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The drink was illegal in the United Federation of Planets throughout the 23rd and much of the 24th centuries, though drinking it was practically a rite of passage for Starfleet personnel. During the Dominion War after the Romulan Star Empire joined the conflict Romulan ale became a legal beverage. (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan; Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country; DS9: "Inter Arma Enim Silent Leges")
Fan continuities Edit
It is commonly--but erroneously--believed that the blue-hued Hăzăkda kănar, a Cardassian drink, is mixed with Romulan ale. There is in fact no connection between the two other than the color. (Star Trek: Sigils and Unions--The Thirteenth Order)
The Lyrans have used Romulan ale as an emergency source of matter to power a warp drive. However, that solution came at a cost if it was used in the plasma coolant as well. It could clog plasma conduits as well as damage the plasma intercooler. (RIS Bouteina: "Monopolis")
Morgaiah t'Thavrau farmed satla and kheh for ale-brewing when she lived on Virinat, and maintained a sideline as a brewer after joining the Romulan Republican Force. She also used khellid honey as a flavoring. (Legacy of ch'Rihan: "Legacy of ch'Rihan", "Saith Daepahr hrrafv Llaiirevha, Part I")