What do Elk sneezes taste like? Probably not ginger kombucha and spiced rum. Even though Elk do live in greater Oregon, I thought Overboard was a completely different boat movie, and made a cool-rum based drink in advance.
Am I proud of myself for a having a senior moment? No. But this interpretation of a dark and stormy suits the needs of those (ahem, Joey) who want to avoid soda, and also enjoy a delicious alcoholic beverage.
In one of the scenes of Enough Said, Eva says “Drinking is overrated… I mean underrated.” And that is one of multiple scenes in this movie where they’re drinking wine. And so I knew I wanted to make a wine cocktail, but as it’s summer, I felt like maybe a cool-down was also in order.
When Toni Collette’s character was rearranging furniture, and then confronted by her husband saying that he would like to “fill her hole,” and Eva says “different hole…” I knew immediately that it would be the inspiration for this prosecco popsicle — because it’s literally filling a different hole…
Joey and I are doing Whole 30, and then we watched The Big Sick. Have you heard of this? It’s a crazy diet and social experiment and marriage tester. But it means we are actually going mocktail the week with a little sun tea.
Plus, something about sitting by the bedside of the person you’re in love with, while they’re in a coma, probably means lack of sleep, a lot of worry, and no alcohol on hospital premises, really makes this mocktail sound like a great change of pace for us.
The first time I had Campari, I was in Paris, and it was the only thing on the menu that I recognized, from one line in Life Aquatic.
I hated it, but was too embarrassed to say as much. In the eight years since, I’ve actually developed an appreciation for the apéritif and one of its signature cocktails, the Negroni.
Our friend Kate Digby Skinner, an interior designer/photographer, chose Annie Hall, and in tribute to her go-to cocktail of the moment, we made a variation of the Negroni; a classic cocktail paired with a classic rom-com.
My mom wrote us an email suggesting that we watch this movie, and suggested our cocktail be “Thriller on the Rocks.” I took half of her advice.
I was thinking about Jenna and Matty’s happily ever after, in their pink house probably in a New York suburb. The type of East Coast adults with Bernie stickers on their car, who drink kombucha on tap, and proudly brandish their L.L. Bean credit card. Their apple-cider vinegar still has ‘the mother’ and yes, they did try Whole 30.
This week: It’s Complicated. I remember in high school, I’d eat like two navel oranges a day. Peeling the perfect orange really brings me back.
And I’ve used some of my favorite flavors (bourbon, maple, and orange), in this simple cocktail, because that’s what home should be. Inspired by Jake, played by Alec Baldwin, grabbing the lady parts of his ex-wife, post-coital, and declaring: “Home Sweet Home.”
When we first meet Mya, played by Meagan Good, she’s just spent the night with some loser, who didn’t remember her name and ran away with both of their lattes while she was in the shower. After reading a dating advice book by Steve Harvey, Mya decides she’s going to set different boundaries in dating. So when Mya meets Zeke, she waits until the fifth date to invite him upstairs. Our cocktail this week is inspired by a scene in which Mya finally invites Zeke in for a nightcap.
They make it, and she does invite him upstairs, but to his surprise and chagrin, she offers him coffee. He asks for three shots of Jameson in the coffee, and she essentially ignores him. The subtext of the nightcap is subverted, and instead of rolling around in the sheets, having messy, drunken sex, they stay up all night talking.
I’ve never been to England. My travels include 37 out of 50 States, two Canadian provinces and one spectacular trip to Paris, France. So I asked my well-travelled, smart friend Darcy what kinds of cocktails do people in Great Britain drink? In my mind, I thought of Shaun of the Dead, ales and stouts, and maybe a Scotch or two. Darcy clarified that room-temperature cask ales were more like it, and it wouldn’t be uncommon to see someone with a gimlet or gin and tonic. Perfect, I thought, I can make a quasi-British gin cocktail!
Darcy also sent me this post on Slate, basically a lyric essay dedicated to the gimlet; she said that Four Weddings and a Funeral is part-American, part-British, just like the gimlet, and I sent her every thankful emoji I can find.
In Forgetting Sarah Marshall, a despondent, lovelorn Peter — played by Jason Segel — walks into a Hawaiian hotel and resort and sees an angel: Rachel (Mila Kunis) sent from heaven by way of the Ukraine and Los Angeles. At the front desk check-in, Rachel causally offers Peter POG juice, a line easily overlooked without the closed captions.
POG juice, it turns out, is a the official drink of Hawaii, sold by the gallon at Costco and virtually everywhere, all over Hawaii: papaya, orange and guava juice, created in 1971 by a food product consultant in Maui.
“I have this theory of convergence, that good things always happen with bad things.” -Diane Court
In honor of Diane Court, and we have applied the idea that good things always happen with bad things to our cocktail this week, because drinking is seldom only good and seldom only bad.
When Joey and I first starting thinking about our specialty cocktail for this drink, our minds went first to Vehlere’s graduation party, in which Diane Court wears a sparkling white dress that would surely get spilled on, and something called a Purple Passion pours out of a fountain. After a bit of research, I found that in the mid-1980s, Purple Passion was one of those mysterious “doesn’t taste like alcohol, don’t know what’s in it” drinks concocted in bathtubs and trash cans all over college campuses. Then, Everclear — the liquor not the band — decided to bottle and brand it; a precursor to Zima or Mike’s Hard. If you’re in the mood for some wacky 80s nostalgia, check out the Purple Passion website.
