movies and cocktails–the Golden Age

One of my favorite thrift store finds is a book titled Hollywood Cocktails. This fun read reviews movies from the 1930s through the very early 1960s, the days of Greta Garbo, Humphrey Bogart, Elizabeth Taylor, Claudette Colbert. I’ve only watched a few of these films and I enjoy their class. No violent weapons, no prolific vulgarity–just pretty people in gorgeous clothes with witty dialogue.

Hollywood Cocktails makes the point that the characters in these films usually have a drink in their hands as they go about their business. The book offers 70 recipes for classic cocktails (or “debonair drinks” according to the jacket copy), each tied to a specific film. Casablanca showcases Champagne Cocktail as well as Singapore Sling. It Happened One Night offers a recipe for The White Lady (gin, lemon juice, triple sec, egg white). Cat on a Hot Tin Roof: Hot Toddy.

I enjoy the book for its movie reviews, photos (black and white, of course), and quotes. I’m also happy to have a good collection of classic cocktail recipes in one place. It’s a fun cover-to-cover read, but also a handy companion piece for movie watching. Think of the movie-and-a-cocktail parties that could be thrown!

Tonight I had bourbon on my mind, so turned to the review for Marilyn Monroe’s The Seven Year Itch and its Whiskey Sour recipe. I threw one together and found it refreshing with just the right sweet-sour balance. I loved the frothy egg white crown, too. It was fun to sip a classy cocktail at the end of the day with my husband. We may not be as glamorous as the movie stars of years past, but we still enjoyed a taste of that glamor.

Whiskey Sour

revised slightly from the recipe found in Hollywood Cocktails

  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons agave nectar (the book called for simple syrup)
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters

In cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients. Add ice; shake vigorously. Strain into glass. Makes 1 cocktail.

whiskey sour from Hollywood Cocktails