5 Cocktails Inspired by Classic Films
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They call them “classics” for a reason–because they stand the test of time. Whether it’s cocktails or movies, classics endure because of their ability to satisfy again and again. These five cocktails were inspired by the onscreen stories that stuck with audiences long after the fade-to-black. (Just don’t drink too many of them or that will happen to you.) Mix these Hollywood-infused beverages at home and enjoy while watching your favorite flick.
The Dude Imbibes (The Big Lebowski)
A case of mistaken identity fuels The Big Lebowski, the Coen Brothers’ 1998 crime comedy. When Los Angeles bowler Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski is assumed to be a millionaire of the same name with a debt to pay, he’s tasked with delivering the ransom for the millionaire’s kidnapped trophy wife. The Dude downs White Russians frequently throughout the film, so master cocktail craftsman Allen Lancaster created an elevated twist on that cocktail in his honor. It’s almost as convoluted as the film’s plot, so consider popping into Charleston’s 1920s-inspired speakeasy The Bar at The Spectator Hotel if you can’t commit to the prep time.
For the Chai Spice-Vanilla Vodka:
- 1 bottle Cathead vodka
- 4 each vanilla beans (split and scraped)
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 teaspoons ground ginger
For the Espresso-Coffee Liqueur Ice Cube:
- 12 ounces espresso
- 12 ounces St George NOLA Coffee Liqueur
- 12 ounces water
For the cocktail:
- 3 ounces house-infused chai spice-vanilla cathead vodka
- 1 1/2 ounces unsweetened almond milk
- 1 large espresso-coffee liqueur ice cube
To make the Chai Spice-Vanilla Vodka: Combine all ingredients in a sealable vessel. Set aside for 10 days stirring occasionally each day. After 10 days pass through chinois strainer and coffee filter.
To make the Espresso-Coffee Liqueur Ice Cube: Combine all ingredients in a pourable vessel. Pour contents into silicone large ice cube tray. Set in freezer.
To make the cocktail: Place ice cube in rocks glass and set aside. Combine vodka and almond milk in mini carafe or similar vessel and pour over the ice cube. Stir with cocktail straw or short swizzle stick as to gradually dissolve ice cube into the cocktail.
Lula Mae Barnes (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)
Manhattan socialite Holly Golightly meets writer and kept man Paul Varjak when he moves into her apartment building. Cue love story…until the glamorous “it” girl’s past (as well as dreams for the future) emerge, possibly putting a kink in Varjak’s plans of taking her off the market. Bearing Golightly’s given name and emulating her identity crisis, this drink is served at The Cocktail Bar at the Windsor Court New Orleans.
- 1 ounce mescal
- 1 ounce bourbon
- 1 ounce lime juice
- 1/2 ounce agave nectar
- 2 drops Bittered Sling Palermo bitters
Shake all ingredients. Pour into ice-filled rocks glass.
Bond Martini (James Bond films)
We all know that British Secret Service agent James Bond prefers his martini “shaken, not stirred.” But did you know that if you the cinematic icon existed in real life, he’d not just be risking his life but liver damage and impotence as well? (Thanks for the buzzkill, British Medical Journal.) You, mere mortal, must pace yourself. Make one cocktail and savor it, or head over to the Hilton West Palm Beach where the nautically-inspired restaurant and bar Galley has a Bond Martini with your name on it.
- 3 ounces Gordon’s dry gin
- 1 ounce Finlandia vodka
- 1/4 ounce Lilet blanc
- Lemon peel (for garnish)
Shake all ingredients. Served in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with lemon peel.
Sidecar Named Desire (A Streetcar Named Desire)
Nobody likes a third wheel. When Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister, Stella, and her husband, Stanley, tensions quickly rise in their apartment in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The already volatile marriage is tested by Blanche’s flirtatious nature, culminating in a chilling scene soundtracked by Marlon Brando’s intimidating howls. Public Belt at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside re-imagined the classic Sidecar cocktail as an homage to this family drama.
- 1 1/2 ounces Grand Marnier Quintessence Grand Cuvee liqueur
- 1 1/2 ounces Hennessey 250 Blend
- 1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in shaker. Fill with ice; shake. Strain into cocktail glass.
Repo Man (Repo Man)
In cult classic Repo Man, Los Angeles punk rocker Otto discovers an unusual proclivity for repossessing cars. When a 1964 Chevy Malibu rumored to contain cosmic booty in the trunk comes onto his radar, Otto sets out to catch it for a $20,000 bounty. A thrilling chase ensues. Quench your thirst for fast-paced excitement with this cocktail from David’s Club Bar & Grill at the Hilton Orlando.
- 2 ounces Patron Reposado
- 1 1/2 ounces fresh sour
- 1/2 ounce strawberry puree
- 1/4 ounce ginger syrup
- Lemon wheel and strawberry (for garnish)
Add all the ingredients to shaker and fill with ice; shake. Strain into a cocktail glass.