Cocktails in Movies #1: Imperial Martini

Oh, the joy of Movies! Nothing entertains, educates, and inspires us more than a good movie. It provides a much-needed escape from the hardships of daily life. A mental diversion from the mundane daily existence that takes us to a world that we can imagine.

While Movies have taught us how to love, laugh, and cry, they have also taught us the art of drinking. There is no denying the love affair between Movies and Cocktails that have immortalized many a drink! The coveted and glamourous world of cinema has been a trendsetter for many people trying to emulate the drinking style of the men and women on the silver screen.

So, let’s walk down the red carpet to the fascinating world of cocktails in movies.

The 1930s were Hollywood’s golden age. Even through the depths of the Great Depression, people flocked to the movies to forget about their troubles and to see their favourite stars like Humphrey Bogart, Gregory Peck, Greta Garbo, Katherine Hepburn, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Bette Davis, Gary Cooper, Tony Curtis, Fred Astaire, and Ginger Rogers, to name a few.

Movies in the 1930s, especially the black and white ones, resonated glamour and elegance. The stars were constantly seen drinking and smoking with grace and style. Martinis were the drink of choice in most movies during this era.

A woman drove me to drink and I didn’t even have the decency to thank her for itW.C. Fields

1939 was an important year for Hollywood. Some of the finest movies were launched that year even though it was a time when Hitler plunged Europe into World War 2. It was a year that laid the groundwork for future movies.

Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Dark Victory, Love Affair, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Ninotchka, Of Mice and Men, Stagecoach, Wuthering Heights, and Goodbye, Mr. Chips were some of the significant movies of that year.

The plot of this comedy revolves around three brilliant actors Greer Garson, Robert Taylor, and Lew Ayres.

A romance between Sky () and Linda (Greer Garson) ends in an engagement.However, things change when Sky introduces Linda to his best friend, Jeff (Robert Taylor) who starts romancing Linda right under Sky’s nose. They fall in love and get married. Soon Jeff’s work puts a strain on the marriage when it causes him to miss his honeymoon. The result is a divorce path for the newlyweds. A kind-hearted Sky uses an experimental memory loss drug to make Linda and Jeff forget their rough times, as well as the fact that they were married so that they can fall in love all over again.

The stars, Greer Garson, Robert Taylor, and Lew Ayre s, are all seen quaffing down Imperial Martinis in this movie.

Sadly, this movie was not much of a hit and many people don’t even Remember? it.

An Imperial Martini is a dry martini with a cherry twist. This deliciously delightful cocktail adds a fruity kiss to the Martini.

It features as the Imperial Cocktail in Harry Craddock’s The Savoy Cocktail Book,1930. In this recipe, Harry Craddock calls for equal parts of Dry Vermouth and Gin along with a dash each of Angostura Bitters and Maraschino.

It is fair to point out here that the Imperial Cocktail mentioned in the 1934 edition of Harry Johnson’s New and Improved Bartender’s Manual is a different cocktail as it calls for Orange Bitters, Absinthe, French Vermouth, and Maraschino

  • Stir all ingredients over ice in a mixing glass
  • Strain into a chilled Martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Originally published at on May 10, 2020.




I believe that great friends and great memories are made over cocktails. Cocktails should not merely be used to celebrate special occasions, but to elevate an o

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