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Tag Archives: Patrick Swayze


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Image credit: Ghost, 1990

We all know the infamous scene. Patrick Swayze spoons Demi Moore with his body as she’s throwing a pot on the wheel, unapologetically ruining her hard work, but it’s okay because he’s PATRICK-freaking-SWAYZE. “Unchained Melody” plays in the background as their hands get messy with wet clay, and the foreplay quickly heats up. Ghost (Disc/Download) is a romantic, sexy film, but it’s also so much more than that. Paranormal thriller, murder mystery, comedy, heist—this one straddles genres like Demi straddles that wheel, and I dare you to find the person who doesn’t like at least something about this movie.

Meanwhile, there are those (okay, me) who like everything about this movie. The heartfelt romance between Swayze and Moore’s characters, the sweet friendship ghost-Patrick finds in the unlikeliest of places with psychic Oda Mae Brown (Whoopi Goldberg), the twisty-turny murder plot, and yes, even the special effects. Although nowhere near as polished as what we’d see today, for 1990 they were fairly impressive. And let’s not forget the script, which only hits harder with each passing year. Now that I know what it feels like to lose a loved one, I understand the desperation in these characters in a way I couldn’t have thirty years ago. They’d give anything for one more second, one more touch, one last opportunity to say what they’re feeling. This movie isn’t selling love, or redemption, or revenge, but rather… hope. Hope that “one more second” is possible.

I know a lot of people don’t believe in ghosts, but I am not among them. In fact, I have one that haunts my home bar (no joke). Swizzle sticks have moved on their own, ice tongs have clattered to the ground, and the dog once growled at a bottle of Cointreau like it was a poltergeist. So let’s celebrate my inebriated invisible friend with this silver-toned tiki cocktail, the Ghost Orchid.

Ghost Orchid

2 oz Silver Demerara Rum

¾ oz Lime Juice

¾ oz Pineapple Juice

½ oz Crème de Violette

½ oz Orgeat

Lime wheel and orchid flower for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a hurricane glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with a fresh orchid and dried lime wheel.

As someone who is married to a potter, I can tell you the wheel scene is not as sexy as it appears. They don’t show the clay-splattered laundry, the dust tracks all over the floor, or the never-ending piles of cups and saucers littering the kitchen counter. But you know what is sexy? A person who can make something with their hands, who sees what others can’t. Who sees the potential, the hope, even in a wet ball of mud. Because maybe, that person sees the same hope in you too. Cheers!

Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights

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Dirty Dancing Havana Nights

Image credit: Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, 2004

I’m not going to pretend that this sequel holds a candle to the original Dirty Dancing. I don’t care what re-makes or sequels come down the pipeline, there will never be another Patrick Swayze. However- if you’re looking for a fun film with fabulous vintage clothes, gorgeous Cuban aesthetic, and the ever-adorable Diego Luna, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (DVD/Download) has you covered. Plus- bonus Swayze cameo!

In the same spirit of the original, Havana Nights follows a “good girl” who falls in love with a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Katey can’t stand the entitled American jerks of her own social set, so when a cute Cuban waiter rescues her from the mean streets of Havana, she jumps at the chance to befriend him and spice up her ballroom dancing with some Latin moves. Even Patrick Swayze pops up as the hotel’s dance instructor, in a strange Johnny Castle time-warp. Seventeen years later, and he’s still teaching clueless girls the merengue.

I’ve already featured the recipe for a classic mojito with I Am Cuba, as well as a watermelon sandia with the original Dirty Dancing. So why not combine the two? While watching Dirty Dancing Havana Nights, I recommend drinking a Watermelon Mojito.

Watermelon Mojito

2-3 Fresh watermelon cubes

2 oz white rum

Fresh mint leaves

2 tsp sugar

1 oz lime juice

Club Soda

Muddle watermelon, sugar, lime juice, and mint in the bottom of a glass. Add rum, then top with club soda. Stir gently to combine.

Watermelon Mojito

I’ll admit, this movie is mainly just a great excuse to ogle Diego Luna and drink mojitos. And damn if that Wyclef Jean song isn’t just as catchy as “Time of My Life”. Now that Americans can finally visit Cuba again, it might be time to dust off my Spanish and figure out the visa situation. Cheers!

The Outsiders

Image credit: The Outsiders, 1983

Image credit: The Outsiders, 1983

I was shocked to learn recently that The Outsiders is STILL being taught in middle school classrooms. With the intense boom of YA literature over the last decade, I would have thought that S.E. Hinton’s classic tale of greasers and soc’s had since been edged out by John Green or Stephen Chbosky- but no. Apparently Ponyboy lives on. Part of what made reading The Outsiders so great back in middle school was the inevitable arrival of the clunky TV cart hauled in on a rainy day, long after we’d finished our discussion of what the heck Robert Frost meant with that poem. The lights would dim, as 25 seventh graders focused their attention on Francis Ford Coppola’s iconic film adaptation of the novel. Even now, the opening notes of the theme song conjure up sensory memories of dry air, mildewed backpacks, and the smell of sharpened pencils. Ah youth.

