphaunts Sam saw had a great aversion to these plants. Farmers in Africa have discovered that planting habanero peppers on the borders of their fields will prevent elephants from entering and eating the crops. The farmers are then able to harvest the habaneros and make a variety of hot sauces which they export.
Birds cannot sense capsaicin at all, they enjoy the chile pods and reap all of the good nutritional benefits while never suffering the chile's bite. Happily, they then sow the undigested seeds afar.

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    Your answer would be really perfect if you could add some hyperlinks, some citations for your references...
    – Stark07
    May 19, 2015 at 5:55
  • What a wonderful piece of pure fanfiction, skillfully and creatively woven with real-world facts. Having orc blood myself, on my father's side, I love the fierce energy of chile peppers. Jan 20, 2017 at 22:10

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