If you’ve been looking for an excuse to use up that jar of Tang you’ve had sitting in the back of your pantry, then today’s your lucky day because Cinema Sips is headed to the moon with Apollo 13 (Disc/Download)! Part disaster flick, part character drama, part ode to late 1960s patterned wallpaper, this movie is about working the problem, one roll of duct tape at a time.
I remember watching this as a tween, right around the time that our school took a field trip to the National Air and Space Museum. Very quickly, I became obsessed with all things astronaut. The freeze-dried ice cream! The Corvette Stingrays! The crew cuts! The tape decks populated by Norman Greenbaum and Jefferson Airplane! What a time to be alive. Modern spaceflight feels almost dull; a status symbol for aging bald men and their billions of dollars. But back in the sixties, it was brave test pilots up above the atmosphere, trying to stay alive in broken down hunks of metal with heat shields held on by an old belt. The Apollo 13 disaster will always be a riveting story because it’s about humans trying to stay alive under impossible conditions. Everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong, but somehow, this ship made it home. We didn’t have the internet, we didn’t have fancy gadgets, and back then, computers took up an entire room. But we didn’t need any of that- all it took was good old engineering and a whole lot of courage.
Although it existed before the Gemini missions, Tang became popular after it was marketed as the astronaut’s drink-of-choice. A powdered mix, it gave a semblance of orange juice up in space where supplies (and fresh produce stands) were limited. I think it works quite well in a margarita, so while you’re watching Apollo 13, I recommend drinking a Moonshot Margarita.
2 oz Reposado Tequila
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz Lime Juice
1 Tsp Tang
Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake to chill, then strain into a glass filled with ice. Garnish with a dehydrated orange.
The cast of this movie is great, and it certainly cemented Tom Hanks as the actor you’d most like to have with you in a crisis. But for me, the unsung hero of Apollo 13 is Bill Paxton as Fred Haise. Suffering from a UTI, eating frozen hot dogs, listening to his Hank Williams tape slowly die—you really feel the misery of space travel through his performance. I shall think of him every time I gaze upon the constellation Urinus. Cheers!