As an Amazon Associate, Modded gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
What would James Bond be without his martini — shaken, not stirred? Would the Owens family witches be that magical without their midnight margaritas? Is Hannibal Lector’s threat terrifying without the promise of a nice Chianti? Can you imagine Carrie Bradshaw enjoying an evening without a cosmopolitan, or the Salvatore brothers facing…well, anything…without a glass of top-shelf bourbon on hand?
Some iconic characters wouldn’t be the same without a drink in their hands. If you’ve ever fancied yourself an amateur mixologist or just wondered what it would be like to taste these iconic drinks for yourself, you’re in the right place. Here are some beginner-friendly instructions to help you make the most famous cocktails in movies from the comfort of your own home.
Cocktails in Movies: Basic Bar Equipment
You don’t have to spend a ton of money on starting mixing up your favorite cocktails in movies. The most significant investment will be in booze if you decide to buy full-sized bottles of each liquor. There are a few tools that will help make your bartending journey a little easier, including:
- Mixing glasses or cocktail shakers
- A strainer
- A bar spoon
- A muddler
- A jigger
- Juicers for citrus fruit
- Bottle/can openers
- Glasses to drink from.
You may already have a lot of this in your kitchen, like the citrus juicer or bottle and can openers. Don’t opt for the most expensive options, especially if you’re starting. If you like mixing drinks or want to entertain, invest in better equipment later.
Casablanca — The French 75
“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine….” Casablanca is easily one of the most famous movies of the modern age. It’s full of bittersweet romance, quotable lines, and plenty of tasty drinks to choose from. For us, the best choice has to be the French 75. This drink comes from the Canon de 75 modele 1897, a quick-firing artillery cannon utilized by the French military during World War I. It’s a little bitter, a little sweet and full of character.
- Simple Syrup
- Lemon Juice
- Champagne or Prosecco
Mix 1 ounce of gin, half an ounce of lemon juice and half an ounce of simple syrup in a champagne flute. Top with champagne or prosecco and serve.
Cocktail — Red Eye
They say a little hair of the dog is all you need after a night of drinking, but we don’t think that any hangover in the world could make us want to down a drink like the Red Eye. This proves that cocktails in movies don’t always have to be delicious.
- Tomato Juice
- Raw Egg
Mix one ounce of vodka with six ounces of tomato juice in a frosted mug. Add the beer, then crack the raw egg into the mix. Serve immediately — do not stir.
The Godfather Part II — Banana Daiquiri
“How do you say banana daiquiri in Spanish?”
Daiquiris are traditionally made with limes, but this unique drink from the second installment of The Godfather trilogy puts a new twist on an old favorite.
- Ripe banana
- Triple sec
- Lime Juice
- Caster sugar
Mash your banana in a mixing glass. Add your ice, along with two ounces of rum, a bar-spoon of triple sec, two ounces of lime juice and a teaspoon of caster sugar. Mix and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry if you desire.
Sex and The City — Cosmopolitan
For Sex and The City fans, the Cosmopolitan is almost as iconic as Carrie Bradshaw’s blonde hair or on-again-off-again relationships with Mr. Big. The show may have followed nearly every drink trend imaginable, but they always ended up back with the classic Cosmo.
- Citron Vodka
- Triple Sec
- Cranberry Juice
- Lime Juice
Add one and a half ounces of Citron Vodka, half an ounce of triple sec, one ounce of cranberry juice and half an ounce of lime juice to a cocktail shaker. Next, ice, shake, and strain. Garnish with a lemon slice or lime wedge if desired.
Groundhog Day — Sweet Vermouth on the Rocks, With a Twist
Most of us know vermouth as something you add in small amounts to a martini, but it can be pretty tasty if you opt for the sweet version. If you had to drink the same thing over and over because you’re stuck in a time loop, you could do worse than this classic Groundhog Day cocktail. It’s also one of the simplest cocktails on our list.
- Sweet Vermouth
- Lemon Peel
Fill a rocks glass with sweet vermouth and ice. Express your lemon peel over the top of the glass, add it as a garnish and serve. If you’re going to try this drink out, we recommend opting for top-shelf vermouth if you can get your hands on it.
James Bond — The Vesper Martini
We’ve become so conditioned to hear James Bond’s order of a vodka martini — shaken, not stirred — that we seem to have forgotten the source material. Ian Fleming, the author behind the character, created the Vesper Martini in his first James Bond novel. In the book, titled Casino Royale, James ordered this martini with strict instructions for the bartender:
“Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?”
Daniel Craig’s Bond brought this version of the drink into the movie universe with his appearance in the aptly titled Casino Royale. Unfortunately, Kina Lillet doesn’t exist anymore, but some alternatives exist.
- Lillet Blanc aperitif
- Lemon twist
Add three ounces of gin, one vodka, and your Lillet blanc to a cocktail shaker or mixing glass. Add ice. Some recipes recommend shaking; others recommend stirring. Choose the method you like best, but mix until the drink is chilled. Then strain, add your lemon twist and serve.
The Queen’s Gambit — Gibson Martini
Speaking of martinis, we can’t overlook the breakout sensation that was The Queen’s Gambit. More than 62 million households viewed this limited show on Netflix. The main character’s drink of choice — the Gibson Martini — might have been lesser-known when the show premiered, but now it’s one of the most popular drinks.
It’s almost identical to a standard gin martini, with one significant difference — its garnish.
- Cocktail onions
Mix two and a half ounces of gin and half an ounce of vermouth over ice. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a pickled cocktail onion.
The Big Lebowski — White Russian
The Dude Abides — but it’s a lot easier to abide if you’ve got a tasty cocktail to drink. The Big Lebowski made the White Russian a household favorite, and with good reason. It’s strong but delicious, and you’ve probably got a couple of ingredients already lying around your house.
- Coffee liqueur
- Heavy Cream
Add three-quarters of an ounce of your favorite coffee liqueur and one ounce of vodka to a rocks glass. Stir to mix, and top with your heavy cream.
The Blues Brother — Orange Whip
“It’s 106 miles to Chicago. We got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses. Hit it!”
As kids, we loved orange creamsicle frozen treats, and as adults, we love the Orange Whip. This iconic drink from The Blues Brothers is insanely good.
- Orange Juice
Combine one ounce of rum, one ounce of vodka, two ounces of cream and four ounces of orange juice in a shaker, and shake with ice. Strain over ice, and garnish with an orange slice or whipped cream.
Which One Are You Trying First?
This isn’t an exhaustive list of cocktails in movies by any means. If you’re an amateur bartender or just starting on your mixology journey, it’s a great place to start. Which of these recipes are you planning to try first?