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Love at the Christmas Table

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Love at the Christmas Table

Image credit: Love at the Christmas Table, 2012.

This week’s Cinema Sips selection was prompted by my love for Schitt’s Creek actor Dustin Milligan, who once sported a particularly festive Christmas sweater and apron in an episode. I thought to myself, this guy needs his own holiday movie. After a deep dive through IMDB, I was delighted to discover that he already has one, Love at the Christmas Table (Disc/Download).

Before you go thinking that Dustin is the only big name in this, I’ll have you know that it also stars Danica McKellar from The Wonder Years, Scott Patterson from Gilmore Girls, and Back to the Future’s Lea Thompson as a boozy Miss Havisham character! I think we’re supposed to see a Great Expectations plot in this, where lovers meet as children then gradually discover they’re meant for each other, but it’s hard to grasp under all the mistletoe, twinkle lights, and paper-thin career ambitions (you’re a furniture designer all of a sudden Danica? Oh reaaaally?). I’m mainly here for the impromptu ballroom dancing, Lea Thompson’s fab office featuring a mini-bar and fake book wallpaper, and a creepy/cute cardboard house that looks like something a serial killer would have made. Danica, you might need to run.

Something that stays constant as these kids grow up is the annual rum cake at their holiday gathering. It gets boozier as they get older, which I am all for. Here’s a recipe for a fun Rum Cake Martini that’ll put you in the holiday spirit.

Rum Cake Martini

1.5 oz Kraken Black Spiced Rum

1 oz Godiva Dark Chocolate Liqueur

.5 oz Butterscotch Schnapps

2 oz Half-and-Half

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice, and shake well until chilled. Strain into a chilled martini glass.

Rum Cake Martini

While the plot of this movie certainly has some issues, I’m willing to forgive a lot for charming actors, which Love at the Christmas Table has in spades. If you want to see what some of your favorite TV stars are up to, give this a watch. And don’t forget the rum. Cheers!

Back to the Future

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Back to the Future

Image credit: Back to the Future, 1985

I was thrilled to get a reader request for this week’s film Back to the Future (DVD/Download) because it’s one of those obvious classics that I have a tendency to overlook on Cinema Sips. It’s such a part of everybody’s shared film experience, and I’m excited to think about it from a cocktail aficionado’s standpoint. As Lorraine says, “Everybody who’s anybody drinks.” Whether it’s 1955, 1985, or 2017, alcohol is always cool. I wish I could say the same for Pepsi.

Watching Michael J. Fox travel back in time to when his parents were teenagers always gets me thinking- would I have been friends with my parents in high school? Would I have been considered cool in 1967? I like to think that my penchant for bold prints and Beatles records would have tipped the scales in my favor, but who knows? I certainly wouldn’t have had the magnetic personality of Michael J. Fox, who is charming as hell in any decade. Teaching his nerdy dad how to woo his mom and fend off school bully Biff (ahem, sorry, President Biff) is no easy feat, but Fox pulls it off and still manages to get to the clock tower in time for the DeLorean to be struck by lightning. This movie is so Hollywood.

Pepsi must have brokered quite the deal with Universal to get such prime placement in not only this film but its subsequent sequels. I’m sure they wish they had a DeLorean right about now, taking them back to a time before tone-deaf ads. Despite the recent bad press and my natural preference for Coca-Cola, I have to make an exception this one time. While watching Back to the Future, I recommend drinking a Hard Pepsi.*

Hard Pepsi

5 oz Pepsi

1.5 oz Amaretto

.5 oz lemon juice

Build drink over ice, stirring gently to combine.

Hard Pepsi

Word of advice, don’t be like George and live it up with some chocolate milk. Be like Lorraine, the closet bad girl/future alcoholic who knows how to have a good time. We’re only young once. Unless of course, your name is Marty McFly. For him, time and age are all relative. Cheers!

*Yes, that’s right, I own this movie on LaserDisc and still have a functioning LaserDisc player. How’s that for going back in time??