This Memorial Day, the Grog Dog is quietly contemplating the sacrifices of our military and their families. Turner Classic Movies always delivers excellent themed programming for holidays and this weekend is no exception, as TCM is running a Memorial Day Marathon of films made during and about our many wars and conflicts. For those whose local weather or preference don’t tend toward a traditional cookout, or you just want to experience contemporary portrayals of the soldier’s life, here are some ideas for pairing classic cocktails with classic films.

The Aviation: 1 part fresh lemon juice, 2 parts dry gin, 2 dashes maraschino liqueur, 2 tiny dashes creme de violette. Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. The creme de violette gives this gorgeous cocktail a pale sky-blue tint (hence the name). Red BaronInvented (or adapted) in pre-Prohibition New York around 1916, according to the Imbible, the timing of the Aviation’s introduction also coincides with the development of actual aviation, as both a means of transportation and warfighting in WWI. Today, TCM’s lineup features films like “Air Force“, “Captains of the Clouds“, and “Twelve O’Clock High“.

This evening, TCM features the Oscar-nominated “Friendly Persuasion“, a mostly lighthearted film starring Gary Cooper and a young Anthony Perkins as a Quaker father and his son, who can’t reconcile their peaceful doctrine with the compelling moral issues of the Civil War. The Quaker’s Cocktail is 1 part brandy, 1 part rum, 1/4 part fresh lime juice, and 1/4 part fresh raspberry juice. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. For another take on the theme, the World Peace is 3 parts London dry gin, 1 part fresh lemon juice, a splash of elderflower liqueur, 2 drops blue curacao, and 2 drops almond syrup (also shake and strain).

On Sunday, TCM features “Sahara” with Humphrey Bogart, and what better classic cocktail to drink with a film about the North Africa campaign than the Blood and Sand? It’s 1 part Scotch, 1 part sweet vermouth, 1 part orange juice, 1 part cherry brandy (Heering); shake and strain into a rocks glass.

On Sunday night TCM is showcasing one of the best silent films ever made (in my humble opinion): “The Big Parade” (1925). “The Big Parade” stars John Gilbert in one of his best roles, as a carefree young man who goes to war in France and experiences all the horrors of WWI. It was the first film to depict war from the ordinary soldier’s point of view, and was widely cited by WWI veterans as a realistic portrayal of their experience. For this film, the French 75 is particularly appropriate, having been named for the French artillery gun (and likely the effect of too many of these potent drinks). The French 75 is 2 oz London dry gin, 1 tsp superfine sugar, 1/4 oz fresh lemon juice, 5 oz Champagne. Shake the gin, sugar, and juice with ice and strain into a tall glass half-full of ice. Top with Champagne.

On Monday, TCM features films from various eras, including M*A*S*H. The anti-war film featured the iconic characters Hawkeye Pierce and Trapper John, and became the inspiration for the longest-running show on television. What else to drink with this except moonshine, right out of a makeshift still?

Credit: uswarddogs.org

Credit: uswarddogs.org

I hope you enjoy your holiday weekend. Please take a moment to think of, and thank, the veterans you know, and all those who gave their lives in war to promote peace and freedom everywhere.