Archive for the ‘Drinks in Movies’ Category


Ice-Cold in Alex is a World War II movie set in Africa.  Shell-shocked fatigued and bordering on alcoholism Captain Anson (John Mills) guides the crew of an ambulance across the desert motivated by the thought of the ice cold larger that awaits him in Alexandria, Egypt. Based on a novel of the same name by Christopher Landon, the bear in the book was Rhinegold, despite its German sounding name is actually an American beer. In the movie it was replaced by the Danish larger Carlsberg.

Whist filming the famous scene when they finally get their beer, real Carlsberg was used for authenticity, after several takes actor John Mills was reported to be quite drunk.

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Well one of them, Bridget von Hammersmark (Diane Kruger), German actress and double agent, drinks Perrier-Jouët Cuvée Belle Epoque champagne, easily distinguished from other brands by the anemone flower painted on the bottle.

Although Adolf Hitler didn’t actually like wine his army saw things slightly differently looting vast quantities of French wine during their occupation, much of it was sent home to the Third Reich. Champagne as a symbol of French national pride was highly prized and even traded as a commodity. Many French people consumed, hid or even destroyed bottles of champagne to keep it out of German hands. Still there must have still been plenty of it about; at least in Tarantino’s incarnation of WWII, as well as the scene in the basement tavern, La Louisiane, Perrier-Jouët Cuvée Belle Epoque can be seen in at least three other scenes. And for those who are interested it isn’t cheep, around £100 a bottle at current prices!


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bond mixing a martiniI mentioned in an earlier blog that James Bond Doesn’t just drink Martinis. He actually seems to drink more Champagne than anything. At times it is actually part of the plot or used to demonstrate Bonds character or knowledge. Although the rather cheesy commercial below will have you believe that Bond only drinks Bollinger that isn’t entirely true. The original character in Ian Fleming’s novels preferred Taittinger remarking in Cassino Royale “[1943 Taittinger] is probably the finest champagne in the world”

Bollinger In Bond Films

  • Live and Let Die: Bollinger
  • Moonraker: Bollinger RD ’69
  • View to a Kill: Bollinger ’75
  • License to Kill: Bollinger RD ’75
  • The Living Daylights: Bollinger
  • Goldeneye: Bollinger Grande Année 1988
  • Tomorrow Never Dies: Bollinger Grande Année 1989
  • The World Is Not Enough: Bollinger Grande Année 1990
  • Die Another Day: Bollinger ’61
  • Casino Royale: Bollinger Grande Année 1990
  • Quantum of Solacee: Bollinger

Other Champagne in Bond films

  • Dr. No: Dom Perignon ’55
  • From Russia with Love: Taittinger Blanc de Blanc
  • Goldfinger: Dom Perignon ’53
  • Thunderball: Dom Perignon ’55 (to accompany Beluga Caviar)
  • You Only Live Twice: Dom Perignon ’59,
  • On Her Majesty’s Secret Service Dom Perignon ’57.
  • The Man With The Golden Gun: Dom Perignon ’64

Notable Champagne Scenes:

The Spy Who Loved Me, Bond:  Bond quips “Maybe I misjudged Stromberg. Any man who drinks Dom Perignon ’52 can’t be all bad

Goldfinger: shortly before being painted gold Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton) is in bed with Bond, he gets up to get them a bottle of Champagne from the fridge bestowing these words of wisdom: “My dear girl, there are some things that just aren’t done. Such as drinking Dom Perignon ’53 above a temperature of 38 degrees Farenheight. That’s as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs.”

The Living Daylights: Bond delivers a Harrods hamper to General Georgi Koskov who has defected and is being hidden in a country house. “What’s this? From Harrods a godsend, the food here is horrible. What’s this, Caviar, well that’s peasant food for us, but with champagne it’s ok. And more – Bollinger RD – the best!” Bond explains he took the liberty of changing it as the brand on the list was “questionable”.

Die Another day: After fourteen months of captivity Bond walks into a posh Hong Kong hotel looking like Robinson Crusoe with tatty clothes, long hair and a bushy beard. He asks for a room, food and champagne, “If there’s any left, the ’61 Bollinger” Now that’s style, shame the films crap!

