RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Wes Anderson

Moonrise Kingdom

Posted on
Moonrise Kingdom

Image credit: Moonrise Kingdom, 2012

There’s nothing like young lovers and a vintage New England setting to get me excited for summer. Of course my all-time favorite example of this is A Summer Place, but with his 2012 film Moonrise Kingdom (DVD/Download), Wes Anderson created a modern summertime masterpiece. It may not have Troy Donahue in short-shorts, but Bill Murray does sport some nifty madras pants.

Set in the fictional town of New Penzance, Moonrise Kingdom features wainscotted homes full of sturdy antiques, a picturesque lighthouse, rocky beach coves, and pine forests. I can almost smell the salt air, and the vintage postcard-style cinematography is truly transporting. Like any Anderson film this one is full of bizarrely perfect casting, like Bruce Willis as a lovelorn sheriff, Edward Norton as an Eagle Scout troop leader, and Tilda Swinton as a comically severe social worker. The pre-teen lovers are both disaffected to the outside world yet earnest with one another, and as they dance in their underwear to the music coming from a portable record player, I find myself longing to be even half as cool.

There’s nothing like a freshly pressed scout uniform to make you think of summertime cookouts, the open air, and wilderness lodges. This film deserves a drink that’s crisp, refreshing, and easy to make indoors as well as out. While watching Moonrise Kingdom, I recommend drinking a Khaki Scout Cooler.

Khaki Scout Cooler

1 ½ oz Gin

2-3 dashes celery bitters

½ oz Maraschino liqueur

4-5 mint leaves

1 slice of cucumber

1 lime wedge

Topo Chico sparkling water

Muddle mint leaves and cucumber with the maraschino liqueur at the bottom of a Collins glass. Add gin, bitters, and ice. Top with Topo Chico (or sparkling water) and squeeze the lime wedge, dropping into the glass.

Khaki Scout Cooler

photo by @pop_up_cobra

I may be stuck in the fiery pit of hell that is Texas in the summer, but this movie just begs to be watched outdoors. Luckily I’ve got a refreshing cocktail on tap, a pair of madras shorts, and a portable fan. Record player optional. Cheers!

Advertisements

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox, The Grand Budapest Hotel, 2014

Oscar season is upon us once again, so this week I’m featuring the most cocktail-friendly of the Best Picture Nominees- The Grand Budapest Hotel (DVD/Download)*. Wes Anderson’s charming adventure/caper features all the classic Anderson tropes- fabulous sets, fabulous costumes, refined characters, and beautiful storytelling. It’s a world that I want to step into, martini glass in hand, wry smile on my face. Whatever happens on Sunday night, I’m just glad that more people are talking about this delightful film.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is about a resort hotel in the fictional European republic of Zubrowka (which incidentally is a Polish vodka brand) in the years between “The Great Wars”. M. Gustave is the concierge at this beautiful hotel, where he meets and –ahem- services Madame D. After her sudden death, he is bequeathed a valuable painting, but her family objects and charges M. Gustave with murder. The silky-tongued concierge must now escape from prison and make his way back to the Grand Budapest where the painting has been hidden. Helping him along is his trusted Lobby Boy, and the secret society of the Crossed Keys, a venerable who’s who of Anderson regulars. Ralph Fiennes is absolutely perfect as M. Gustave, playing the character as funny, charming, and desperate all at the same time. Of course I’m madly in love with the sets for the Grand Budapest Hotel, and wish I could check in for a two week break from reality.

My cocktail this week references the famous painting in the film, the fictional “Boy With Apple”. I’m excited to use Calvados this week, which is a French apple brandy. Surely, M. Gustav would have sipped this on many occasions. While watching The Grand Budapest Hotel, I recommend drinking a Grand Apple.

Grand Apple

1.25 oz Calvados

2/3 oz simple syrup

¾ oz fresh grapefruit juice

2/3 oz lemon juice

Pink Champagne

Apple spear (for garnish)

Mix all ingredients except champagne in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with pink champagne and apple.

Pink Apple

The hue of this drink is not quite as pink as the Mendel’s boxes of confections in the film, but you get the idea. Because of the addition of pink champagne, this cocktail makes a great addition to your Oscar party this year. I know I’ll be sipping it during the telecast, and wishing I had a Lobby Boy to attend to my every need. Oh wait, isn’t that what they call a husband? 😉 Cheers!

 

*note: While I love The Grand Budapest Hotel and think it’s a great movie to watch with a cocktail, I will actually be rooting for Boyhood this Sunday. I cannot say enough good things about this film, nor even put into words the impact it’s had on me. If you haven’t seen it, watch it. Then buy the book.

The Royal Tenenbaums

Posted on
Image Credit Touchtone Pictures 2001, The Royal Tenenbaums

Image Credit Touchtone Pictures 2001, The Royal Tenenbaums

A recent screening of The Grand Budapest Hotel has inspired me this week to revisit my favorite Wes Anderson film, The Royal Tenenbaums (DVD/Download). Of course I love any film by this director who has such a keen eye for style, but my personal favorite is still this 2001 ode to dysfunctional families and Nico. It’s quirky, it’s stylish, and it’s heartfelt (I dare anyone not to feel saddened to their core as Elliott Smith’s ‘Needle in the Hay’ frames a character’s suicide attempt), but it’s also delightfully funny in other moments. With The Royal Tenenbaums, Wes Anderson has created a world that seems so real that I feel like I could just put on a Lacoste polo dress and aviator sunglasses and step right in.

This film tells the story of the wealthy Tenenbaum family and the struggle of the patriarch Royal to bring them back together. Gene Hackman does a phenomenal job of playing the hilarious and conniving Royal, and Anjelica Houston brings an unexpected softness to the part of his estranged wife Etheline. Their three children are played by Gwyneth Paltrow, Luke Wilson, and Ben Stiller, and all three are former child prodigies who have grown up to be adult messes. Anderson regulars Bill Murray and Owen Wilson round out the cast, along with the sadly now-deceased Kumar Pallana (or Pagoda as I’ll always think of him). Of course the sets and costumes are phenomenal, like a 1970’s dollhouse come to life. There are the typical Wes Anderson quirks, like a pet hawk named Mordecai, and Dalmatian mice, and of course the soundtrack is perfect in every way. A mix of The Rolling Stones, Velvet Underground, Paul Simon, and a plucky orchestral score, the music of The Royal Tenenbaums always makes me feel like I’ve just raided the record collection of a very cool relative.

For my cocktail pairing, I wanted to find something that seemed classic yet eccentric, sort of like the characters in this film. I scoured my bar to come up with a list of ingredients that would be off-putting on their own, yet when brought together would make a wonderful union. I call this week’s concoction the Tenenbaum Toast.

 

1 ½ oz Deep Eddy Grapefruit Vodka
½ oz St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
½ oz Key Lime Juice
1 oz Club Soda
1 tsp Grenadine

Fill a champagne flute or small glass (the more unusual the better!) with crushed ice. Combine first three ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake until chilled. Strain into prepared glass and top with club soda and grenadine. Dalmatian straw optional.

 

tenenbaum's-toast
The pink color of this drink is meant to match that beautiful “Wes Anderson Pink” (as I like to call it) that covers the walls of the Tenenbaum house, as well as much of The Grand Budapest Hotel. I like to think that Margot Tenenbaum would enjoy one of these in the bathtub with her clandestine vintage cigarettes, as her old television teeters perilously close to the water. So as Wes Anderson is showered with accolades for his latest film, I urge you to take the time to re-discover one of his older works with a strange and wonderful cocktail. If you want to go all out, layer on the eye liner and watch with a bored expression. Cheers!