The Outsiders (DVD/Download) is actually a fairly accurate adaptation of the book.  We still get the same retro S.E. Hinton dialogue, the same wacky character names, and the same great lines like “Do it for Johnny!” and “Stay Gold, Ponyboy”. The casting is pretty perfect, featuring a who’s who of 80’s stars like C Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Tom Cruise (pre-dental work), Rob Lowe, Diane Lane, Leif Garrett, Emilio Estevez, Ralph Macchio, and the late great Patrick Swayze (rocking his signature too tight black t-shirt). Let me say, as a 14 year old girl watching this for the first time, I finally understood where all the cute boys were. Certainly, not at my school.

How fortunate we all are that Hinton gave her characters such unusual names. Cherry, Sodapop- I can do a lot with those beverage-wise. If you’re watching this with an actual middle schooler, you can just serve up an ice cold Cherry Coke. But if you’re of legal drinking age, desperate to enhance your teenage memories, I recommend drinking a Spiked Cherry Soda.

Spiked Cherry Soda

1 tablespoon maraschino cherry juice

1.5 oz white rum

8 oz Cherry Coca-Cola

1 maraschino cherry

Build drink over ice in a tumbler. Top with maraschino cherries.  Bonus points for a gold rimmed glass!

spiked cherry coke

After enough cocktails, you may find yourself giggling hysterically at Matt Damon’s big crescendo, “DO IT FOR JOHNNY!” Or maybe weeping when Ponyboy leaves his copy of Gone With the Wind for a bandaged and burnt Ralph Macchio. Robert Frost says nothing gold can stay, but the fact that we’re still reading this book and enjoying the movie so many years later is proof otherwise. Cheers!

Dirty Dancing

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Image credit Dirty Dancing 1987

Image credit Dirty Dancing 1987

This week on Cinema Sips, I’m featuring a great summertime classic movie that pairs oh so well with a seasonal fruity cocktail. Dirty Dancing (DVD/Download) was a movie that I was forbidden to watch as a child, so of course my desire to see it grew to epic proportions until I finally watched it at a friend’s house around age fourteen and thought, “That’s IT??” I’d seen more scandal on All My Children on pretty much a daily basis by then, so what my mother’s reasoning was for keeping me in the dark, I still don’t know. But I will say, once I got over the disappointment that my world was not indeed rocked by this movie, I wanted to watch it again and again for the magic that is Patrick Swayze.

Dirty Dancing is the coming-of-age story of a young woman, Baby Houseman, who goes to a resort in the Catskills with her family over the summer, and falls in love with her dance instructor. Jennifer Grey was cast as Baby (despite that nose and badly permed hair), and Patrick Swayze plays bad-boy dancer Johnny Castle (what a name!!!). He teaches her the merengue; she teaches him that rich people are capable of kindness. They make love in his cabin and wear the latest 80’s fashions (despite this film taking place during 1963). Pretty much everybody in this movie is forgettable, with the exception of Mr. Swayze. He’s sexy, funny, vulnerable, and man- can he move! I love it when tough guys can also dance, and in his case, sing too. “She’s Like the Wind” is SOOOOOO 80’s, so again, why is it in this 60’s set film? Who knows. Dirty Dancing veers so close to being a terrible movie we love to make fun of, and of course I do mock parts of it relentlessly, but when it comes down to it, I could watch Baby and Johnny in the lake every day and still swoon every time.

My drink this week is inspired by Baby’s famous line when she first meets Johnny. “I carried a watermelon.” Yes Baby, you successfully brought fruit to a sexy dance party. Well done. I enjoyed this particular cocktail at San Antonio’s Hotel Havana last summer, and I was really excited to find a recipe for it in my favorite cocktail bible, Tipsy Texan. While watching Dirty Dancing, I recommend drinking a Watermelon Sandia.

Watermelon Sandia

2 oz Vodka

¾ oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur

1 ½ oz watermelon water (see note)

¾ oz fresh lime juice

¼ oz simple syrup

Watermelon wedge for garnish


Combine all the ingredients, except the watermelon wedge, in a shaker with ice and shake vigorously to chill. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with the watermelon wedge.

Note: I made my watermelon water by muddling chunks of watermelon into a strainer placed over a small bowl. The solids will collect in the strainer, and the water will flow into the bowl.


Nothing says summertime like watermelon and a passionate fling, though of course we all hope that Johnny and Baby live happily ever after (until he most likely gets drafted and sent to Vietnam). My favorite part is when Johnny punches through the window in his car, causing Baby to shriek “You’re Wild!!” about 5 miles down the road. To which my husband always shouts, “He just made that poor girl sit on broken glass!” So crank up the air conditioning, sip your Sandia, and remember- nobody puts Baby in a corner. Cheers!