Tuesday, January 26, 2016

1930s Movie Cocktails

Movie Cocktails of the 1930s

The black and white movies of the 1930s always appeared to be so glamorous. The movie stars were always seen drinking champagne and cocktails and smoking as though it was the most elegant thing in the world.

Smoking and drinking weren't taboo in the thirties and it showed in these movies. The women could be seen with long cigarette holders, smoking almost seductively while drinking copious amounts and they even wore real fur coats!

It was definitely a different time.

Martinis were certainly the cocktail of the 1930s if the movies are anything to go by as a number of them showed people sipping dry martinis.

Let's take a drunken walk down the red carpet and look at the cocktails in the movies.

The 1930s opened with the Mae West movie Every Day's a Holiday. In this classic movie we see Mae West and the others drink Bellinis. The movie also introduced the infamous one liner, you should get out of those wet clothes and into a Dry Martini
Bellini Recipe
The Bellini is a champagne cocktail made with -
2 oz peach juice or peach puree
4 oz champagne
Pour the peach juice or puree into the bottom of a champagne flute and then add the champagne slowly.

Bellini by Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr
Moving forward to 1934 we have the movie The Thin Man. In this movie not only do Dry Gin Martinis feature, but we also get lessons in how to shake a cocktail properly. According to William Powell the art of shaking is all about the rhythm -

He continued with -
Now a Manhattan you always shake to fox-trot time, a Bronx to two-step time, a dry martini you always shake to waltz time.
Dry Gin Martini Recipe
Now Martinis can be shaken or stirred, but in the movies they seem to be shaken more and with advice on the rhythm you can rest assured these were definitely being shaken!
3 shots gin
dash dry vermouth
dash of orange bitters (optional)
Martini via Pixabay
Pour all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake 'to waltz time, of course' and then strain into a martini glass. Garnish with an olive.
The following year - 1935, we see Clark Gable and Constance Bennet also indulging in Dry Martinis in the movie After Office Hours and in 1936 William Powell plays a butler who helps himself to Martinis in My Man Godfrey.
In My Man Godfrey, however William Powell indulges in Vodka Martinis which really bucks the trend of gin martinis at that particular time in history.
Vodka Martini
6 parts vodka
¼ tsp dry vermouth
Combine vodka and vermouth into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a martini glass to serve and garnish with an olive.
1935 sees Constance Cummings and Robert Young as a young couple in the movie Remember Last Night. After an alcohol fuelled night of partying it appears that the host has been murdered, but everyone drank too much to remember what happened!! Aside from sipping champagne through straws, knocking back the scotch and sodas and swilling down wine the cast also enjoyed Sidecars.
4 parts brandy
2 parts triple sec
2 parts fresh lemon juice
Place all of the ingredients into a cocktail shaker, with ice and shake well then strain into a cocktail glass.
Also in 1935 we see a Horse's Neck ordered in the film Top Hat starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Horse's Neck
4 parts whisky
ginger ale
3 dashes angostura bitters
Fill a Collins glass with ice and add the whiskey. Fill with ginger ale, the angostura bitters and stir well.
Moving towards the end of the decade we see Bette Davis drinking Pink Gin in the 1939 movie Dark Victory.
Pink Gin
2 shots gin
3 dashes of angostura bitters
Splash the bitters into a chilled cocktail glass, swirl and then pour out the excess. Pour in chilled gin.
Pink Gin by Stuart Webster on Flickr

In another 1939 film - Remember? - Greer Garson, Lew Ayres and Robert Taylor all quaff Imperials
4 parts gin
2 parts dry vermouth
½ tsp maraschino liqueur
2 dashes angostura bitters.
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir well. Strain into a cocktail glass to serve.
Let me know if you enjoyed the lens or perhaps you can think of other movies that I have missed.

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