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Tag Archives: Rum Cocktail

Peyton Place

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Peyton Place

Image credit: Peyton Place, 1957

I’m a sucker for vintage New England, so naturally this week’s film Peyton Place (DVD/Download) is right up my Episcopalian-and-lobster-roll-alley. Though it would later be turned into a hit TV soap opera, the film adaptation of the Grace Metalious novel is pretty soapy on its own. Teenage sex; adultery; abortion; murder in front of the Christmas tree- pretty scandalous stuff even now, let alone in the 1950s. But what I love about this film (in addition to Lana Turner’s wardrobe) is that it doesn’t feel dated.  Rather, it succeeds in shining a light on social issues we’re still dealing with today.

Set in the sleepy New England town of Peyton Place just before World War II breaks out, the film follows teenage characters as they struggle with the prudish views of their parents. Lana Turner rants about how sex ed shouldn’t be taught in schools, yet she refuses to talk to her own daughter about it at home, thus pushing her away. Cute little Russ Tamblyn plays a Norman Bates-type henpecked boy whose own mother is even worse. Did Hitchcock use Tamblyn’s Norman as inspiration? I have to wonder. The film leaves it to the town doctor and the high school principal to educate the rest of the community on their backwards thinking, and I just want to stand up and cheer anytime these men are onscreen. Finally, someone in this film is using common sense and science to make a compelling argument, societal backlash be damned.

Lana Turner does a brilliant job in her role as a supreme ice queen, causing the men in the town to shy away for fear of “frostbite”. She’s buttoned up, beautiful, and sardonic- a classic film icon if I’ve ever seen one. While watching Peyton Place, celebrate Ms. Turner with an Ice Queen cocktail.

Ice Queen

Cucumber slice

1 1/2 oz light rum

¾ oz lime juice

½ oz simple syrup

1 tsp crème de menthe

2 oz prosecco

Lime twist

Muddle cucumber at the bottom of a cocktail shaker with the rum, lime juice, and simple syrup. Add ice and crème de menthe. Shake until chilled, then strain into a coupe glass. Top with prosecco, and garnish with a lime twist.

Ice Queen

By the end of the film, I’m still marveling to myself that the battles being waged onscreen are still the same ones we’re fighting today. Should sex ed be taught in schools? Should abortion be legal in cases of rape and incest (and any other damn time it’s a bad situation)? Are churches doing a disservice by preaching abstinence-only? The film comes down pretty hard on the left (as do I) but I find it depressing to realize that after 70 years we’re STILL fighting about these things. All I can say is, pass the rum. Cheers!

How Stella Got Her Groove Back

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How Stella

Image credit: How Stella Got Her Groove Back, 1998

This week Cinema Sips is on the road, vacationing at a lovely five star resort along the Caribbean sea. I’ve been dreaming of a trip like this ever since I first saw this week’s film How Stella Got Her Groove Back (DVD/Download). And no- it wasn’t all a fantasy involving shirtless Taye Diggs (although that’s VERY nice). Really, I just wanted to go lay on a beach while waiters ply me with cocktails all day. Mission accomplished.

Based on the bestselling book by Terry McMillan, the film tells the story of Stella Payne, who travels to Jamaica with her best friend (played marvelously by Whoopie Goldberg) and falls in love with a hot younger man. Unfortunately, the real-life story of McMillan’s Jamaican husband turning out to be gay discredits the fairy tale a bit, but it’s still a great movie. I just have to keep telling myself that there’s no way Taye Diggs would use Angela Bassett for a green card. Nope, no way. After all, have you SEEN that woman’s body?! Let me just go over here and kill myself. After one more trip to the buffet, that is.

Right now I’m enjoying my fair share of tequila and mescal cocktails, but while on a tropical vacation, I hate to play favorites. After all, there are so many great rum beverages to enjoy! While watching How Stella Got Her Groove Back, I recommend drinking a Jamaican Holiday.

Jamaican Holiday

1 oz fresh lime juice

1 oz pineapple juice

1.5 oz Jamaican Dark Rum

.75 oz simple syrup

1 dash angostura bitters

Cherry and paper umbrella for garnish

In a shaker filled with ice, combine all the ingredients and shake until chilled. Strain into a glass filled with crushed ice, then garnish with paper umbrella and a cherry.

Jamaican Holiday

Sure, this movie has some cheesy moments- the smooth jazz soundtrack being one of them. But it’s also a great story about friendship, love, and daring to seek out the pleasure in life. That could mean taking a luxury vacation, or just laughing with a friend over the phone. But… Jamaica sure looks nice. Cheers!

Mannequin

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mannequin

          Image credit Twentieth Century Fox, 1987, Mannequin

How I’ve gone over a year on Cinema Sips without discussing one of the best things to come out of the 1980’s, I have NO IDEA. Sure, Roger Ebert declared this week’s film Mannequin (DVD) “dead” and full of clichés, but clearly he didn’t understand the brilliance that is Hollywood (the gay black window dresser, not the place). I was so excited to see the title song from this movie, ‘Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now’ referenced in the surprisingly good film The Skeleton Twins recently, and it just reinforced my opinion that this gem deserves a comeback.

Mannequin stars Andrew McCarthy as starving artist Jonathan Switcher, who creates a mannequin at one of his short-lived jobs, only to see it come to life later on in the form of Emmy, played by a young Kim Cattrall. However, he’s the only one who can see her in human form, and there are some unintentionally funny scenes of Andrew McCarthy riding a motorcycle around Philadelphia with a mannequin draped around him. The supporting cast makes this even better, with Golden Girl Estelle Getty as the owner of Prince & Company department store (where the mannequin resides), and a nearly unrecognizable James Spader as the creepy manager. It’s been years since I’ve set foot in a department store, but as a child I totally wanted to spend the night in one- raiding the make-up counter, trying on whatever I wanted, and falling asleep in the bedding department. As an adult, this dream has been amended to include relaxing in a fur-lined hammock with Andrew McCarthy and discussing cellulite with Hollywood.

Throughout the film, Jonathan and Emmy enjoy role-playing in the store’s various vignettes. Ooh they’re punk rockers! Now a mob boss and his wife! Now tennis fans! Now just naked under their fur coats! My favorite look is the cruise-wear. To that end, I’ll be making a tropical rum drink that’s totally appropriate for sipping on a fake cruise ship, with a fake sky, while Andrew McCarthy rubs Coppertone on your back, even though there is no sunshine. While watching Mannequin, I recommend drinking a Man Overboard.

Man Overboard

6 Mint leaves

2 oz Malibu Rum

1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice

Crushed ice

Club Soda

Mint Sprigs and sliced lime for garnish

Muddle mint leaves and lime juice in the bottom of a glass. Add rum and crushed ice. Top with club soda.  Stir gently to mix. Add a sprig of mint and lime slice to garnish.

man overboard

It’s refreshing to see Kim Cattrell before Sex and the City turned her into an oversexed caricature, and she does the best she can in a pretty ridiculous role. I love the flashy 80’s sets, the shoulder pads, and Hollywood’s amazing sunglasses (which Kanye West totally stole). Come prepared with a sense of humor and a strong cocktail when you watch this, and you can’t go wrong. Cheers!