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Tag Archives: Blue Cocktail

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar

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Image credit: Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, 2021

I’ve spent the month talking about cruise movies, but now I’d like to switch gears and feature a variation on this theme- the land cruise. Inspired by a recent stopover at the Atlantis Bahamas resort, I couldn’t help but think about these giant hotels where everything is at your fingertips, and your only decisions for the day are: which pool, which cocktail, and which pair of culottes. If you want a taste of the luxury resort life, then check out this week’s film, Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar (Disc/Download).

A movie I found funny on first viewing, and absolutely hilarious on subsequent watches, Barb and Star will charm you with their Midwestern accents, their seashell bracelets, and their Talbots resort-casual wardrobes. I like to think of this one as Romy & Michelle for the Golden Girls crowd- not that there’s anything wrong with that! You see, I’ve long believed that if you ever want to put a little sparkle back in your life, a good place to start is a Florida vacation. The fictional Palm Vista Hotel featured in the movie is a magical pastel-hued Barbie Dream House full of seashell beds, ocean views, and friendly bartenders, and just watching BFFs Barb and Star (Annie Mumolo and Kristen Wiig) step into that lobby feels transporting. It also doesn’t hurt that there’s a lively Busby Berkeley-inspired musical number to welcome them, or that Jamie Dornan is there to add a funny romantic twist (along with a strange subplot involving killer mosquitos, but this post isn’t going to be long enough to go into all that). Ultimately, if you learn anything from Barb and Star it should be this: the best ships are friendships. And if Tommy Bahama should one day wander out of the swamp and offer you his calloused hand, take it.

One of my favorite parts of this movie is when Barb and Star drink a giant blue cocktail with their new pal Edgar (Dornan), and proceed to have a wild night of debauchery. I’m not sure exactly what goes into a “Buried Treasure” cocktail, but the Atlantis has a similar-hued drink that’ll give you those Palm Vista vibes. While watching Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, I recommend drinking a Blue Marlin.

Blue Marlin

1.5 oz Vodka

1 oz Blue Curaçao

1 oz Triple Sec

2 oz Pineapple Juice

1 oz Lemon Juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake to chill, then pour into a glass over fresh ice. Or- serve it in a seashell cup!

Seashell cup from

The thing about land cruises is that you’re able to exist in a tiny self-contained world of pleasure, minus the possibility of sea sickness. You can enjoy the buffet without wondering if you’ll see it again later, and a walk on the beach can be a great way to cap off a perfect day of turtle stalking, shell shopping, and Banana Boat flapping. And if you’re lucky, you’ll even get to meet Trish! Now there’s a woman you can count on. Cheers!

Eyes Wide Shut

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Eyes wide shut

Image credit: Eyes Wide Shut, 1999.

After 3 years of choosing Christmas films for Cinema Sips, I’ve reached my limit on festive family-friendly fare. If you’re looking for It’s a Wonderful Life or Love, Actually, you may want to scroll back a year or two. Since many of us currently feel like we’re living in a bizarre reality of “alternative facts” and a bleak future where The Day After Tomorrow is suddenly not so far-fetched…. Dystopian Christmas seems right. Kicking things off is Stanley Kubrick’s final film Eyes Wide Shut (DVD/Download).

I think Stanley Kubrick himself must have been positioning Eyes Wide Shut as an unconventional Christmas movie. Why else would such a master of visual style put a garish Christmas tree in LITERALLY EVERY SCENE? Maybe that’s a good drinking game- take a sip every time you spot a tree with colored lights.  Too often, the dialogue between Cruise and Kidman seems to drag, like that fight you’ve had with your spouse that lasted about two hours longer than it should have. You know you’ve been saying the same thing for the last forty-five minutes, but you just can’t stop. Maybe that’s both the problem, and point of this movie. Tom Cruise’s character stumbles onto a hidden Manhattan sex ring, tempting him away from his beautiful wife and child, but even after things turn sour, even after it becomes dangerous, he can’t quit his obsession. Kubrick was notorious for being a slowpoke auteur, and one wonders what changes he might have continued to make to the final cut of this film had he not died before its release. In the end we’re left with a powerful, beautiful, flawed product that’s just weird enough to be brilliant.

The true star of this film (in my opinion) is Nicole Kidman. Her character Alice is a complicated mess, torn between her desire for a stable family life and her illicit desires. Only when she becomes drunk or stoned do we see the real Alice emerge. Lit from behind in Kubrick’s indigo blue light, her pale skin seems otherworldly. While watching Eyes Wide Shut, I recommend drinking a Midnight Kiss.

Midnight Kiss

1oz Vodka

¼ oz Blue Curacao

1 tsp lemon juice


Combine first three ingredients in a shaker filled with ice.  Stir until chilled, then strain into a champagne flute.  Top with chilled champagne, and garnish with a lemon twist.

Midnight Kiss

During this movie, Tom Cruise has quite possibly the longest night in the history of nights. He goes from fighting with his wife, to comforting a dead man’s family, to flirting with a beautiful prostitute, to having a drink in a jazz club, to buying a costume, to crashing an orgy, to hiding the evidence back home- all before sunrise. After awhile, you wonder how far past midnight, and normalcy, he’s ventured. Whether you view it as a dream or a nightmare, Eyes Wide Shut will make you realize that there are many things in life we’ll never fully understand.  The fun, and the frustration, is in the trying. Cheers!

Romeo + Juliet

romeo and juliet

Image Credit: Romeo + Juliet, 1996

So I know I already featured a Baz Luhrmann film on Cinema Sips this month….. and here’s another one! Because it’s still February and still romance month, I couldn’t resist watching Romeo + Juliet (DVD/Download). I adore the 1968 Zeffirelli version too, but for my money, Lurhmann does the best job of capturing the energy of the original play. The director has said in interviews that he wanted to make a film in the way that Shakespeare himself might have done it, and since William Shakespeare was the ultimate entertainer of his day, it stands to reason that by the time the mid-90’s rolled around, he would have incorporated an Ecstasy-fueled party and Mercutio in sparkly sequin drag costumes. Definitely.

Romeo + Juliet stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Clare Danes in the title roles, and their chemistry is part what makes the film such a success. I love the constant motif of water, particularly how the big balcony scene was done in a swimming pool. The lighting and the turquoise radiance of pool turn it into a much more sensual scene than I ever could have imagined when reading the play. Because it’s Luhrmann there are so many visual treats, even becoming chaotic at times, but the use of the original Shakespearean dialogue helps to balance the frenzy out. Is it word for word Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet? No. Does it draw me into the story and make me feel the passion and tragedy of these star-crossed lovers? Without a doubt.

The color of Juliet’s fake-death potion inspired my cocktail this week. Though not actually poisonous, it looks like it might be!  While watching Romeo + Juliet, I recommend drinking a Mortal Drug.  (Apologies in advance for having to ask for Kinky Blue at the liquor store, but it actually feeds the decades-long Jolly Rancher addiction I have in the best way).

Mortal Drug

2 oz Kinky Blue Liqueur

1 oz Blue Curaçao

¾ oz lemon juice

½ oz simple syrup

Splash of club soda

Mix together Kinky Blue, Blue Curaçao, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled, then pour into a highball glass. Top with club soda.

Mortal Drug

While watching this film, be sure to look out for all the billboard slogans that are nods to Shakespearean quotes, and listen to the carefully curated pop songs. The version of Prince’s “When Doves Cry” is still one of my favorites.  Just, try to look past Clare Danes’ ugly crying. ‘Tis not pretty. Cheers!