13 Drinking Movies to Help You Escape the Cold

by Rebecca Rhoades
( January 20th, 2015 )

With the temperatures dipping into the single digits, it’s the perfect time of year to spend your evenings curled up on the couch with a giant bowl of popcorn and a cold beer, while watching a movie or two.

But just what film should you choose? Well, here at Wanderlush, the best movies are those in which alcohol is the star. That’s why I’ve compiled this list of 13 drinking movies. With all of these choices—it’s like a liquor store for movie buffs—all you need to do is pick your poison and sit back and enjoy.

The World's End

THE WORLD’S END (2013)
Forty-year-old Gary King (Simon Pegg) has one regret: not finishing an epic pub crawl 20 years ago. So he heads back to his hometown of Newton Haven, Herefordshire, England, and convinces his old buddies (including Nick Frost and Paddy Considine) to try one more time to reach that final pub—The World’s End. But not everything is as it seems in Jolly Old England, and soon the pals find themselves in a battle to save humankind.

Drinking Buddies

DRINKING BUDDIES (2013)
Chicago brewery workers Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson) are perfect for each other. There’s only one problem: they’re both seeing someone else. Kate is with Chris (Ron Livingston), and Luke is with Jill (Anna Kendrick). During a trip group trip to Chris’s family cottage, though, things happen, leaving a messy aftermath to clean up upon return to the brewery. Will Luke and Jill’s relationship last? And will things ever be the same between Kate and Luke?

The Hangover

THE HANGOVER (2009)
Probably the best drinking movie that doesn’t involve any on-screen drinking. Four friends (Bradley Cooper as Phil, Ed Helms as Stu, Justin Bartha as Doug, and Zack Galifianakis as Alan) head to Las Vegas to celebrate Doug’s upcoming nuptuals. After a night of drinking, however, Phil, Stu, and Alan wake up with no memory of the night before and no Doug to be found (not to mention a baby in the room and a tiger in the bathroom). So the Wolf Pack sets out to not only find their missing friend but to try to piece together the events of the night before.

Sideways

SIDEWAYS (2004)
This movie did more to promote California wine country than any PR campaign could have. Two middle-aged men, English teacher Miles (Paul Giamatti) and actor Jack (Thomas Haden Church), embark on a road trip through wine country to celebrate Jack’s upcoming wedding. Along they way, they meet Maya (Virginia Madsen) and her friend Stephanie (Sandra Oh). The superb acting is matched by the luscious scenes of verdant vineyards and talk of fine wines.

The Big Lebowski

THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998)
Okay, so it’s not really about drinking, but The Dude (Jeff Bridges) definitely put White Russians on the map. All he wants is a drink, but after being mistaken for a millionaire with the same last name by two thugs who proceed to urinate on his rug, he and his bowling partners Walter and Donny (John Goodman and Steve Buscemi, respectively) set out to meet the Big Lebowski and get compensation for the rug. But nothing is that simple, and soon everyone wants a piece of The Dude.

Bottle Shock

BOTTLE SHOCK (2008)
Based on a true story of the early days of California wine making. Alan Rickman portrays Steven Spurrier, a sommelier in Paris who heads to Napa Valley in 1976 to find the best California wines to take back to Paris for a blind taste test against French wines. He meets Jim Barret (Bill Pullman), owner of Chateau Montelena, and his son Bo (Chris Pine) and must convince them to include their chardonnay in what is now referred to as the “Judgment of Paris,” an event that changed the way the world views California wines.

Strange Brew

THE ADVENTURES OF BOB & DOUG McKENZIE: STRANGE BREW (1983)
Ever wonder where Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis got their start? It was on SCTV, portraying two beer-loving Canadian “hosers.” In this flick, Bob and Doug get jobs at Elsinore brewery, where they take the opportunity to drink lots of free beer. But an evil brewmaster, played by Max von Sydow, has something else in mind for his malty beverage: he plans to take over the world by placing a mind-control drug in the beer. It’s up to the two dim-witted brothers to save the day (and the beer). Beauty, eh?

The Angel's Share

THE ANGEL’S SHARE (2012)
New dad Robbie (Paul Brannigan) turns to booze after narrowly escaping a prison sentence. But it’s not what you think. During a visit to a distillery, Robbie learns about a cask of priceless whisky that’s about to go on auction. Desperate to get his family out of Glasgow and away from his criminal past, Robbie plans to steal some of the whisky and sell it. Does he succeed?

