For this month’s Whiskey Cocktail Hour, I’ll take you back eighty years to Hollywood’s Golden Age and the height of World War II. In May 1942, the stars aligned (literally and figuratively) with the Warner Brothers studio. The film company has just acquired the rights to the play Everybody come to Ricks yet their screenplay wasn’t even written. With an all-star cast including Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid and The Invisible Man himself, Claude Rains, it’s a wonder the casablanca never reunited in the end.
I first looked casablanca my tenth year late one night on Turner Classic Movies. I had seen several classic movies, but for some reason never got to see this on the program. After being dumped by text message, casablanca seemed like a consolation. I immediately fell in love with it, so much so that I wrote my first review for my English class. I felt attuned to the character of Rick because I had become a little cynical. After that, my parents bought me my first copy of casablanca and I watched it over and over until I memorized every line and could play it in my head.
However, I’m not just a typical fan of the film. My home bar is casablanca theme. I am an avid collector of memorabilia and am looking for an upright piano to recreate Dooley Wilson’s piano. The piano only has seventy seconds of screen time and recently sold for $3.4 million. The second piano seen in a flashback to Paris sold in 2012 for $600,000. This scene inspired the name of the cocktail: La Belle Aurore.
Bogart remembers the Germans entering Paris, with Bergman and Wilson drinking all the champagne from the bar, he says, “The Germans wore grey, you wore blue. I wanted to bring together many elements of the film to create a special cocktail for the 80th anniversary of casablanca. I use both bourbon and gin in La Belle Dawn because Rick goes through a bottle of bourbon when he says to Sam, “Of all the gin joints in the world, it goes into mine.” Blueberries for that something blue are mixed with thyme because they love them casablanca is Over time. The cocktail is then washed down with champagne because champagne cocktails are the essential drink of Captain Renault.
Even though I found the film after a heartbreak, casablanca helped me find my love. If you want to watch casablanca while enjoying the cocktail, it streams on HBO Max. However, you may have several copies at home like me, but I also encourage you to check out your local library or support your small independent movie rental place. But as the saying goes, “there’s watching you, kid.”
The beautiful sunrise
- 1 ounce of bourbon
- 1 ounce of gin
- ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice (preferably pink lemons)
- ¾ ounces simple syrup (1:1 sugar:water)
- Fresh blueberries
- Thyme (enough to mix and garnish)
- Shaking boxes
- Hawthorne colander
- Fine mesh filter
- In the largest shaker mold, first mash a handful of blueberries and a few sprigs of thyme until they are well crushed.
- Add all other ingredients and ice. Top with a second shaker, making sure it’s tightly closed, and shake vigorously until the mold is ice cold.
- Strain through Hawthorne and fine mesh strainers over ice into a tall wine glass.
- Add fresh whole blueberries and garnish with a sprig of thyme.
- Enjoy responsibly.