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Empire Records

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Rex Manning

Image Credit: Empire Records, 1995

Every year, April 8th rolls around and I kick myself for not having come up with a celebratory cocktail. What is April 8th, you ask? None other than REX MANNING DAY!!!!! I’m posting this a few days in advance to give you time to dust off your Gin Blossoms CDs and prepare yourself for a sugary cocktail. Maybe take the day off work, banish yourself to the couch. Or just the cushion.

Growing up in the 90’s, Empire Records (DVD/Download) was the movie of my people. You know the types- the weird kids from your art class who watched John Waters films and listened to bands nobody’s ever heard of? They may or may not have worn pleated skirts, combat boots, and/or vintage t-shirts. They probably didn’t have a body like Liv Tyler, but then again, nobody did. This little gem of a movie about one day at a suburban record store quickly became my compass for everything cool. Vintage furniture, quarters glued to the floor, funky buttons with weird slogans- I was obsessed. Featuring a who’s who of future stars like Renee Zellweger, Liv Tyler, Robin Tunney, and Ethan Embry, Empire Records was like an alt-rock version of Dazed and Confused, with the added bonus of fading pop star Rex Manning and his ooo-la-la. In a word- superb.

Renee Zellweger got a lot of press for singing in the musical Chicago, but clearly people forgot her triumphant rooftop performance in this film seven years earlier. Sugar plays a big part in fueling the teen drama, so my cocktail this week is on the sweet side. Plus, I’m still in the throes of leftover Easter candy.  While watching Empire Records, I recommend drinking a SugarHigh.


2 oz Svedka Strawberry-Lemonade vodka

3/4 oz lemon juice

3/4 oz simple syrup

3/4 oz pineapple juice

2 oz Prosecco

Lemon sugar

To prepare glass, wet the rim then dip in lemon sugar.  In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine vodka, lemon juice, pineapple juice, and simple syrup.  Shake vigorously, then strain into prepared glass.  Top with Prosecco.

sugar high

Even now, any time I get stressed out with work/blogging/writing/managing a household, I still remind myself of that famous Corey line from this film, “There are 24 usable hours in every day.” Granted, she was chowing down speed to keep up with her calculus homework and cupcake baking, but still, it’s true. And like Corey, sometimes you just have to let go of all that control and give in to having fun. With that, I shall say no more, mon amor. Cheers!

The Craft

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Image Credit:  The Craft, 1996

Image Credit: The Craft, 1996

Behold the power of Manon! (Manault? Manot? Manoh? Sp.?) What The Craft (DVD/Download) lacks in God-title enunciation, it makes up for in 90’s grunge/emo fashions and alt-rock music. Halloween is coming up, and I really wish I had 3 other female friends eager to dress up as the ladies from this movie. However, convincing someone to willingly copy Fairuza Balk’s makeup style may cause irreparable harm to a relationship.

What I loved about The Craft as a teenager was not just the heavy use of eyeliner, but the idea of harnessing female friendship and using it to combat all those pesky adolescent problems. Sure, they’re witches (sort of), but they’re also just weird teenage girls. Eventually this film spirals into a pseudo horror-thriller with snakes and slit wrists, but in the beginning it’s all colored candles and Letters to Cleo songs. I know by the end of the movie we’re all supposed to realize how bad it is to cast spells against other people, but come on- who doesn’t want to play “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board” with Neve Campbell?

For my cocktail this week, I’m calling on the Four Corners to bring me alcoholic perfection. By Four Corners, I mean Vodka, Triple Sec, Lemon Juice, and Pomegranate. While watching The Craft, I recommend drinking a Blessed Be.

Blessed Be

2 oz. Vodka

.5 oz Triple Sec

.5 oz Lemon Juice

1 oz Pomegranate juice

Licorice (optional, for garnish)

Combine liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a martini glass. Garnish with black licorice (or any licorice if you’re still trying to use up some Halloween candy).

Blessed Be

In thinking about The Craft, I started to wonder what spell I would cast now if given the opportunity. Love is covered, I’ve given up on looks (after 30, it is what it is), and outside of politics, bullies tend to disappear after high school. That leaves power, but who wants that kind of responsibility? By the power of 3 times 3, I’ll simply say cheers, and Happy Halloween!