Classic Movie Cocktails

This is one of those articles which, if left unchecked, could have gone on forever. Who knows? There may be more more parts to this than a Fast And Furious franchise. Only time will tell…

White Russian: The Big Lebowski

A classic White Russian is made with vodka, Kahlúa, and cream. Fill an Old Fashioned glass with ice. Add  2 shots vodka and one shot coffee liqueur and swirl to mix. Pour over the cream and stir gently… delicious! The Dude (Jeff Bridges) liked his White Russians so much he ordered them throughout the entire film The Big Lebowski.


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French 75: Casablanca

A French 75 is one of the most classic of champagne cocktails. Take one shot of gin, a half shot of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and a half shot of simple syrup (50/50 sugar and water shaken until mixed), and pour them into a cocktail shaker over ice. Shake until well chilled and pour into a champagne flute. Top up with champagne, garnish with a twist of lemon, et voilà! The drink is refreshing and delicious — but it came to fame in Casablanca.

Sweet Vermouth on the Rocks with a Twist: Groundhog Day

Sweet vermouth isn’t typically ordered at a bar unless it’s in a martini and even then, most people like their martinis bone-dry. This drink was made famous by Phil Connors (Bill Murray) in Groundhog Day when he orders the drink and then states, “It always makes me think of Rome, the way the sun hits the buildings in the afternoon”… but, by now, we know it’s Andie MacDowell that he’s trying to get into.

Manhattan: Some Like It Hot

In Some Like It Hot there’s the famous scene in which there is only vermouth and bourbon on the train, and Sugar Kane Kowalczyk (Marilyn Monroe) decides it’s a fantastic idea to make Manhattans. If you want to be a bit more of a show off you can do it like this… pour two measures of bourbon, one of sweet vermouth, two dashes of Angostura bitters, and one dash of orange bitters into a mixing glass full of ice, and stir until well chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe and garnish with a cherry.

Whisky Sour: The Seven Year Itch

Here we go again with Marilyn Monroe and whisky! When Richard Sherman (Tom Ewell) is talking to Miss Morris (Marguerite Chapman) he states, “Miss Morris, I’m perfectly capable of fixing my own breakfast. As a matter of fact, I had a peanut butter sandwich and two whisky sours.” I remember (vaguely) an end of term staff party which revolved around a blender, several bottles of whisky, a sack of lemons, and a load of ice. Quick recipe… one and a quarter ounces of whisky, one and a half ounces of lemon juice, and three quarters of an ounce of simple syrup go into a shaker full of ice.  Shake well and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice, and garnish with a cherry.

Orange Whip: The Blues Brothers

While we’re waiting for The Blues Brothers to take the stage, Burton Mercer (John Candy) declares, “Who wants an Orange Whip? Orange Whip? Orange Whip? Three Orange Whips!” So what are they? Take four parts orange juice, one part rum, one part vodka, and two parts cream. Blitz in a blender until frothy and pour over ice.

Singapore Sling: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

It’s hard to narrow this tale of indulgence down to one particular drink, but the Singapore Sling is mentioned early on in the movie by Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp), when he says, “Twenty-four hours ago we were sitting in the Pogo Lounge of the Beverly Heights Hotel, in the patio section of course, drinking Singapore Slings with mescal on the side, hiding from the brutish realities of this foul year of Our Lord, nineteen-hundred and seventy one.” Now I know nothing about mezcal (honest!) but a Singapore Sling… three quarters of an ounce of gin, a quarter of an ounce of Grand Marnier, a quarter of an ounce of cherry liqueur, a quarter of an ounce of herbal liqueur, an ounce of pineapple juice, half an ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice, and a dash of bitters go into a shaker full of ice, and get shaken until well chilled. Strain into a highball glass, top up with soda water, and garnish with a slice of orange and a cherry.

Vesper: Casino Royale

The martini, shaken not stirred, was made famous by James Bond years ago, but it was Casino Royale that shot the Vesper to fame. The drink is just a mix of gin and vodka with vermouth, but Bond (Daniel Craig) puts it far better than we ever could when he tells the barman… “Dry martini. Wait… three measures of Gordon’s; one of vodka; half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it over ice, and add a thin slice of lemon peel.”

Extra Dry Martini: Kingsman

And then, finally, there is the ubercool, minimalist version that Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton) orders when a waiter asks if he wants a drink and replies… “Martini. Gin, not vodka, obviously. Stirred for 10 seconds while glancing at an unopened bottle of vermouth.”

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