Leaving Las Vegas

LEAVING LAS VEGAS (1995)
There’s no happy drinking in this film about alcoholic screenwriter Ben Sanderson (Nicolas Cage), who arrives in Las Vegas with the plan to drink himself to death. While there, he meets and forms an odd yet doomed friendship with prostitute Sera (Elisabeth Shue), who’s battling her own demons. Although Sera agrees not to stop Ben from drinking, as time progresses, she becomes frustrated with his behavior and attempts to save him.

Blood into Wine

BLOOD INTO WINE (2010)
Good wine was never so bad. This documentary follows multiplatinum recording artist Maynard James Keenan, vocalist for the progressive metal band Tool, as he and his business partner Eric Glomski try their hand at winemaking in the desert of Arizona’s Verde Valley. The result is Stronghold Vineyards, and the movie also tells the tale of its decade-long success.

The Lost Weekend

THE LOST WEEKEND (1945)
This Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay is based on the 1944 novel of the same name. It tells the story of longtime alcoholic writer Don Birnam (Ray Milland) as he embarks on a four-day bender. Flashbacks show how Birnam has failed again and again due to his drinking. Will the love of his girlfriend Helen (Jane Wyman) save him?

Barfly

BARFLY (1987)
This semi-autobiography is the story of poet/author Charles Bukowski (written by Bukowski himself). Poet Henry Chinasky (Mickey Rourke) spends his days and nights drinking, with some time in between to jot down a few lines of poetry or a short story. After being thrown out of his regular watering hole, he heads to a new bar when he meets barfly Wanda (Faye Dunaway). What follows is a tumultuous and volatile relationship.

Factotum

FACTOTUM (2005)
Another Bukowski tale, based on the author’s book of the same name. Once again, the story centers around Bukowski’s fictional alter-ago Hank Chinaski (played this time by Matt Dillon) as he works at, and gets fired from, various jobs and meets up with assorted eccentric, and frequently alcoholic, characters (including Lili Taylor and Marisa Tomei). In the end, Chinaski learns that he is most comfortable alone, with just his writing and his alcohol to keep him company.

Did I forget your favorite drinking movie? Drop me a comment and let me know what ones you recommend.

 

Veni, Vidi, Bibi!


—Rebecca

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4 Days of Gifts: Give a Little Holiday Spirits

by Rebecca Rhoades
( December 22nd, 2014 )

With only three more days until Christmas, it’s a good thing that you’ve already crossed friends, family, and coworkers off your list, thanks to Wanderlush’s gift guides for the home bartender and teetotaler alike, and you’ve also stuffed their stockings full of fun, flavorful surprises. But now comes the most difficult part: what to bring to that special holiday party to which you’ve been invited. From Christmas through New Year’s, the next few weeks will be brimming with festive gatherings. And to me, nothing says “celebrate” more than a bottle of boutique spirits. So run, don’t walk to your favorite neighborhood liquor store and pick up one of these scrumptious selections.

 

Christmas Spirit


Christmas SpiritWhen you said you’d be there with Christmas Spirit, you meant more than just a festive attitude. This limited edition 90-proof white spirit is double distilled from Anchor Distilling’s 2012 Christmas Ale. Capturing the essence of the holiday, it features such seasonal scents as spices, clove, orange peel, and poached apple, and its warmth lingers on the palate with notes of spiced apple, baking spices, and dried fruit. Distribution is restricted to California only.
anchordistilling.com


 

Feisty Spirits American Roots Whiskey


Feisty Spirits WhiskeyWhat’s the best liquor to drink on a cold winter’s night? Whiskey, of course. And the whiskeys from Feisty Spirits, the first craft distillery in Fort Collins, Colorado, not only tastes great, but it helps warm the soul. American Roots gets it name and flavor from a root tea that is infused into a whiskey made from locally sourced milled. Featuring a strong nutmeg and allspice aroma, with wildflower notes, American Spirits starts out smooth, transitions into notes of saffron, and ends with a hint of anise. Available for in-store and online purchase at liquor stores throughout Colorado.
feistyspirits.com


 

Equality Vodka


Equality VodkaGive the gift of good taste and social awareness with this 80-proof ultra-premium vodka. A portion of sales from every bottle goes to Lambda Legal, a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education, and public policy work. Distribution is limited to Dallas, Texas.
equalityvodka.com


