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What is the drink in the scene between Marion and Belloq in the Raiders of the Lost Ark? It seems to be kind of clear liqueur and bottle contains some Arabic or possible Hebrew writing.

Screenshot from the scene

I am interested to know what the drink is supposed be according to the script, what the drink actually is (if not the same) and what does it say on the bottle.

EDIT: The reason I want to know the type of the beverage is to determine how intoxicated would they be after consuming the whole bottle. It seems that signs of intoxication on both of the participants are somewhat exaggerated...

  • 1
    Well, this page suggests it's a clear Tunisian fig brandy called Boukha Bokobsa, but I don't know how reliable it is. – Walt Oct 9 '16 at 18:46
  • The bottle pictured there is similar, but definitely not the same as the bottle in the screenshot. – user41991 Oct 9 '16 at 18:54
  • That's because it's a replica. ;) – Walt Oct 9 '16 at 18:57
  • 4
    Assuming it's 30% alcohol, and depending on if they ate, how fast they drank, the heat, etc. Didn't Marian drink someone under the table earlier in the film? She was faking it. – cde Oct 9 '16 at 23:40
  • Could somebody provide a clearer screenshot of the label? I saw the movie from TV so I don't have a blu-ray to do that. – user41991 Oct 11 '16 at 18:40
12

While Kevin points out that Belloq is providing something from his family vineyard, that doesn't answer the question of what it actually is.

Given that it's clear, and they are getting very drunk, it's more likely a distilled spirit.

Almost all brandy that is made is distilled by vineyards/winemakers. Most people think of it as an amber liquid, but that coloring comes from aging in oak barrels.

Unaged, clear brandy is called Eau-de-vie by the French. I'd think this would be our best candidate, based on the information provided by Kevin.

Fine Wine and Good Spirits: Learn About Brandy

EDIT/NOTE: Since the OP is wondering about the relative strength of the mystery substance....

Brandy is a spirit produced by distilling wine. Brandy generally contains 35–60% alcohol by volume (70–120 US proof) and is typically taken as an after-dinner drink.

Wikipedia: Brandy

  • 3
    I found the script for the film. In the script the liquid is constantly referred by the word liquor. For example: Belloq pours liquor into glass. or (SOUND OF LIQUOR IN GLASSES). Liquor is of course quite broad term but definitely excludes wine. – user41991 Oct 11 '16 at 18:36
  • 3
    @user41991 Brandy is not wine. It's distilled wine, and can be classed as liquor. – Tim Nov 27 '16 at 19:33
  • @Tim - My impression at the time was that saying "not wine" was more of an affirmation of my response. – PoloHoleSet Nov 28 '16 at 15:18
6

Belloq states it is his family's wine label:

[Marion and Belloq are both very drunk] Marion: [laughs] What is this stuff, Rene?
Belloq: [laughing as well] I grew up on this. It's my family label.
[Marion falls to the ground laughing, then calmly pulls out the knife she was concealing and points it at Belloq, who bursts out laughing in response]

Also, according to the indiana jones wiki entry for Belloq, he was

born in Marseilles, France to a wealthy wine making family at Forteresse Malevil[...]

This factoid cites an entry for "The Lost Chronicles of Young Indiana Jones" on starwars.com, although sadly the link is now 404. There is a cached page at the internet archive here.

  • 4
    Probably not wine, given that it's completely clear. – Josh Caswell Oct 10 '16 at 15:38
  • 1
    Arent Uzo and Riesling wines clear? Some plum wine, rice wine, etc are clear to that level AFAIK too. Im not a connoisseur though. – Dpeif Oct 10 '16 at 21:48
  • 3
    Many wines are clear, but I don't think any are colourless. – AakashM Oct 11 '16 at 10:45
  • Also, if you meant Ouzo, it's not a wine. – Walt Oct 11 '16 at 19:31
  • 2
    @cde - that would essentially make it a brandy, which fits with my answer, as well. Also (to all), Reisling wine is not clear. It is a golden yellow color (some paler than others, but never colorless), since it comes from "white" grapes. – PoloHoleSet Oct 3 '17 at 19:28

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