And with all this Champagne that Bond drinks do you think I can find a picture of him drinking it?

bond with martinibond with another martinigeorge lazenby

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Ever since Sonny Crockett (Colin Farrell) declared to be a “fiend for Mojito’s” in Miami Vice (2006) they are everywhere. Bacardi have milked it for all it’s worth tailoring their television advertising towards the drink as well as selling them at sporting events and music festivals. You can even buy ready mixed bottles of Mojito, not that I have tried them; the key to a great Mojito is fresh ingredients. The Mojito is Cuban drink mixed and served in a highball glass. It has just five ingredients:

  1. White rum
  2. Sugar Syrup* (traditionally “Guarapo” sugar cane juice)
  3. Lime
  4. Fresh Mint (traditionally spearmint)
  5. Soda Water

To prepare:

Notes: Some people also add Angostura bitters, don’t bother doing this. Castor or icing can be used instead of sugar syrup but syrup is best. Traditionally you should use spearmint but any fresh mint will taste good.

* To make sugar syrup mix equal quantities of white sugar and boiling water. Stir until all the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool. This can then be kept covered in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Coming soon, What does James Bond really drink?

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Shiner Beer

Shiner is a beer brewed by Spoetzels breweries in Shiner Texas.  Celebrating their centenary this year Spoetzels are one of only five Texas breweries to survive Prohibition. 
Shiner Bock at Chata Ortega's

A bottle of Shiner Bock at its spiritual home Chata Ortega's

 So why am I going on about a beer many readers have never heard of?  The simple answer is whilst most American movies seem to feature Budweiser or Miller one film walks a different path.  Set in Texas in 1971 Fandango (1985) heavily features Shiner Bock.  Having never heard of the beer at the time, (me living in England and the beer only being sold in Texas that’s not exactly surprising) whilst watching the film I often wondered if it actually existed or if it was made up for the film.  Then the internet was invented and I looked it up.  Since then the company has been bought out and they have expanded production and distribution with the beer available in 41 states*.

Shiner Fandango 1shiner fandango 3

 Then two years ago I spotted Shiner Bock in Death Proof, it featured  in the Austin, Texas bar scenes.  You can also see it in Tin Cup, Slacker and The Hangover.  Anyone who likes beer and gets the chance I suggest you try it, it is a good beer and a million times better than the tasteless gas over substance beers (mentioning no names) that feature in most movies. 

 Death Proof


*In my time in America I only found it in Texas. 

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I think its time for another random James Bond blog entry, this one a little different to my usual posts.  Thanks to the movies James Bond is always associated with Vodka Martinis, in fact the Bond of Ian Fleming’s novels drank many different drinks.   In Casino Royale he did however drink a Vodka Martini that he eventually named “Vesper” after the character Vesper Lynd.     

The Vesper recipe is:     

  1. Three measures of Gordon’s Gin
  2. One of vodka
  3. Half a measure of Kina Lillet
  4. Shake over ice until it’s ice-cold and strain into a martini glass.
  5. Then add a large thin slice of lemon peel

Casino RoyaleAs described by Bond in the novel:    ‘A dry martini,’ he said. ‘One. In a deep champagne goblet.’
‘Oui, monsieur.’
Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon-peel. Got it?’
‘Certainly, monsieur.’ The barman seemed pleased with the idea.

He goes on to say:  This drink’s my own invention. I’m going to patent it when I can think of a good name.’           

This is how it appears in the movie when Casino Royale was finally made into an official Bond film in 2006.   A note on the ingredients:     

  • Although not bad Gordon’s is far from the best Gin I would recommend Bombay Sapphire.
  • Kina Lillet is not actually a vermouth (as pointed out by the barman on the plane in Quantum of Solace).  It is a wine based drink flavoured with quinine (also found in tonic water and a perfect accompaniment to vodka or gin).  It performs the same job in a martini as Vermouth (a fortified wine flavoured with herbs and spices).  Sadly it isn’t possible to make a genuine Vesper as Ian Fleming conceived it as the recipe for Kina Lillet was changed about twenty years ago making it less bitter.
  • Any good quality grain vodka will work.

* * * Update * * *

I have never tried it myself so don’t know if it is true but it has been suggested to me that to get the authentic taste as originally conceived Vesper add a dash of Angostura bitters to composite for the change in Kina Lillet formula.   

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