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Top Five Movie Bars (Private)

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When I started the Top Five Lists last month, I promised that I would feature some private home bars that are pretty amazing. Today, dear readers, is that day. These are the bars that I wish I had in my own house- the ones I want to come home to after a long day at the office. Sadly, the generic freestanding bar in the corner of my living room is going to have to do for now. Without further ado, the Top 5 Movie Bars (Private):

1)  The Clutterbuck Home, The Party

party bar

This is pretty much the ultimate in home bars. Mid-century modern styling, a fire pit, a bar that disappears with the flip of a switch to make room for a dance floor, enough vodka to make a beautiful starlet fall for a homely waiter, and a parrot in the corner. Howdy Par-ten-er.


2)  Jackie Treehorn’s house- The Big Lebowski



Porn stars, White Russians, an Epcot Spaceship Earth ceiling, and furniture made out of concrete. All the ingredients for a good time.


3)  Jorgenson Residence- A Summer Place

Summer Place

A Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house, on the beach, with a fully loaded cocktail bar. I’ve just described my personal version of heaven.


4)  Mrs. Robinson’s house- The Graduate

mrs robinson house

Classy and seductive, just like Mrs. Robinson herself.


5)  Greenville club, Django Unchained



This skirts the line at private because it appears to be some sort of 1800’s speakeasy in a Victorian house, but certainly the guest list is limited.  I’m not a fan of the, ahem, “entertainment”, but the bartender looks mighty competent.  Is that a coconut tiki drink I spy in Leonardo DiCaprio’s hand??

The Party

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Image credit The Mirisch Corp., The Party, 1968

Image credit The Mirisch Corp., The Party, 1968

I can’t believe it’s been seven months of Cinema Sips greatness, and I have yet to discuss the ultimate cocktail movie, the one that made me want to do this blog in the first place. This week, I am beyond excited to feature one of my top favorites, and certainly my absolute favorite film to screen during any cocktail-fueled gathering– The Party (DVD).

This 1968 Blake Edwards classic stars comedy genius Peter Sellers as the bumbling Hrundi V. Bakshi, an Indian actor who accidentally gets invited to a dinner party at a Hollywood producer’s home. He arrives, loses his shoe, mingles with movie stars, spills birdseed everywhere, sticks his hand in caviar, and gets a chicken caught on a woman’s tiara. And that’s just in the first half! There are a lot of sight gags involving the ultra-modern home set, such as people falling in the water that runs through the house, guests getting burned by the indoor fire pit, and floors and walls disappearing at the flick of a switch. It’s a ridiculously impractical home, but if I had a million dollars I would build it for myself in a second. The sets and costumes truly capture that ’60s Mod era in a way that Mad Men could only dream of. The real elephant in the room (pun intended) which must be addressed is the fact that Peter Sellers plays a character of a different race. Of course I wish they would have hired an actor of South-Asian descent, and if this movie ever gets remade, I sincerely hope this mistake gets corrected. It’s interesting to watch this and realize how far diversity in Hollywood has come since the 1960s, but of course we’ve still got a long way to go.

What really makes this movie such a great fit for Cinema Sips is the plentiful alcohol that is poured and consumed on-screen for a solid hour and a half. A drunken waiter offering vodka and scotch; Peter Sellers refusing alcohol then getting wine poured all over his hand anyway; Hollywood power players sipping cocktails at the retro bar- it’s a classic cocktail lover’s paradise. While watching The Party, I recommend drinking a Brunette in Yellow.

Brunette in Yellow

2.5 oz lemon vodka

1 oz lemon juice

1 oz simple syrup

3 drops rosewater

Mix all ingredients in a shaker over ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass, and enjoy!

Howdy Partener

Once Hrundi gives in and actually has a drink, The Party becomes a wild, nutty ride featuring a gorgeous French ingenue, a Russian ballet troupe, and a house full of bubbles. Perhaps you’ve thrown a party or attended one that evolved into something crazier and crazier as the night went on, ending only when the sun comes up. If not, watching this movie makes you feel like you have. I’m sure in real life I would be the neurotic hostess fretting about her hair getting wet while her house is being destroyed, but when I watch this I like to pretend I’m the loopy, drunk actress who sees imaginary things in the bottom of her cocktail glass. After a couple of these vodka concoctions, I might not be too far off. Cheers!