The Basics Tips & Tricks

7 Cocktails to Go Perfectly with Movie Night

Netflix and chilling tonight? Your pairings are set.

Champagne Cocktail
Champagne Cocktail. Image:

Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

It’s some random night of the week. You’re getting texts asking if you’re going out. No, you’re not. You’re smarter than that. You’ve already ordered pizza and scoured the streaming movie selection. You have a date with the couch.

Why create a movie-and-cocktail pairing? Why not? It’s not like your local multiplex serves craft drinks, and these pairings sure beat an $8 gallon of soda. Stirring yourself a special treat for your at-home rental will improve both the movie and your night. You might even want to ditch your friends again next week. For a repeat screening, of course.

Whether you’re watching a romantic comedy with your cat or a Schwarzenegger shoot-’em-up with a pal, pair your flick with one of these low-effort, big-reward cocktails.

1.The Heist Movie & 50/50

50-50 martini cocktail
Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

A good heist movie relies on planning, figuring out all the angles and, ideally, a montage scene assembling a crack team of experts with incredibly specific skill sets. Like the best heist films, the 50/50 is a drink aware of the devil being in the details. A standard Martini is obviously elegant and, when made right, a beautiful thing. It’s also strong. The 50/50 variation, with its even split of dry vermouth and gin, will keep you sharp through the twists and turns and inevitable double crossings.

Get the recipe.

2. The Screwball Comedy & Harvey Wallbanger

Harvey Wallbanger cocktail
Liquor.com / Tim Nusog 

The Wallbanger is a fun, easy drink for enjoying a fun, easy flick. It’s even great for a range of comedy styles, from lowbrow slapstick to smart satire—and everything in between. The vodka-Galliano-OJ combo is so simple that, if you do happen to laugh it up your nose, you can effortlessly create a replacement before the next punchline. No joke.

Get the recipe.

3. The Adventure Movie & Mai Tai

Mai Tai cocktail
Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

Running across rickety bridges over alligator-infested rapids? Trying to build a fire from the debris of your plane crash? Being chased through a Moroccan bazaar during a case of mistaken identity? Sounds like you could use a drink. This Tiki classic was born of a desire to experience the faraway and adventurous from the safety and comfort of your local (or home) bar. Exciting, isn’t it?

Get the recipe.

4. The ’80s Action Flick & Michelada

Michelada cocktail
 Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

Even if you already know the best lines in “RoboCop” and “Die Hard,” be honest with yourself: You could probably watch each one another 50 times. The glorious hyperviolence, overflowing id and perfect one-liners make these movies eminently (re)watchable. They’re entertainment, pure and simple, and should be paired with something as breezy to make and drink. The Michelada is a perfect no-frills companion to an extra-large pizza and things that go boom.

Get the recipe.

5. The Horror Film & Boulevardier

Boulevardier cocktail
 Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

Yes, the obvious choice for a scary movie is the Bloody Mary. Or the Zombie. Or the Corpse Reviver #2. Those are all fine options, but the Boulevardier wins for two reasons. First: The sweet vermouth, Campari and whiskey cousin of the Negroni just looks so damn bloody. Second: The Campari introduces enough bitterness to keep your taste buds on their toes. Pick a spooky flick, and sip one tonight.

Get the recipe.

6. The Sci-Fi Movie & Green Beast

Green /beast cocktail
Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

Sci-fi is best enjoyed as a group, and groups are best enjoyed with punch. If you’re into scaring yourself silly all by your lonesome, you can also make this as a single-serving sipper. An otherworldly, absinthe-based creation, it’s a drink to help let your imagination run wild. And if that weird noise outside your darkened window sounds like the aliens landing, well, it probably is.

Get the recipe.

7. The Rom Com & Champagne Cocktail

Champagne Cocktail
Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

Champagne perfectly captures the feeling of new love. It’s fun, flirty and must be enjoyed before it fizzles. (No one jaded here!) From “When Harry Met Sally” to “10 Things I Hate About You,” the best romantic comedies understand how to capture that effervescence, while playing around with the formula––just as this drink does. The simple addition of bitters and sugar turns bubbly into something more. It’s also light enough to keep you from falling, you know, head over heels.

Get the recipe.