After learning that Purple Passion is an actual thing, I shifted my thoughts back to a few ideas: the messy, Solo-cup keg parties of my youth, cheap beer, and my first experiences drinking. I tell the story of my first drink as one wild night when I was trying to get Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince at the midnight release, and the nice clerk at Borders handed me a ticket and told me to come back at 2:00 a.m. Sorely defeated, three months after my 21st birthday, torn between wanting the book and needing to go to sleep, I decided to uncharacteristically meet my friends at the bar. They asked me what I wanted to drink, I had no idea, so I said the first thing that came to my mind: “Gin and juice, I guess.” An hour later, I said that I couldn’t feel my lips and everyone laughed. The rest is history!
In How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Andie works at a magazine, a fictional Cosmopolitan knockoff called Composure. It was very easy for us to apply that logic to our cocktail, since the pervasiveness of the pink martini also known as the Cosmopolitan was at its peak consumption in 2003, the year HTLAGI10D was made.
During one montage, I believe Andie and her BFFs are actually drinking Cosmos. This is, of course, thanks in part to the ground-breaking, trend-setting run of Sex and the City.
The Cosmopolitan cocktail can be traced back to the mid-80s, when a Miami bartender basically threw together a “Kamikaze with a splash of cranberry juice.” As Composure Magazine had less of the integrity and vision than its real-life iteration, as unrefined as the original was, so is our cocktail.
Now, I love drinking but have an unrefined palate; I am, after all, from Lewiston, ME. And according to Vine Pair, the Cosmo fell out of fashion for the same reason bartenders initially loved it: it was so easy.
Although Moonstruck does not actually feature pizza of any kind, both the trailer and the opening credits are set to Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore.” As in, when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie. And that line was stuck in my head for the entirety of our preparation, watching the film, and our discussion that followed.
As a result, I knew I had to somehow incorporate a pizza garnish on this cocktail. Had I seen this Las Vegas Weekly Pizza cocktail contest, I might’ve reconsidered. But something about the pizza in the sky was an image I couldn’t let go of, and thus, the Bagel Bite garnish.
Buck’s Naked BBQ in Freeport, Maine first took the food garnish to another level for me. Under a section on the menu called Fooze, they have margaritas, a bloody mary, and a mojito that come served in a pint glass with a baby back rib on top. The first time I had one, it came with a three-inch rib. The second time I had one, it came with a six-inch rib. Of course savory garnishes like olives, stuffed olives, and pearl onions are nothing new, and I’ve seen bloody marys served with any manner of garnishes, although my favorite to date is definitely this:
Some modern films set in New York are actually filmed in places like Providence, Rhode Island or Cleveland, Ohio. But Moonstruck is unapologetically the real deal, and based on the characters’ predilection for whisky, I decided this cocktail would be a Manhattan with a Bagel Bite on top, named for the neighborhood where the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie.
There were a few references to alcohol in 27 Dresses that may have inspired our drink for this episode: Kevin ordering three fingers of scotch, no ice; Casey to Jane:
“He asks if you want a drink. You smile and say, ‘Vodka soda.’ If you already have a drink, you down it. Then there’s some flirting, some interoffice sex, an accidental pregnancy, a shot gun wedding, and a life of bliss. How many times do we have to go over this?”
And there’s Jane keeping Grey Goose and Redbull in the apartment specifically for Tess’s arrival.
None of these notions were particularly inspiring, despite having a giant bottle of Costco knockoff Grey Goose here at the apartment. Then there was the line, again from Casey, played by the ever hilarious Judy Greer: “Hey, do you want to come over to my place before the party? Some of the guys from shipping are coming, and they’re bringing tequila and bubble wrap.”
Befriending guys from shipping has plenty of benefits. If, like Joey, you were briefly employed at a Business to Business publication (B2B) in a small town, the shipping guy ruled the roost. He was the guy who helped you lift things. Shipping Guy told you when the storage was being cleaned out so you could score some free end-tables. He could be relied on for a secret afternoon warehouse beer. Moving? Shipping Guy will hook you up with 24 glorious brand new boxes and a heavy-duty tape dispenser to put your book collection in, because you are a monster, attempting to move hundreds of books across the entire damn United States. And if you’re on your way to Jessica Jones’ the goth receptionist’s engagement party, Shipping Guy might stop by with bubble wrap and tequila.
Although I think Casey is, at heart, more of a vodka soda or Skinnygirl® Margarita, I can also see her taking Jane to Vegas or New Orleans for a bachelorette party and insisting they let loose a little. So I made the Wedding Circuit, a frozen mango/strawberry margarita inspired by the friendship I hope these characters continue to have.
This week’s cocktail is inspired, in part, by a series of exchanges between Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan as Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly, respectively. Joe and Kathleen are speculating about the origin of the number 152 in Kathleen’s internet crush’s handle (spoiler alert: it’s Joe!).
Joe Fox: Mr. 152 Felony indictments. Kathleen Kelly: Mr. 152 insights into my soul. Joe Fox: Oh yeah. No competing with that.
It turned out to be his address, as evidenced by a masterful sideways glance by Tom Hanks. Gosh, he’s good.
If by chance we were to use one of my old usernames, our cocktail tonight might’ve been inspired by “skittle4” (Skittle, the candy I was likely shoving into my mouth as my dad asked what I wanted my username to be, was taken), then the troublingly emo “shadeofred” and “starsfadetogrey”— that’s grey with an ‘e.’
There is actually a pretty great Earl Grey French 75 recipe out there somewhere that I’ve been meaning to try, so maybe I’ll find a way to work that in sometime. Joey, on the other hand, is and has always been DeLorean27. Not sure what Back to the Future cocktails that might inspire, but Tab might be involved. Or a Pepsi Free. That we’d pay for.