I stumbled onto a copy of one of my favorite 80’s movies the other night. No, not Jaws, not Star Wars, and definitely not Indiana Jones. I’m talking about the Diane Keaton classic Baby Boom. Set in the bustling dot-matrix world of New York finance, this movie features plenty of shoulder pads, Le Corbusier furniture, and that great mystery of male sexiness Sam Shepard. For those who haven’t seen it, Diane Keaton’s character J.C. Wiatt is a high-powered businesswoman in New York City who inherits a baby through some pretty outlandish circumstances. She tries her best to raise the baby and keep the career, but in the end a smarmy 80’s-era James Spader undermines her and she’s forced to leave the rat race behind. She moves to Vermont, where she meets a handsome veterinarian and starts a baby applesauce company. J.C. Wiatt is my personal hero in this movie. She takes a horrible situation (cue the shrieking baby at a business meeting) and turns it into something amazing. If that’s not inspirational, I don’t know what is.
For my cocktail pairing, I’m making a Vermont Appletini. Now, you’re welcome to make a standard Appletini with the neon green mix if that’s your thing, but personally I prefer something a little more refined in flavor. Like a lot of the cocktails I’ll be featuring, this one contains real fruit slices. Because fruit is very healthy for you, even if it’s soaked in alcohol. Right?
1 part Orange-flavored Vodka
½ part Diced Apple
½ part Simple Syrup
½ part Lemon Juice
½ part Butterscotch Schnapps*
Pinch of Cinnamon
Fresh apple slices for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, muddle the apple and simple syrup. Add ice and the rest of the ingredients. Shake until cold, and strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with a thin slice of apple and pinch of cinnamon.
This drink is a great accompaniment to the film because it combines the sophistication of the New York cocktail scene with the flavors of a fall night in Vermont. Sip slowly as you marvel at Diane Keaton’s impeccable comedic timing, James Spader’s female golfer haircut, and Sam Shepard’s crooked smile and backwoods accent that shouldn’t be attractive yet somehow are, in a geeky sort of way. In many ways, I think this movie has greatly inspired me in life. J.C. Wiatt longs for life where she can raise her baby outside of the rat race, while still maintaining a fabulous career. In the end, she makes it happen. Whereas I long to sit around mixing cocktails and watching movies all day, while still doing something that can be called a career. And look at me now, doing just that. Here’s to making applesauce with your life. Cheers!
*Note- you may be asking yourself, why should I buy an entire bottle of Butterscotch Schnapps for this one drink? I promise, you’ll use it again in again. It makes a great mixer during the fall, particularly in apple cider or rum cocktails.