Is There A Cocktail In My Movie?

From The Adventurer to The Big Lebowski, Drinking through the Movies

Even before they began talking in films, cocktails were part of the story, such as when Charlie Chaplin appears to make a Whiskey and Soda in The Adventurer in 1917. And cocktails have been part of the talkies since 1934 when William Powell and Myrna Loy drank Knickerbockers and Martinis in The Thin Man. William Powell instructs the bartender how to make drinks, “The important thing is the rhythm. Always have rhythm in your shaking. 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.”

Max Maxey

Cocktails have continued to play a role in movies over the years, from lead roles, such as the martini in James Bond or the White Russian in the Big Lebowski to more supporting roles, such as the Champagne cocktail in Casablanca. We visited the oldest bar in Los Angeles, Cole’s (1908), home of the original French Dip, where Bar Manager D. Max Maxey crafted eight classic cocktails that have been featured in movies, along with a few tips.

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This story originally appeared in Laemmle Theatre’s Commemorative Book — Not Afraid…75 Years of Film Exhibition in Los Angeles — which was published as part of the theater chain’s 75th Anniversary celebration. The book is available for $8 and the proceeds go to the Laemmle Charitable Foundation. To order, click here.