"Why don’t you get out of that wet coat and into a dry martini?" – Charles Butterworth in Every Day’s A Holiday (1937)
It can be argued that early Hollywood movies such as the Mae West starrer above or After Office Hours featuring Clark Gable and Constance Bennet made the act of drinking cocktails, especially the martini, into a swanky and trendy act.
Since the Oscar ceremony, and live-blogging at Recurring Decimals, is to commence in about an hour (~8pm EST), our attention is turned towards choosing a drink for the evening. Because, as we all know – live-blogging without a drink is like Kolkata without the crows (ok – that was lousy – but don’t worry, my metaphors will become better after a bit of drinking).
So here are some famous cocktails (not just straight alcohols) I can recall from various movies.
Of course, there is the famous Bond ‘shaken-not-stirred’ martini (called the Vesper) which drives most martini-purist into a state of apoplexy (a proper martini consists of gin only is not supposed to be shaken). Then there is the classic dry martini of many films, most memorable to my mind being M.A.S.H, where Hawkeye Pierce was on a quest to obtain the driest of martinis. In The Big Lebowski, the Dude would be found drinking White Russian all the time. The Champagne Cocktail featured in Casablanca along with the memorable line; "Here’s looking to you, kid". Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade, in between the boo-yaaah’s drank Jack (John) Daniels with Coke (arguably not exactly a cocktail). Among more recent movies, I recollect the Tom Collins from Meet the Fockers, and the Apple Martini, supposed to be Jennifer Aniston’s favorite drink in The Break-up.
So what’s your favorite movie-inspired cocktail ? Also, would be interested if anyone can recollect any other cocktails from movies. As for myself, I am going for the dry martini.
(Recipe details here. In short, cool the martini glass with ice; take a pinch of vermouth into the glass portion of your Boston shaker with cubes of ice – swirl around and throw away the vermouth – add the gin – stir and strain into the pre-chilled glass)
Before, we leave here is a classic line from WC Fields, who earned the reputation of being the supreme souse of Hollywood: "I was in love with a beautiful blonde once, dear. She drove me to drink. It’s the one thing I’m indebted to her for.”
- Babel-On the Rocks– The film Babel, starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, is a complex thriller about a married couple vacationing in the Moroccan dessert. The drink is a refreshing variation of the White Russian.
- The Departini– The Departed falls in line with many of Martin Scorsese’s previous, equally brilliant films and has an all-star cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson. The cocktail is just as thrilling; with tequila, Cognac, Cointreau and agave nectar.
- Royal-Tea– Drama at it’s max, with the sophistication of the English Crown. The Queen is a captivating tribute to how the two leaders of one nation handled the catastrophic events of Princess Di’s death. Helen Mirren gives a brilliant portrayal of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and her counterpart, Tony Blair, is played by the talented Michael Sheen. Of course, nothing would pay tribute to this movie other than "a spot of tea" and in the drink, Earl Grey plays nicely with gin.
- Sunshine in Malibu– Little Miss Sunshine was one of the funniest films released last year and it’s no wonder considering the cast that is led by the ever-hilarious Greg Kinnear with help from Alan Arkin, Steve Carrell and Toni Collette. But we must not forget the "Sunshine" herself, the 10 year-old Abigail Breslin. The cocktail is as bright and shiny, filled with citrus and two flavors of rum.