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Image credit Jaws, 1975

Image credit Jaws, 1975

Lately it seems like Jaws is EVERYWHERE. Because we just passed the 40th anniversary of its release, this movie is popping up at my local indie cinema, a public swimming pool, and of course cable TV.  I just can’t escape the shark. But with something this good, why would you want to? Jaws (DVD/Download) is the quintessential summer blockbuster. It’s a film that keeps me riveted and entertained from start to finish, and it makes me feel a little better about the fact that I live in Texas (far, far away from open waters). Featuring plenty of drunk fishermen, it’s also a great movie to watch with a cold cocktail.

Jaws is not simply a movie about a killer great white shark. It’s also a psychological thriller where often what you don’t see is a lot scarier than the sight of the actual latex-covered beast. A dark shadow, the tip of a fin, the tug of a raft- TERRIFYING. This could have turned out to be a laughable schlock-fest featuring a clunky mechanical shark, but with Steven Spielberg’s expert direction, and amazing performances by Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw, and Roy Scheider (obviously preparing for his later role as Capt. Nathan Bridger on SeaQuest), it’s a shrewd example of how great horror films can be. I must admit, the scene where Richard Dreyfuss swims under a fishing boat to examine the hull and finds a corpse still makes me scream and jump three feet in the air, even though I know what’s coming. Everything after that- shark attacks, bad 70’s eyewear, the chum bucket- is no big deal.

For my drink this week, I’m paying homage not only to the familiar sight of red-tinged water, but also the filming location of the movie. Set in a fictional coastal New England town called Amity Island, Jaws was actually shot on Martha’s Vineyard. I know my favorite beverage when I’m up in that area is the Cape Codder, and how fortunate for me that Deep Eddy Vodka has essentially bottled this drink with their Cranberry Vodka! While watching Jaws, I recommend drinking a Blood in the Water cocktail.

Blood in the Water

1/2 oz. Lime juice

4 oz. club soda

2 oz Deep Eddy Cranberry Vodka

Lime Wedge

Fill a tumbler with ice, lime juice, and club soda. Slowly pour the vodka over the back of a spoon into the glass so that it floats toward the top. Finish with lime wedge, and a macabre swizzle stick!

Blood in the Water

I love the scene in Jaws when the three men get drunk aboard the Orca and compare bite wounds. Of course, Quint takes it a little too far with his horrifyingly depressing story about the USS Indiana, but up until then it looks like a fun party. In the words of the salty dog himself, “Here’s to swimmin’ with bow-legged women.” Cheers!