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Four varieties of kanar

For the Haliian object, please see canar.
"I'm beginning to think you like it too much."
"I wouldn't trust a Cardassian that didn't enjoy a glass of kanar every once in a while."
"Tell me, Damar, when you're alone, do you even bother with a glass, or do you just drink that swill directly from the bottle?"
"Depends on my mood."
– Weyoun 5 and Damar, 2375 ("Image in the Sand")

Kanar was a Cardassian liquor which varied in color and was somewhat thick in consistency compared to most Human drinks.

On board the USS Enterprise-D, Glinn Daro told Chief Miles O'Brien that kanar "takes a bit of getting used to." (TNG: "The Wounded")

When Elim Garak's cranial implant began to malfunction in 2370, he began to drink an excessive quantity of kanar in an attempt to mimic the implant's numbing effect using the alcohol. (DS9: "The Wire")

Two bottles of (spoiled) kanar

It was possible for kanar to spoil, something which apparently happened to two bottles of the beverage that Quark tried to give to Ulani Belor and Gilora Rejal in 2371. Shortly afterwards, Morn took ill from food poisoning, and suspected that a free glass of the drink at Quark's was to blame. (DS9: "Destiny")

Shortly after the Klingon invasion of the Cardassian Union in 2372, Quark had eighty cases of kanar in his stockroom. Quark gave a bottle of it to Garak "on the house" because he did not foresee ever selling it in his bar again. (DS9: "The Way of the Warrior")

Tekeny Ghemor, while spending his final days on Deep Space 9, began giving away secrets of the Cardassian government; to try and stop this, Dukat and Weyoun tried to poison him with a bottle of kanar laced with Voraxna poison. Weyoun drank a glass of the poisoned kanar and found it to be quite toxic, explaining the Vorta were immune to most poisons. (DS9: "Ties of Blood and Water")

Damar was fond of indulging in kanar, especially the 2327 vintage. Quark used it to great success as the inebriated Damar revealed that the Bajoran minefield was about to be brought down. (DS9: "Behind the Lines") Later, he often drank to excess during his humiliating tenure as head of the Cardassian Union in 2374-2375 – so much so that, after giving up the spirit as he planned his revolt against the Dominion, Weyoun joked about how different he looked without a bottle in his hand. He began storing empty bottles in his quarters. Upon seeing them, Dukat encouraged his former subordinate to be strong. (DS9: "'Til Death Do Us Part", "The Changing Face of Evil")

In the first draft script of "The Changing Face of Evil", Weyoun wondered if the reason Damar hadn't opened a nearby bottle of kanar was that it was "a poor vintage," though Damar replied, "Not at all," then proceeded to open the bottle and drink from it.

Weyoun deeply disliked kanar, while Damar thought that he shouldn't trust a Cardassian who did not enjoy a glass of kanar every once in awhile. (DS9: "Image in the Sand")



Background information

Although not stated directly, it was implied that there were several types of kanar, based on appearance alone. In "The Wounded", it appeared to be a thin, light purple, transparent drink served in small glasses, akin to many wines or spirits. In "The Maquis, Part II", it was seen as the thick, black drink in characteristic bottles seen in many DS9 episodes. Then, in "The Wire", it was a blue, opaque drink in a different kind of bottle (similar to the bottle used for the Kali-fal prop). In "The Way of the Warrior", it appeared different again; this time it was an orange, slightly thick, opaque liquid, but served in the characteristic kanar bottles. In "Behind the Lines", kanar appeared as a thin black drink.

The thinner liquid in "Behind the Lines" was of an older, more expensive vintage, leading to the conclusion kanar may thin out as it ages, or that higher-quality vintages have a greater alcohol content; this would explain the thinness of it, as alcohol has a very low viscosity.

The strength of kanar may also vary greatly. In many episodes, we see Cardassians drinking multiple bottles of it like it was wine, while in "Behind the Lines", Quark and Damar are both rendered very drunk by sharing a single bottle, suggesting that this expensive kanar had the strength of a hard liquor.

Karo syrup was used for brown kanar to create the effect of a dark, thick liquid, which Damar actor Casey Biggs actually drank. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 696)) Property Master Joe Longo joked, in Star Trek: The Magazine Volume 1, Issue 4, that "he was drinking so much he was getting wired, so we started using a thickened sugar-free pancake syrup."

Damar's fondness for the spirit, first observed in "Behind the Lines", was introduced as a way to show an inner turmoil, essentially using it to drown out his conscience and justify an alliance he knows to be wrong. (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion (p. 688)) Indeed, in "Strange Bedfellows", he looks at himself in the mirror and tosses the drink at his reflection just before helping Worf and Dax escape.

A kanar bottle was among the items which were sold off on the It's A Wrap! sale and auction on eBay. [1]


The TNG relaunch novel Q&A states that the Karemma acquired a taste for kanar when it was exported to the Gamma Quadrant following the Dominion takeover of the Cardassian Union.

Star Trek Online states that, during the Occupation of Bajor, the Cardassians forced local Bajoran monks to distill kanar for their consumption. In one mission, "Second Wave" Cardassian ambassador Rugan Skyl, asks the player character to obtain a bottle of this kanar in exchange for his support at a conference on the Borg threat. This is a different item than regular Kanar, and that while the items have the same shape of bottle, the "Bajoran distilled Kanar" is a red-brown liquid while the regular Kanar is tan-brown.

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