Forbidden Cocktails: Libations Inspired by the World of Pre-Code Hollywood

Running Pr. (Turner Classic Movies). May 2024. 248p. ISBN 9780762485208. $27. COOKING
Darlington (Booze & Vinyl) turns from tunes to films in this book of stylish, fun speakeasy-era cocktails inspired by selected Pre-Code Hollywood productions. Pre-Code Hollywood refers to a short period in the early 1930s, before the adoption and enforcement of a production code; it resulted in many bawdy and brazen films. Darlington has curated a selection of 50 films and paired them with inventive cocktails. Each drink is preceded by information about the film’s plot, production history, and themes. The entries are elegantly designed and punctuated with film stills and posters. Impressively, Darlington includes instances where libations are featured in the film, which directly influence the accompanying recipe. The cocktails feature period-appropriate ingredients and techniques and are accessible and creative for mixologists at varying skill levels. The book concludes with a guide to basic techniques and tools as well as an appendix with cocktail recipes of the era.
VERDICT A unique addition to the bar carts of cinephiles and cocktail enthusiasts alike. Film and cocktail enthusiasts looking for more inspiration may also enjoy Eddie Muller’s Noir Bar: Cocktails Inspired by the World of Film Noir.
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