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The American President

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the-american-president

Image credit: The American President, 1995.

One more day. One more day and what has been the most contentious presidential election that I can ever remember will finally be over. Whoever wins, whatever side you’re on, I think we all can agree on one thing- politics is a lot more pleasant in Hollywood.

Perhaps the best example of this is The American President (DVD/Download), starring Michael Douglas as a widowed POTUS and Annette Benning as his feisty lobbyist girlfriend. Written by West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin and directed by Rob Reiner, this 90’s era romantic comedy just sparkles in its idealism. A president wooing his lady with a Virginia ham and glamorous state dinners? Taking dating tips from his pre-teen daughter? Adorable. And what’s also great is that Annette Benning is no pushover. She stands by her environmentalist beliefs, is unafraid to tell the president that his crime bill is too soft, and does it all wearing some killer pantsuits. Her only enemy? Dupont Circle. And Republicans.

Despite the attacks from political opponents, the President still manages to find time to spirit his girlfriend away to Camp David. A night in front of the fire in a secluded cabin?  Sounds like heaven.  The only thing that would improve it?  A cocktail of course! While watching The American President, I recommend drinking a Sparkling Maple Whiskey Cider.

Sparkling Maple Whiskey Cider

1.5 oz Cabin Fever maple whiskey

4.5 oz Spiced Apple Cider

4.5 oz Ginger soda

Combine all ingredients in a glass filled with ice and stir gently to combine.

maple-whiskey-cider

I try not to get too political on social media or on this blog, because of course I respect the opinions of others and I never want to sound like I’m belittling anyone who thinks differently than I do. We all have our reasons for supporting a particular candidate. But isn’t it great that cocktails are completely non-partisan?  Republicans and Democrats alike enjoy unwinding with a tasty beverage.  If you’re looking for an escape on election night, I proudly endorse this Hollywood political fantasy, and a strong cocktail (or three).  Cheers!

Good Will Hunting

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Image credit: Good Will Hunting, 1997

Image credit: Good Will Hunting, 1997

It FINALLY feels like fall outside, and I’m surrounded by apple spice/pumpkin spice everything. This time of year always makes me nostalgic for crunchy leaves underfoot and college co-eds in sweaters. I can think of no better movie to watch in autumn than Good Will Hunting (DVD/Download). So curl up with a plaid blanket, fix a drink, and prepare to be lulled in by a soothing Danny Elfman score and the timid songs of Elliott Smith. I feel like skipping class all over again!

Good Will Hunting will always be known as the film that made Matt Damon and Ben Affleck famous, as BFFs, actors, and screenwriters. It’s the Hollywood story everyone loves to hear- two childhood best friends write a script, Robin Williams decides he wants to be in it, Harvey Weinstein decides he wants to produce it, the film is made, released, it’s a big success, and the two best friends bask in Oscar glory. Of course, there’s probably a lot more to the story than that, but that PR-approved legend is just as heartwarming as the movie itself. I know this film about a young mathematical prodigy overcoming childhood trauma to find love gets criticized for being too saccharine at times (It’s Not Your Fault) but no one can deny the brilliant performance by Robin Williams as a down-to-earth psychologist, the charming Southie accents of Matt Damon and his crew of friends, or the perfect, weepy Elliott Smith soundtrack. It still kills me that “Miss Misery” lost out on the Oscar to Celine Dion and “My Heart Will Go On”. I demand a recount.

One of the best, and most oft-quoted lines of the film is when Matt Damon’s Will Hunting announces he got the number of a girl in a bar and, well, “how do you like them apples?” I’ve recently fallen in love with Argus Cidery’s Ciderkin hard apple cider, and I’ve been dying to use it in a cocktail. So while watching Good Will Hunting, I suggest drinking Them Apples.

Them Apples

1.5 oz Buffalo Trace Bourbon

1 oz butterscotch schnapps

3 oz apple cider

4 oz Argus Cidery Ciderkin

Build drink over ice, stirring gently to combine.

Them Apples

It’s still fun to watch this movie and see how incredibly young Matt Damon and Ben Affleck look. They’re major blockbuster stars now (in fact I just caught Matt Damon in the stellar film The Martian over the weekend), but back then they were just a couple of kids with some Kevin Smith film credits. And of course, my heart aches for all the Robin Williams performances we’ll never get to see in the future. This one is just so damn good. So bundle up, settle in, and if you need me- sorry guys, I gotta go see about a drink. Cheers!