The history of gin can be tracked through its many appearances in popular culture over the years.
A driving force behind some of the greatest pieces of art and cinema in the world, gin has long been favoured by artists and writers. Perhaps because of those creative minds’ love for gin, the botanical spirit plays a supporting role in some of our best-loved movies.
From black and white classics to 21st century rom-coms, there are so many great movies that feature gin! In fact, certain gin cocktails are almost inextricable from the movies they first appeared in.
Gin fuels some of the most iconic scenes in movie history, so with a little more time at home than usual, we’ve re-watched some of our favourite films to relive our favourite spirit’s most well-known moments on the big screen.
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Back in the Prohibition era where The Great Gatsby was set, gin was the base of some of the most popular drinks served at cocktail parties like Jay Gatsby’s. This was because it was easy for bootleggers to make (fortunately for us, you can simply buy a bottle online these days).
The spirit was the author Scott Fitzgerald’s tipple of choice, and so naturally he made it his most famous protagonist’s go-to drink.
Jay Gatsby favoured a gin martini and one might guess he would also have been partial to a Long Island Ice Tea. After all, his glamorous residence was located in the roaring twenties nouveau-riche section of Long Island, New York. Gin is one of five clear spirits in the Lock Island Ice Tea recipe.
Drink like Gatsby
Take a step back into the Jazz Age with a Gin Rickey, a gin cocktail made with lime and soda water. The Gin Rickey was mixed by Tom Buchanan for the female characters in Fitzgerald’s original novel on a hot summer day. We can take an educated guess that this concoction is what’s inside Leonardo DiCaprio’s never-empty martini glass in Baz Luhrmann’s screen adaptation.
“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” – Humphrey Bogart in ‘Casablanca’.
Does a more famous line about gin exist in the history of film? We think not.
The lead character in Casablanca orders a French 75 when his ex turns up in his bar with her new Nazi partner. This drink is named after a French model 1897 75mm artillery gun, and it’s supposed to hit you like one!
Legend says that WW1 soldiers used dry gin from London and French champagne to create the French 75 in a time of need. Out of something ugly, something beautiful was born!
Drink like you’re in Rick’s Café Américain
The French 75 is a mixture of gin, lemon and sugar syrup, topped up with champagne.
It’s almost impossible to order a martini without accidentally channeling your inner Bond. First ordered by the late Sean Connery in Goldfinger, a dry martini, “shaken, not stirred”, has become synonymous with the famous spy movies.
As small batch gin experts, we have to disagree with Mr Bond though – the perfect gin martini should be stirred, not shaken! Shaking a martini can cause it to be too diluted. Trust us, you don’t want that.
If you’re ever unsure how to serve Sing Gin, check out our guide to making the perfect gin and tonic.
Drink like a spy
Daniel Craig shook things up when he ordered the Vesper Martini: a previously unheard of cocktail that combines gin, vodka and dry vermouth.
The drink was literally invented by Fleming, so the best Vesper Martini recipe is up for debate! For a tasty interpretation, mix three parts gin with one part vodka, add vermouth and garnish with lemon peel in a chilled glass.
Rarely seen without a glass in hand, Holly Golighty could drink most of the men in Breakfast at Tiffany’s under the table. With her Little Black Dress and signature chignon hairdo, the 1960s Manhattan society girl is still one of the most iconic symbols of old Hollywood glamour today.
Among many drinks that Audrey Hepburn sips throughout this classic, the White Angel is her favourite cocktail – as told in Capote’s novel.
Drink like Holly Golighty
The White Angel’s recipe comes from the icon herself. Golightly orders the “one-half vodka, one-half gin, no vermouth” cocktail at Joe Bell’s bar. Who are we to argue with that?
This raucous comedy isn’t a movie classic yet, but we reckon it should be! Robert De Niro, who plays the formidable father-in-law to Ben Stiller’s hapless character, favours a Tom Collins in Meet The Parents.
Here’s some useless movie trivia for you: “Tom Collins” is also the alias of De Niro’s character in Casino (1995), Sam “Ace” Rothstein, uses to register his personal safe deposit box.
Drink like De Niro
Mix gin, lemon juice and sugar syrup in a Collins glass with cubed ice, top up with soda and garnish with a lemon slice and a Maraschino cherry.
Tell us, which famous characters do you think would drink Sing Gin?
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