By Aaron Peart
Let’s all go to the wet bar and have ourselves a treat.
Something about “The Event” of going to the movie theatre just does it for me. The collective experience of seeing a new blockbuster, or a re-release or special screening (looking at you, Rocky Horror Picture Show) made only better by a free rein on the concessions stand.
Everyone knows that movie popcorn doesn’t count toward your calorie count…or so my girlfriend tells me.
But since I was a kid, I just love sitting in a comfy chair in a dark room with a sticky floor. It’s cheap, it’s entertaining, and you always have something to talk about.
Date tip: Do the movie first, then you’ll have conversation with even the most boring of companions.
Now that I’m a grown up, there’s one thing missing.
Specifically, here’s no rum in my Coke.
Seriously, why should I resort to stashing sugary pre-mixed cans in my coat pocket when I want to watch a movie for a late night show?
True story: my brother and I went to see the third instalment in the Dark Knight trilogy at the Thursday Night Midnight show. The lights were down maybe 10 seconds, and a chorus of hissing beer cans being popped greeted our ears. We stopped using fake coughs to mask the noise after the 15th or so.
So if you want to watch a movie and get into it, why not pair up your flick with a sip?
There are obvious connections and more obscure, and when my editor approached me asking if I could come up five or so drink recipes that corresponded with movies, I doubled it before forcing myself to stop.
The trouble with most modern cocktail books is that they require obscure ingredients. I’m ok with shaking or stirring, but I’m not pre-smoking rosemary for the sake of more than one cocktail from the comfort of my couch. Of course, the trouble with the older cocktails is that they’re things like The Screwdriver (vodka and orange juice). A classic, but – you can’t deny – somewhat pedestrian. (Does anyone drink this after 25 years old? Asking for a friend.)
So when compiling this list, I took the liberty of staying away from the overly simple or obscure. This ensures you won’t have to go to boutique stores to find that particular brand of bitters or what-have-you. Nor will you be drinking a mess of ingredients that you’ll be hard pressed to use again.
The Movie: Evil Dead
The Drink: Zombie
Starting this list off with a softball, the Zombie has taken down many an unwary customer, feasting on their brain…’s inability to walk or form coherent sentences. A classic cocktail, it has the one-two “punch” *rimshot* of tasting super fruity and sweet, but a wallop of alcohol that breaks through the window while you thought you’d secured all the entrances.
3/4oz Gold Rum
2oz Dark Rum
3/4oz Overproof Rum
1/4oz Cherry Brandy
1 1/4 Lime Juice
3/4oz Orange juice
Shake all ingredients on ice, pour over ice in a highball glass – but really, any glass will do. You’re at home; drink it from a coffee mug if you like.
The Movie: The Godfather
The Drink: Godfather
There’s a reason this movie is always at or near the top of Best 100 – it’s storytelling at its finest. I’m much better than I was, but a small part of me judges anyone that hasn’t at least tried to watch this American Mafia story based on Mario Puzo’s book.
(Skip the 3rd movie, especially after you’ve seen Part 2.)
How can you not enjoy the Godfather? The drink, I mean. (This might get confusing.) Simple yet sophisticated. Ready to make it? Here it is:
Scotch and Amaretto at a 2:1 ratio.
You can’t mess this drink up – but when the movie clocks in at a hair under 3 hours, The Godfather will mess you up.
The Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
The Drink: Mind Eraser
Anyone who’ll sum up Jim Carrey’s work with his early/mid 90s career has got another thing coming. Carrey has been tied to serious work since The Truman Show back in 1998, and Eternal Sunshine is about the pain of heartbreak being so awful that technology can literally erase memories of your ex out of your consciousness. My blurb doesn’t even begin to do it justice – it’s this great piece of art.
(So is Dumb and Dumber, but for an entirely different reason).
The Mind Eraser won’t pretend to do that, but it’s technically a shot, and it tastes good, so there’s a good chance you’ll have blanks where the movie is supposed to be in your memory.
Layer the ingredients in order, stick a straw in, and wave goodbye to your loved ones. Looking for something similar that will last a little longer?
The Movie: The Big Lebowski
The Drink: White Russian
I couldn’t talk about movies with cocktails and NOT bring up The Dude. The movie that launched a movement (and even a religion) about a middle aged stoner who just wanted his rug back also brought into the spotlight the White Russian. If you haven’t seen this, or turned it off 20 minutes in, I beseech you to give it another try, with one of these in your hand.
No spoilers, but when he’s hammering the board into the floor… I’ve seen Lebowski over a dozen times, and I lose it every time. I’m losing it now just thinking about it.
Layer into a short glass, top with a Maraschino cherry if you have them lying around. Otherwise, don’t worry. The dude sweats not the small stuff.
