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Shaken, not stirred? The best Hollywood cocktails


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Movies and television have inspired cultural trends for decades, from fashion to language and music. With the Great Gatsby premiering on Friday, has dived into the cocktail scene and taken a look at what cocktails that have been made famous by Hollywood, and where you can go get them.

French 75 – Casablanca


A torrid love affair, a fearful time in history, a few tortured souls and a swanky nightclub are just some of what make Casablanca a motion picture masterpiece. Recreate your own Hollywood classic with the French 75; an effervescent mix of gin, champagne, lemon juice and sugar. Said to have been first conceived at the New York Bar in Paris in 1915, the French 75 has inspired many contemporary derivatives since its inception. For those looking for the original, head to the City of Light where the New York Bar still stands (now called Harry’s New York Bar) or find the French 75 at other historic treasures like The Hemingway Bar.

Vodka Martini – James Bond Movies


Many martini purists will tell you a true martini is made with gin and not vodka, but those three words -  shaken, not stirred - have transformed modern-day martini culture. A proper vodka martini, made up of vodka and dry vermouth, isn’t difficult to recreate depending on your preference of the vodka to vermouth ratio, but if you find yourself in London, quench your martini thirst at the world-famous ICEBAR.  The ICEBAR by ICEHOTEL London has a chilly twist on the vodka martini, and it is also home to a unique, glacial-inspired setting made up entirely of ice. As London’s only year-round ice bar, you’ll be able to enjoy your vodka martini at a frosty 23 degrees Fahrenheit, no matter what the temperature is outside.

Red Eye – Cocktail


The haughty bartending skills of New York business student Brian Flanagan were centre stage in 1988’s Cocktail, where Tom Cruise made mixology look sexy, cool and a little reckless. But with many great cocktails comes the danger of a great hangover, and the movie’s signature cocktail Red Eye, was the cure for just that. A stomach-churning mix of beer, tomato juice and egg, it might be difficult to find this beverage today (and probably for good reason). But if you’re determined to find a perfect beer and tomato juice combination, we suggest trying your luck in Tokyo where many bars have taken the “beer-cocktail” to a whole new level, like the Yankee Stadium beverage at Park Hyatt Tokyo.

Old Fashioned – Mad Men


Before Don Draper hit the television screen, an Old Fashioned might have been something you only ever saw your grandfather enjoy. A sugar cube dissolved in bitters, mixed with bourbon whiskey and garnished with a cherry and orange, this classic cocktail has seen a recent revival thanks to the popularity of Mad Men, the television series based on advertising industry of the 1960s. And if whiskey bourbon is the key component of this concoction, then Kentucky is the place to get the best. Check out the Kentucky Bourbon Trail for distillery tours, or if you just want to bar hop, don’t miss the Urban Bourbon Trail where you can visit the best bars and restaurants in Louisville.

White Russian – The Big Lebowski


Before the White Russian made its debut as the preferred drink for The Dude, it was the Black Russian that started it all. Equal parts vodka and coffee liqueur, the Black Russian hit the cocktail scene in the early 1950s, and by the 1960s it had been transformed by adding milk or cream and became the beloved White Russian. Nowadays, the varieties of White Russians are seemingly endless, but for those looking to sample them all, there’s no better place than the Lebowski Bar in Reykjavik where you will find more than 17 versions of the drink while paying homage to the much-loved cult classic film.

Manhattan – Some Like It Hot

New York City

While Some Like It Hot has been deemed by many film critics as the greatest comedy of all time, there’s nothing light-hearted about the Manhattan cocktail. A blend of whiskey, sweet vermouth and bitters, it’s a beverage best left to those that can handle their liquor. It’s believed that the drink first came into appearance in New York City in the 1870s at the exclusive Manhattan club, for which it is named. Since its inception, the Manhattan has inspired many derivatives of the cocktail, like the Rob Roy, the Cuban Manhattan and the Southern Manhattan. Today, the best mixologists have perfected every aspect of it from the ratio of whiskey to vermouth, to the type of cherry that gets to garnish it.

Mojito – Miami Vice


Although the Mojito only became popular among cocktail drinkers in recent decades, it can be traced as a staple of Cuban culture as far back at the late 1500s. A true mojito takes vigorous muddling of lime, sugar and mint, a large amount of rum and a splash or soda water. It was in Cuba at the La Bodeguita del Medio where Ernest Hemingway wrote on the wall of the bar “My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in La Floridita.” The original La Bodeguita del Medio still stands in Havana today, but if traveling to Cuba is out of the question, the bar has expanded with locations across the globe.

Singapore Sling – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas


If the name isn’t enough of a cautionary, the fact that it was a favourite beverage of Dr. Gonzo and Raoul Duke in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas should be. This deliciously sweet and fruity beverage was the brainchild of Raffles Hotel Singapore and is thought to have been invented before 1915. While the recipe has been altered over the years, a true Singapore Sling consists of gin, cherry liqueur, orange liqueur, Benedictine, grenadine, bitters and pineapple juice. The Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel Singapore still stands today and continues to serve the beverage it has become famous for.

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