Gathering together to watch a movie this coming weekend? Still havin’ a heat wave? Then you and your guests oughta be havin’ not just whatever old beverage happens to be in the fridge, but a mixed drink that matches your Vincent Minnelli, or a cocktail to accompany that Shakespeare tale. Here are some real, crowd-pleasing drinks and the movies that made them, or that they were made in. Please drink responsibly and watch excessively.
CASABLANCA (1942) Paul Henreid suavely orders one of these at Rick’s Café American.
Casablanca Champagne Cocktail
1 cube sugar
Place sugar cube at bottom of champagne flute. Splash sugar cube with Angostura bitters. Slowly fill flute with champagne. Garnish with lemon.
THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998) Among other stimulants partaken by “The Dude” (Jeff Bridges) in this classic cult movie was this nifty mixture. Just don’t overdo it or you could end up in the gutter.
Lebowski’s Big White Russian
2 parts vodka
1 part Kahlúa
1 part cream
Pour over ice and stir
NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) Aboard the 20th Century Limited to Chicago, the debonair Don Draper prototype Roger O. (“stands for ‘nothing'”) Thornhill was quick to order one of these cocktails:
2-1/2 oz gin
1/2 oz dry vermouth
Mix ingredients with ice. Stir; strain into a chilled cocktail glass; garnish with onion.
CASINO ROYALE (2006) In Ian Fleming’s James Bond novel of the same name, Bond impresses his American counterpart, Felix Leiter, by ordering this concoction. “This drink’s my own invention”, says Bond. “I’m going to patent it when I can think of a good name.” Here’s the name and the recipe:
3 oz. gin
1 oz vodka
1/2 oz Lillet Blanc
Shake over ice and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a thin lemon peel slice.
TOP HAT (1935) At the Lido, Ginger Rogers blurts out “Two Horse’s Necks!” after her companion, Helen Broderick, botches an attempt at ordering a drink in Italian.
Ginger’s Horse’s Neck
1-1/2 oz bourbon (or brandy or gin)
Carve lemon peel in one, long spiral. Place in highball glass, one end touching bottom and the other end placed over the rim. Add ice cubes, liquor and fill remainder of glass with the ginger ale.
THE WAY WE WERE (1973) This was Katie Morosky’s (Barbra Streisand) favorite indulgence–next to Hubbell, that is:
Morosky’s Dubonnet Over Ice
1 oz Dubonnet
8 oz ginger ale
1 lemon peel
Pour Dubonnet over ice cubes in a Collins glass. Fill with ginger ale. Add lemon peel.
IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (1963) Buddy Hackett and Mickey Rooney perhaps could’ve chosen an airplane pilot whose other job wasn’t as nearsighted Mister Magoo (Jim Backus). During the flight, a suddenly thirsty Backus orders them to take over the plane’s controls while he retreats to the bar area. “I’m going to make an Old Fashioned the old-fashioned way!”, he says, “The way dear, old dad used to!!”
It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Old-Fashioned
1 t sugar
2 small lemon peel pieces
2 oz bourbon or whiskey
A slice of orange or a maraschino cherry
Add sugar to an old fashioned glass; add the bitters, then grind the sugar, bitters and lemon. Add bourbon, ice, and then stir. Garnish with the orange slice or a cherry.
Reading this makes me think of an air-conditioned theater on a hot day — I’d pick the Avalon in Washington, DC –the one with the mural on the ceiling of the sun god Apollo throwing a reel of film to a couple of cherubs. Drink? The champagne cocktail.