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The Lost City

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Image credit: The Lost City, 2022

I’m taking a break from my four-in-a-year posts for a special treat- a movie made THIS CENTURY! And not just a new movie, but a great movie, The Lost City (Disc/Download). I would normally wait and put it on my end-of-year Top-5 list, but this action/adventure/rom-com is so fantastic I couldn’t wait another second to pair it with a cocktail.

Starring Sandra Bullock as romance novelist Loretta Sage, and Channing Tatum as her cover model Alan, this movie is so much funnier and more heartfelt than I ever expected it to be. As anyone who knows me is aware, I love romance novels, and to see the genre represented so well here is a breath of fresh air. Loretta may think her own books are “schlock”, but as Alan points out, how could anything that brings so much joy to her readers be a bad thing? The two have fantastic chemistry, and as Loretta gets forced into a treasure hunt through the jungle (yes, this has very strong Romancing the Stone vibes), and Alan shows up to rescue the woman he’s been secretly pining for, these two both learn never to judge a book by its cover. Or its cover model. You get the idea. My swooniest moment? When Alan brings Loretta cheese, water, and comfortable shoes. Talk about a hero!

Just like in Romancing the Stone, watching two people sweat their way through a jungle (one of whom is wearing a purple sequined jumpsuit!) always makes me thirsty. Let’s celebrate the treasure found in The Lost City with this Crown of Fire cocktail.

Crown of Fire

3 oz Navy-strength Rum

1 oz Campari

1 oz Cinnamon Syrup*

1 oz Lime Juice

Mint Sprig and tiki umbrella (for garnish)

Combine ingredients in a shaker filled with ice. Shake until chilled, then strain into a glass filled with fresh ice. Garnish with a mint sprig and tiki umbrella.

*Cinnamon Syrup: toast a few cinnamon sticks in a pan for 3-4 minutes. Add 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar, and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, let cool, and strain out cinnamon sticks.

It’s so refreshing to see a movie where every performer brings their A-game, from Channing and his dance moves, to Sandra and her impeccable comedic timing, and even all the way to Brad Pitt, who found a new use for his Cliff Booth martial arts training. If you’re searching for a perfect date night, then check out The Lost City, mix a strong rum cocktail, and consider it found. Cheers!

Romancing the Stone

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Image Credit Twentieth Century Fox, Romancing the Stone, 1984

Image Credit Twentieth Century Fox, Romancing the Stone, 1984

This week, I’m pleased to respond to a recent movie request from an avid Cinema Sips reader (side note- keep them coming! I love having to make one less decision in my life!).  Romancing the Stone (DVD/Download) is a film I had always associated with lazy afternoons watching bad ’80s movies with my mom (Murphy’s Romance) was another gem in her collection. Now that I’ve watched it again as an adult, I must admit- it’s pretty fun! Really, any heroine who travels to the jungles of Colombia with tiny liquor bottles in her purse is a gal after my own heart.

Romancing the Stone tells the story of romance novelist Joan Wilder (played by Kathleen Turner), a buttoned-up cat lady who drinks alone and lives vicariously through the characters she creates. Joan gets into trouble after flying to Colombia to rescue her kidnapped sister, but luckily she meets Jack T. Colton (played by Michael Douglas), the charming rogue who saves her from some bad folks trying to steal her treasure map. Naturally, while running from the Colombian secret police, running from Danny DeVito, searching for treasure, AND trying to get to Cartagena to save the sister, they fall for one another. It’s a story right out of one of Joan Wilder’s romance novels-  ludicrous, but wildly entertaining.

My drink this week was inspired by one that Kathleen Turner enjoys quite early in the movie as she meets with her publisher in Manhattan. She drinks a creamy green concoction that initially seems like an odd choice (what ever happened to the three-martini lunch???); however, after seeing the bright emerald “treasure” at the end of the map, I understand this green drink choice a little more. Foreshadowing with a cocktail! Brilliant! While watching Romancing the Stone, I recommend drinking a Grasshopper.


1 oz green crème de menthe

1 oz white crème de cacao

2 scoops vanilla ice cream

Whipped cream for garnish

Blend all ingredients in a blender until thick and creamy, then pour into chilled glasses. Garnish with whipped cream.


I had to laugh while watching this movie because of the connection I feel to Joan Wilder. I too am an (aspiring) novelist, and while I don’t exactly sit at my keyboard wearing giant headphones and sobbing, I often get wrapped up in the storytelling. It’s incredibly fun to write characters who do wild things I would never actually do in real life, saying things I would never have the guts to say. I love that Joan finds the adventure that she had previously only imagined, and I also love that her success as a writer gets her out of a jam multiple times. Who knows- maybe my next book will be a hit in the jungles of Colombia too, saving me from death by firing squad. Hey, it could happen. Cheers!