Gone With The Gin

Tim Federle creates cocktails that are both whimsical and delicious. The author of the highly regarded book Tequila Mockingbird, Tim is back with a new tome, Gone With The Gin, this time filled with cocktails inspired by the movies. And he’s graciously shared three with us.

Star Wars: The Empire Likes Jack

Inspired by Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) directed by Irvin Kershner
Star Wars Emperor Likes JackIn the second installment of this touchstone series, “World’s Worst Dad” Darth Vader chases unsuspecting son Luke Skywalker across an entire galaxy—and not to hug it out; their saber-swinging showdown is one of the fiercest fights ever filmed. Though now considered so culturally significant as to feel inevitable, Empire was initially struck by struggles: miserable weather on location in Norway (hello, Hoth!), challenges in designing the then-state-of-the-art extra-special effects, and a director who’d never before handled a big-time budget. (It all worked out though, to the tune of half a billion bucks.) Tip your helmet to a dark-versus-light libation that’s hiding its own sweet secrets.


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  • 8 ounces root beer
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces Jack Daniel’s
  • 1 scoop vanilla ice cream

Combine the root beer and vanilla in a mug and stir. Add the Jack Daniels and ice cream. May the heavy pour be with you.

The Muppets Make Manhattans

Inspired by The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) directed by Frank Oz
The Muppets Make ManhattansEveryone’s favorite marionettes-slash-puppets return for their take on the old Mickey-and-Judy “Let’s put on a show!” trope. Here, Kermit & Co. celebrate graduating from college with a show-tune revue that gets such great buzz, they decide to take the show to Broadway—despite their fretful frog leader’s misgivings. Shot on location in New York and with everyone from Liza Minnelli to Joan Rivers making cameos, this film also introduced the Muppet Babies in a dream sequence that proved such a hit, they got their own Saturday morning spin-off cartoon. Whether bound for the big time or not, you’ll be sent off with a song once you get a taste of this Big Apple Manhattan.


  • 2 ounces apple brandy
  • 3⁄4 ounce sweet vermouth
  • 1⁄2 ounce apple juice
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons honey
  • 3 dashes baked apple bitters
  • Green apple slice, for garnish

Combine all the ingredients (except for the green apple slice) with ice in a mixing glass and stir well. Strain into a cocktail glass, garnish with the apple—and serve with a side of bacon (with apologies to Miss Piggy).

The Moon-Shining

Inspired by The Shining (1980) directed by Stanley Kubrick
The Moon ShiningIn this controversial Kubrick picture, an alcoholic writer and his young family head to the Overlook Hotel to take up winter residence as its lone caretakers—or so they think. This being a loosey-goosey adaptation of a novel by Stephen King (an outspoken foe of the film), the mountainside resort complex brims with ghostly life, not to mention death. Viewers expecting a fast-paced fright fest instead get a hypnotically eerie maze of a movie, which some consider the most enthralling thriller of all time—despite it receiving zero Oscar nominations. Next time you’re snowed in with only a few supplies on hand, you’ll say “Cheeeeers, Johnny!” for our red-rum moonshine masterpiece.


  • 1 ounce ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 1 ounce light rum
  • 1⁄2 ounce “moonshine” (like Midnight Moon)

Put down the axe and pour all the ingredients over ice—or snow—in a rocks glass. Give it a quick stir.