Thirty Years of Cocktail!

It was an iconic picture that turned everyone into wannabe bartenders and gained Tom Cruise a new legion of adoring fans. A story of how love conquers over fame and fortune, Cocktail has become one of the classics; a must-see-before-you-die film, despite being panned by critics on its release.

Despite the film focusing more on the friendship between the two barmen and the romances they encounter, the story always comes back to the bar, and the flairing behind it. Indeed, there are many moments in the film that inspired the bartending world and made it what it is today. In preparing for his role, Tom Cruise visited many prolific bars and watched the way the cocktails were made and served. It was never written in the script that the actors were supposed to throw bottles behind the bar, but after Cruise saw one young barman doing tricks with the bottles, he was insistent they do the same in the film. He would set up bartending championships in the dressing rooms so that he could practise throwing to his co-star, Bryan Brown.

The Drinks

Of course, in a film named Cocktail, there are sure to be a few drinks references. One was the Red Eye, a drink intended to cure hangovers, although with a less-than-appetising ingredients list. Made up of vodka, lager, tomato juice and a raw egg, this drink has actually been known to soothe the shakes and reduce the headaches and sickness that are classic symptoms of too much over-indulging.

Other cocktails mentioned in the film include classics such as Sex on the Beach, Singapore Sling, Alabama Slammer and Iced Tea, as well as lesser-known drinks including Pink Squirrel, Death Spasm and a Ding-a-Ling. Its possible that the Death Spasm and the Ding-a-Ling were names created to fit in with the bartending rhyme that Cruise recited.

Meanwhile, drinks like Kamikaze, Orgasm, and the Friar Tuck were given a boost, thanks to their inclusion in the film.

The Legacy

It is rare to find a bartender that hasn’t seen Cocktail – indeed it inspired a whole generation of young people to attempt the trade, realising it could take them all around the world if they were good at it. Even people who haven’t seen the film will have seen scenes or trailers, and Tom Cruise is always celebrated as the bartender that people should look up to, which is interesting, since his cocktails were never quite as well presented as they should have been! In the film, he would serve drinks with too much ice and only pour half the mixture into the glass – issues that wouldn’t bother the average drinker but are sure to grate on the more experienced bartender!

Despite its pitfalls, we love the film! Happy 30th Anniversary Cocktail!

Cocktails mentioned in this post

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10
5
Red Eye
Added About 3 years ago
5 ingredients  
The famous hangover cure from the film, Cocktail. Simple, effective hangover cure. Or is it? Add ingredients to the glass, one at a time. Do not stir. Then it's ready to serve! ...
The famous hangover cure from the film, Cocktail. Simple, effective hangover ...
Rating: 2.77 / 5
Rate me
540
104
Sex on the Beach
Added About 10 years ago
4 ingredients  
A well known classic with sunny holiday views. It has made the IBA official cocktail list with a few variations, but here is the classic original. Build all ingredients in a highball glass with ice and stir. Add an orange slice to garnish and serve. ...
A well known classic with sunny holiday views. It has made the IBA official ...
Rating: 4.81 / 5
Rate me
160
65
Singapore Sling
Added About 10 years ago
8 ingredients  
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a highball glass with ice cubes. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and a maraschino cherry before serving. ...
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake well. Strain into a ...
Rating: 4.99 / 5
Rate me
137
47
Alabama Slammer
Added About 10 years ago
4 ingredients  
The classic Alabama Slammer. Add all ingredients to a highball glass over ice and stir. Garnish with an orange wedge and a cherry and serve. ...
The classic Alabama Slammer. Add all ingredients to a highball glass over ice ...
Rating: 4.45 / 5
Rate me
673
117
Long Island Ice Tea
Added About 10 years ago
8 ingredients  
Add all ingredients into a highball glass with ice and top up with coke. Stir gently. Garnish with a lemon slice and serve. ...
Add all ingredients into a highball glass with ice and top up with coke. Stir ...
Rating: 4.97 / 5
Rate me
20
10
Pink Squirrel
Added About 8 years ago
4 ingredients  
Add all the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice. Stir until well chilled then strain into a chilled martini glass and serve. ...
Add all the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice. Stir until well chilled ...
Rating: 4.48 / 5
Rate me
486
39
Kamikaze
Added About 8 years ago
3 ingredients  
Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake well then strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime wheel and serve. ...
Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake well then strain into ...
Rating: 4.41 / 5
Rate me
220
61
Orgasm
Added About 11 years ago
5 ingredients  
Build all ingredients over ice in an old fashioned glass and give it a good stir. Garnish with a cherry and serve. ...
Build all ingredients over ice in an old fashioned glass and give it a good ...
Rating: 4.04 / 5
Rate me
4
2
Friar Tuck
Added About 11 years ago
3 ingredients  
Pour two shots of vodka and a dash of coke into a highball glass with ice. Add a dash of blackcurrant cordial and serve. ...
Pour two shots of vodka and a dash of coke into a highball glass with ice. Add ...
Rating: 1.79 / 5

This post was written by ....

Suzanna H
Hi, I am Suzanna. I would describe myself as a bit of a foodie with a side-interest in fancy cocktails. Anything sweet and alcoholic and I'm in! I am also an avid writer, proofreader and editor and work freelance through the website People per Hour.

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