This May on Cinema Sips, I’m excited to highlight a few of my favorite high school movies. I figured, what better time to do so, what with prom season coming up, graduation, etc. As we all know, the reigning king of high school movies is of course John Hughes. It’s difficult to pick my favorite among his 80’s teen classics, but if pressed, I have to choose Pretty in Pink (DVD/Download). It’s the perfect blend of romance, social commentary, humor, and New Wave music, and I never get tired of watching it.
Pretty in Pink is the story of Andie (played by Molly Ringwald), the creative, pretty girl from the wrong side of the tracks, who falls for rich, sweet, and spineless Blane (played by Andrew McCarthy). Duckie (played by Jon Cryer, in a fantastic role that thankfully makes me forget about ‘Two and a Half Men’) is Andie’s best friend, who is also in love with her. Rounding out the cast are the brilliant Harry Dean Stanton as Andie’s kinda pathetic but well-meaning father, and Annie Potts as the hilarious and hip owner of the record store where Andie works. James Spader also has a great role as preppy sleaze Steff (seriously- Blane? Steff? What country club directory did Hughes consult for these names??), and his feathered hair is truly a masterpiece. Of course, anybody that’s seen this movie also knows that it features maybe the ugliest prom dress in the history of prom dresses. What makes it particularly bad is that all the characters say how beautiful and stunning Molly Ringwald looks in it. Are they blind? Drunk? We’ll never know. Yes, it was the 80’s, but still, there is no excuse for someone making this dress happen.
My cocktail tonight is obviously pink, and obviously kinda girly. I’m using gin as the base because Steff and Blane seem like the kind of guys to get loaded on gin & tonics at the country club pool. It’s also a bit on the sweet side, just like Duckie. Generations of women have argued over whether Andie should have chosen Blane or Duckie in the end, so I’m happy to feature a cocktail that celebrates both of them. I stumbled upon a great recipe on The Kitchn blog last week, and with a little tweaking, I’m serving up a Cats Club Cocktail.
2 oz dry Gin
1 oz lemon juice
1 oz raspberry syrup (see note)
1 egg white
Combine the gin, lemon juice, raspberry syrup, and egg white in a cocktail shaker without ice. Shake vigorously for 10-20 seconds. Then add ice, and continue shaking for another 10-20 seconds. Strain into a coupe glass and garnish with raspberries.
Recipe Note: To make raspberry syrup, heat ½ cup sugar, ¼ cup water, and ¼ cup fresh raspberries on the stove until the berries break down and the mixture thickens (about 5 minutes). Strain out the solids and chill before using.
Full disclosure- I never actually went to my prom in high school. Frankly, I’d seen so many proms in movies that I knew the real thing would never measure up. Without a cute guy in a bolo tie and alligator shoes calling me stunning, what’s the point? I’d much rather experience high school vicariously through Molly Ringwald, as I’m sure many girls out there would. So what if most of her classmates appear to be in their early 30’s? That just means they have no problem getting carded at the liquor store. While I have zero desire to relive my high school days, I always look forward to watching Pretty in Pink. And I always look forward to drinking while I do so- beer, scotch, juice box, cocktail, whatever. Cheers!