Directors And Their Drinks

Here’s a new game to play with the magnates of Hollywood film, the sultans of cinematography, and the tzars of story:

JJ. Abrams: Vodka Martini. It’s clean, classic, refreshing, a workhorse cocktail influenced by other older ones who maybe were more innovative, but with a slightly different perspective.

Frank Capra: an Old Fashioned. Would the guy who made Mr. Smith Goes To Washington and It’s A Wonderful Life really be any of those rich and mighty highball drinks? No sir. Gotta trust in the people, man, in the common decency of whiskey.

The Coen Bros: Bourbon, neat I know, I know. I hear your call for White Russians, but that’s just not their style. It’s smoother and more sophisticated than you think, plays well to the hipster set and might be a little fastidious, but nursing one of these will probably lead to some great conversations.

John Ford: a shot of Bushmills Irish Whisky. Like a real man.

Howard Hawks: Scotch and Soda. It would be blended scotch, of course, so rich and warm and full of pep that you can’t quite break down what it is that makes it so good.

Alfred Hitchcock: Sazerac. A sazerac might be the original cocktail, and is a combination of cognac or whiskey with bitters and absinth and garnished with a lemon peel. Doesn’t that basically describe Vertigo?

Elia Kazan: Stoli. I mean, it’s vodka, which, have you seen that one canted angle in East of Eden? But it’s neither in a pretentious, too-thick bottle nor is gross and available in gas stations. Well crafted and sharp.

Stanley Kubrick: Blood Mary. This is a heavy drink. It’s not for novices and there are a lot of components going on but no one will judge you for loving it before noon. It’s that good.

Fritz Lang: Spaten Optimator. This is a really rich, dark German beer, and while not incredibly influential on ALL OTHER BEERS FOR ALL TIME the way Lang has been to filmmakers, it still suits him well.

Ernst Lubitsch: Champagne. bubbly and delightful? Sure. A cause for celebration? Absolutely. Sophisticated? You bet. Wait, are we talking about the director or the drink?

David Lynch: Jager. Don’t ask me, you just know that this makes sense.   

Vincente Minnelli: Strawberry Daiquiri. Colorful and fun, and you know it, but well crafted. Those instant kits are never as good as the real thing. You can drink like three of these at the beach and just enjoy yourself; it’s pretty similar to the experience of watching any Minnelli film.

Christopher Nolan: Dark and Stormy. I hate rum about the same amount as I hate intensified continuity done wrong, but, really, what other drink could be the alcoholic equivalent to the Bwaaaaamps begun in Inception and now in every single action trailer.

Sam Peckinpah: Hand Grenade. The name fits, it’s a combination of a ridiculous amount of different spirits, and on Bourbon you can carry it around with you on the street, not giving any fucks about it – just like Sam Peckinpah.

Martin Scorsese: Sloe gin fizz. Anyone delivering Scorsese dialog has to have had some carbonated water in there some time, and the gin pulls no punches, just like in Raging Bull.

Ridley Scott: Black and Tan. It’s dense man, and as you get older, it might take you longer and longer to finish one, but damn, that’s one rugged drink.

Douglas Sirk: Screwdrivers. Yes, plural. Because that shit is so colorful and tasty and then when they hit you later you become a sad, sloppy drunk.

Steven Spielberg: Rum and coke. It’s, you know, popular, good for all occasions, got some great buzz to it. Low maintenance drink, but there is some complexity there too.

Quentin Tarantino: double-fists Adios Motherf*ckers and Shirley Temples. This should be self-explanatory.

Billy Wilder: Pilsner. A Frenchman loves a glass of vine. More beer! The English think their vhiskey’s fine. More beer! But when I comb off..all the foam off, I drink a toast: to the Germans and the Madchen I love the most.  

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