Since the film industry was first established, Hollywood has been raising a glass onscreen and using libations to give its characters more, well, character. One example: the legendary James Bond, who famously favored vodka martinis.
Just how unforgettable are Tinseltown’s whistle-wetters? Very—so much so that authors Will Francis and Stacey Marsh have chronicled the most indelible in a brand-new book, Cocktails of the Movies. Dubbed “an illustrated guide to cinematic mixology,” it features more than 60 drinks that were featured on the big screen, giving the cinematic scoop on each (along with, of course, a recipe).
With the Academy Awards fresh on our minds, it’s the perfect time to kick back with one of the cocktails from Francis and Marsh’s collection. Here are four of our favorites—beginning, naturally, with Bond’s martini. Shaken, not stirred.
Vodka ‘Vesper’ Martini (pictured above)
When 007 is playing in the biggest poker game of his life in “Casino Royale,” he tries to relax by ordering a dry martini with a few customized touches. But what will he christen the new drink? An idea comes to mind when Bond looks over and sees a fellow agent (and lover) named Vesper.
- 2 oz. gin
- 1/2 oz. vodka
- 1/4 oz. Lillet Blonde
Shake all the ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a large, thin strip of lemon zest.
In 1988’s “Tequila Sunrise,” Dale ‘Mac’ McKussic (played by Mel Gibson) is dining at a local restaurant—and becomes quite fond of the establishment’s blond owner as she serves him this drink.
- 2 oz. tequila
- Orange juice
- 2/3 oz. grenadine
Pour the tequila into an ice-filled highball glass and top up with orange juice. Stir gently before drizzling the grenadine onto the drink, which will sink to create a sunrise effect. Garnish with an orange slice skewered on a stick with a cherry.
M. Gustave (played by Ralph Fiennes) celebrates proving his innocence in “The Grand Budapest Hotel” while enjoying this cocktail.
- 1 oz. brandy
- 1/2 oz. orange liqueur
- 1 tsp. maraschino cherry syrup
Stir the first three ingredients with ice and strain into a champagne saucer. Top up with Champagne and drop a maraschino cherry in the glass.
When The Dude (aka Jeff Bridges) manages to get his hands on a gorgeous Persian rug in “The Big Lebowski,” he fixes himself this drink to celebrate (and consumes six more throughout the now-classic comedy).
- 2 oz. vodka
- 1 oz. coffee liqueur
- 1 oz. single (light) cream
Pour the first two ingredients into an ice-filled Old Fashioned glass and stir. Float the cream on top by pouring gently over the back of a bar spoon.