 

G’Vine Gin


G'Vine GinThe French are known around the world for their wine, but this new gin just might change people’s perception. Produced in the region of Cognac, G’Vine is distilled from the Ugni Blanc grape—the first ever gin to use grapes as its base spirit–as well as macerated grape vine flower blossoms. G’Vine FLoraison (40% ABV) features vibrant floral notes but finished with a zesty mix of juniper and ginger. G’Vine Nouaison (43.9% ABV) is notably spicier, with notes of juniper and citrus.
escapetothegrape.com


 

J.R. Ewing Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey


J.R. Ewing Bourbon ReserveYour host will like an oil baron when you give him the gift of this four-year-old, 80-proof premium private-reserve bourbon. Bottled in the heart of Kentucky’s bourbon country, J.R. Ewing bourbon is well-balanced with a light amber color. The nose is classic and slightly fruity with notes of vanilla, oak, and orange, while the taste is surprisingly mild, yet crisp, with a light spicy/honey taste that lingers. Available in select states. See website for more information.
jrewingbourbon.com


 

Howdy Stranger Vodka


Howdy Stranger VodkaHouston, Texas-based Yellow Rose Distilling is known for its award-winning bourbons and whiskeys. Now it’s making its first foray into white spirits with Howdy Stranger vodka. Made from 100% local corn, Howdy Stranger is distilled 12 times and charcoal filtered for maximum flavor, clarity, and enjoyment. Perfect for cold-weather sipping or mixing in crowd-pleasing cocktails. howdystrangervodka.com


 

Selvarey Rum


Selvarey RumRum is experiencing a renaissance as of late, and Selvarey is bringing an elegance and refinement to the spirit with its award-winning boutique Panamanian White and Cacao rums. Co-founded by singer-songwriter Bruno Mars, Selvarey was born out of a desire to create a refined sipping rum. The company collaborated with legendary master blender and former Cuban Minister of Rum Francisco “Don Pacho” Fernandez to formulate the perfect recipe. Selvarey White (40% ABV) features notes of citrus, oak, and honey; while Selvarey Cacao opens with notes of toffee, cardamom, and toasted oak, and finishes on the palate with a charming but not overly sweet chocolate aroma. Available nationwide through Hi-Times Wine Cellars.
selvarey.com


 

American Born Moonshine


American Born MoonshineNothing is more American than distilled spirits, except perhaps football and the Marines. So it was only natural that in 2012 former Notre Dame quarterback Patrick Dillingham and former U.S. Marine Corps captain and Iraq War veteran Sean Koffel founded American Born Moonshine. This family of moonshine products honors the tradition of authentic mountain moonshine and the patriotic Amercan rebel spirit. It is available in three flavors: Original, a 103-proof, un-aged corn whiskey that offers a smooth finish and remarkable mixability; Apple Pie (83 proof) with its natural apple and cinnamon flavors and a hint of caramel; and Dixie (83 proof), the first-ever sweet tea-flavored moonshine. Available mainly in the Southeast and in the West.
americanbornmoonshine.com



Veni, Vidi, Bibi!


—Rebecca

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4 Days of Gifts: The Non-Drinker

by Rebecca Rhoades
( December 20th, 2014 )

Buying gifts for the home bartender is fun and easy, but what if the recipient of your generosity doesn’t drink alcohol? Day 3 of Wanderlush’s four-day holiday gift guide features some delicious booze-free beverage gifts that are sure to please everyone from Grandma to your boss to your best friend (and holiday party designated driver). Enjoy!

 

Big T NYC Couture Collection


Big T NYC tea setNothing warms you up more on a cold winter day than a hot cup of tea. And with Big T NYC, you aren’t getting just any old tea. Big T NYC combines the highest quality, 100 percent organic, single-origin whole-leaf teas into deliciously sophisticated one-of-a-kind blends. Give the gift of flavor and luxury with this exclusive Couture Collection tea gift pack. It includes three loose-leaf teas—Tell-Tale Glow white tea, Unexpected Fling green tea, and Baby It’s Cold Outside black tea—an infuser, and a guide for making the perfect cup of tea.
$65.00
bigtnyc.com


 

Mocktails Non-Alcoholic Cocktails


Mocktailsby Mocktail Beverages, Inc.
With Mocktails Brand’s line of non-alcoholic cocktails, you don’t have to sacrifice taste by sacrificing the alcohol. