DVD Release DateJust Put It On My Tab! 15 Cocktails That Owe Their Iconic...

Just Put It On My Tab! 15 Cocktails That Owe Their Iconic Status To Cinema

clear martini glass on brown wooden table
Photo by Ambitious Studio* – Rick Barrett

Movies and cocktails have always been a perfect pairing, from James Bond’s reliable shaken not stirred Martini to Carrie Bradshaw’s sultry Cosmopolitan. Cocktails have played significant roles in countless classics, not only adding to the aesthetic but becoming an integral part of the storyline. Keep reading to discover our favourite scene stealing drinks.  

And let’s be honest, Americans do love a good drink! But did you know, there’s even a popular cocktail in every state? Well, now you do!

1. White Russian – The Big Lebowski

The Big Lebowski was the Coen brothers’ follow-up to their Oscar-winning film “Fargo.” While it may not have been a commercial success, Jeff Bridges’ portrayal of The Dude turned this slacker noir into a cult classic. From his iconic sweater to his laidback attitude, the lovable character managed to resonate with people across the globe, with The Dude’s drink of choice, the White Russian skyrocketing in popularity. 

2. French 75 – Casablanca

Another unsuspected triumph on our list is Casablanca. Although it is considered to be one of the greatest films to be ever made, at the time of its release in 1942 it was predicted to be yet another war picture. The film went on to win three Academy Awards and has since still maintained a loyal following thanks to its quotable lines and of course scene stealing beverage, the French 75 ordered several times throughout the film. The cocktail’s name comes from a French field gun that was used during WWII and while it may not be as popular now it is still a nice way to experience a time gone bye. 

3. Vodka Martini – James Bond

Very few cinematic characters are as closely associated with a beverage as James Bond. Let’s face it, when you think of 007 his iconic Vodka Martini shaken not stirred is one of the first things to come to mind, along with his impeccable tux and Aston Martin. Bond shares a lot of the same character traits as his creator Ian Fleming, who preferred his cocktails shaken not stirred to preserve the flavour of the drink. Unlike the original martini which is made with gin, Bond’s take on the classic cocktail includes Vodka, Vermouth and Lemon Peel. 

4. Mint Julep – The Great Gatsby

brass-colored cup filled with crushed ice with mint
Photo by Adam Jaime

Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s The Great Gatsby took an unexpected approach to the American novel with its innovative use of 3D visual effects, never before seen in a drama. While the film’s initial reception was mixed, today it is considered to be one of the most influential films of 2013, the year it was released. The film introduced fans to the Mint Julep, a refreshing cocktail favoured by the character Daisy despite the abundance of champagne available. 

5. Cosmopolitan – Sex and The City

a red drink with a slice of lemon on the rim
Photo by Kike Salazar N

We could not have a list of the most iconic cocktails in films and not include Sex and The City’s Cosmopolitan. While the franchise may be more commonly known for its long-running HBO show, it did spawn two successful movies taking the fab foursome to the big screen. Made with vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and freshly squeezed lime juice, you know whenever Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda appear on screen a cosmopolitan is never too far behind. 

6. White Angel – Breakfast at Tiffany’s

In the 1961 classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly is no stranger to an alcoholic beverage. Whether it is champagne or a nice cocktail, Hepburn’s character knows how to have a good time, ordering the famed White Angel at Joe Bell’s bar throughout the movie. A White Angel is the film’s take on a traditional martini, bringing together one-half vodka, one-half gin and no vermouth. 

7. Singapore Sling – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

This fruity concoction was Hunter Thompson’s drink of choice in the film adaptation of his well-regarded novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, for a reason. A Singapore Sling consists of gin, cherry brandy, lime juice, pineapple juice and grenadine, making it the perfect summer delight. Deceptively sweet, the Singapore Sling does pack a mighty punch just like the film that popularised it. 

8. Bloody Mary: Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood

brown cocktail
Photo by Johann Trasch

Generally mixing vodka, tabasco and tomato juice might not seem very appetising especially when served in a hurricane glass garnished with a gigantic rib of celery. However the Bloody Mary has had plenty of fans prior to being Brad Pitt’s character Cliff Booth’s favourite thirst quencher. Quentin Taratino’s ode to the golden age of cinema, Once Upon A Time … In Hollywood spotlights the cocktail most known for its hangover curing capabilities making it stand out among the madness that ensues as the film progresses. 

9. Manhattan – Some Like It Hot

Marilyn Monroe’s scene stealing performance as Sugar in Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot is perfectly captured in the now-famous Manhattan sequence, whereby Monroe opens a smuggled bottle of bourbon and discovers a bottle of vermouth, allowing them to make a Manhattan. Sure, the 1959 romantic comedy may centre around two musicians fleeing the state disguised as women, this is the scene many people point to when discussing Monroe’s meteoric rise to fame. 

10. Sweet Vermouth – Groundhog Day

clear drinking glass with brown liquid and sliced orange fruit
Photo by Gaby Yerden

This cocktail plays an important part in the 1993 comedy classic Groundhog Day, as it is used as a device to show how far Bill Murray’s Phil Connors, the film’s unlikeable protagonist has come as he continues to live the same day 12,394 times. Phil is initially introduced to the audience ordering a Jim Beam with ice, he later opts for his producer Rita’s favourite drink Sweet Vermouth on the rocks with a twist, revealing his newly found optimism.

11. Orange Whip – Blues Brothers

Originally a fountain-style soda, the Orange Whip evolved into a Creamsicle-like cocktail after appearing in the Blues Brothers’ film. Legend has it, John Candy who played the parole officer Detective Burton Mercer improvised the entire scene in order to promote the orange beverage. While waiting for the titular characters to finish their performance, Candy delivers the famous line:  “Who wants an Orange Whip? Orange Whip? Orange Whip? Three Orange Whips,” cementing the drink’s place in cocktail history.

12. Screwdriver – Jackie Brown

Jackie Brown may be one of Quentin Taratino’s lesser known films but that doesn’t mean it should be missed. Often described as a masterclass in deception, the film invites spectators into the underground crime scene in 90s Los Angeles. It features stellar performances by Samuel L. Jackson and Robert De Niro, whose characters spend time sipping away on Screwdrivers making meaningless conversations. 

13. Sidecar – Bonfire of the Vanities

This elegant cocktail makes its appearance in the 1990 film Bonfire of the Vanities, during a scene in which Bruce Willis’ character Peter Fallow corrupts a young man whose wife does not allow him to indulge in alcohol. In the absence of his wife he chooses to order a Sidecar which is made up of cognac, lemon juice and orange liqueur. Despite the film being released in the mid-90s, Sidecars are still a popular choice of cocktail today. 

14. Red Eye – Cocktail

Fewer things were cooler than Tom Cruise in the ‘80s, right? From “Top Gun” to box office flops like Cocktail, Cruise truly ruled the decade. In fact, it is thanks to his film “Cocktail” that the world was introduced to one of the strangest alcoholic concoctions around, the Red Eye. Just like a Bloody Mary, a Red Eye contains tomato juice but ups the ante by adding a mix of lager and egg. Sure, it might not be for everyone but it is memorable. 

15. Midnight Margaritas – Practical Magic

three clear drinking glasses with orange and white liquid
Photo by The Nix Company

Want to be part of a witches coven? Well, now you can by re-enacting the midnight Margaritas scene from everyone’s favourite Halloween film Practical Magic. Featuring Harry Nilsson’s “Coconut” blaring in the background, the scene manages to perfectly depict a spontaneous eruption of joy that brings a new kind of magic to the movie, that of family. It doesn’t hurt that the cast which included Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock actually got a little drunk while shooting.