Actors never drink real liquor in the movies (usually), just like they never smoke real cigarettes or fire real bullets. But watching Sean Connery sip a vodka martini—shaken, not stirred—in Dr. No makes you want to try it yourself, right? Same goes for those perfectly crafted old fashioneds on Mad Men, and don’t even get us started on the abundance of libations in Cocktail, starring Tom Cruise.
Lemon peels are draped perfectly over the side of a glass. Bloody Mary’s look stately, especially for a boozy brunch staple. White Russian’s are always creamy and decadent. So how do you achieve perfection in your own kitchen or at-home bar?
We consulted with James Gelmi, bar director at Grain & Cane in New Jersey, on how to replicate 11 classic movie cocktails at home, optimizing them for the most delicious, movie-accurate recipes. Next time you’re hosting a movie night, you’ll have plenty more to mix up than just one vodka martini after another. (Though we do have a recipe for that one, too.)
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