The Movie: Cool Runnings
The Drink: Jamaican (On Ice)
This was on TV just the other day in my part of the world, and it got me thinking. I don’t have any kid-friendly movies on my list, and I took it as a sign. Then I found the cocktail in a book and that’s how you write for PopLurker, guys!
When I was writing down the ingredients I realized where the name came from: gold rum, black coffee liqueur and lime juice symbolize the Jamaican flag. #TheMoreYouKnow
1oz Jamaican Rum (Appleton VX is the industry standard and thus the most widely available)
1oz Lime Juice
Dash of Angostura Bitters (that little bottle wrapped in paper with the yellow lid, again the industry standard)
Shake everything except the soda, pour into a tall glass, add the 7up, and kiss the egg.
For the Intermission, I wanted to divulge some semi-relevant trivia. When we watch old Western movies, you’ll notice that everyone seems to be addicted to something called “Sarsaparilla”. A pre-cursor to Root Beer, it was basically a studio decision not to advocate drinking in their movies – this isn’t long after Prohibition, so they didn’t want role models like John Wayne to be seen drinking. That’s why everyone’s apparently drinking a pop of some sort.
All right, back to the show!
The Movie: Raging Bull
The Drink: Brave Bull
Leto ain’t got SHIT on DeNiro’s Oscar-winning portrayal of Jake LaMotta in the tragic film Raging Bull. DeNiro got into excellent shape just as a boxer would (even LaMotta himself said that DeNiro was one of the 20 best middleweight boxers that had ever entered the ring), and then immediately gained a record 60lbs to play the older LaMotta.
The Brave Bull isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s here I’ll say: don’t cheap out on your tequila. Bad tequila may as well be dumped down the drain – you’ll spend the same amount but won’t have a hangover the next day that God Almighty hath smote upon thee.
1 1/4oz Tequila
Pour over ice, and add a lemon twist (you can use a vegetable peeler to get a good twist).
The Movie: The Hunt for Red October
The Drink: Russian Coffee
Sean Connery’s “best” Russian accent aside, few movies can accurately convey the tension felt during the Cold War in a two hour microcosm than this film. I haven’t seen this since I was a kid, but just reading the IMDB plot brought back memories… I’m going to have to hunt this one down (see what I did there?
1/2oz Kahlua (I swear they aren’t paying me for this, it’s just the way the names worked out)
Add all ingredients to a coffee cup, add coffee, top with whip cream.
*This is actually a 2fer with the Wolf of Wall Street! Substitute the coffee and whip with milk, and all the booze 1oz each, and you get… the Quaalude.
The Movie: Love Actually
The Drink: Amaretto Sour
Full Disclosure: I liked this movie, then I watched it a second time… and loathed it. It’s like they Disneyfied London and sprinkled icing sugar on it. And when that kid says to his dad (Liam Neeson) toward the end “Let’s get the shit kicked out of us by love!” I turned it off before I could puke in my mouth. BUT, in the interest of fairness, I included it and paired it with a Sour. Because Love isn’t sprinkled with icing sugar; it’s complex. But the different flavours all come together in order to create something beautiful.
1 1/2oz Lemon Juice
1/2oz Simple Syrup (sugar dissolved into an equal amount of water)
1 egg white
Shake everything up – for best results, try what’s called a “dry shake” without ice first, then as usual a second time – and strain over ice to see a foamy delight of drink. Garnish with those cherries from when you watched Lebowski, or a lemon slice, or if you’re not giving it to your SO, to hell with the garnish.
The Movie: The Shawshank Redemption
The Drink: Sewer Water
I almost didn’t add this cocktail in, because it contains both grenadine (what’s supposed to be a pomegranate “simple syrup” but has become a red flavoured corn syrup nightmare) and melon liqueur, two of my least favourite ingredients. But, Shawshank is constantly in my Top 5 favourite movies ever, so I bit the bullet. Why the connection? Fix yourself a drink, and push play.
It’s about to get weird.
1oz Overproof Rum
3/4oz Melon Liqueur
Add the grenadine to the bottom of a glass, add ice, and shake everything except the lime juice. Pour it in and float the lime juice on top.
I have yet to actually taste this but when I do…you’ll be the first to know.
The Movie: The Passion Of the Christ
The Drink: Rusty Nail
A little tongue in cheek humour never hurt anyone, and you’re going to need it because all of the suffering Jesus went through is vividly on display. From what I hear. I hate gore, and I’m not religious, so I never saw it.
But I like the drink, that counts, right?
2oz Scotch (blended is fine; don’t waste the good stuff)
Add ice and stir well.
Happy boozy movie drinking, everyone!
Aaron is PopLurker’s resident bartender and Firestarter. You can follow him on Twitter.
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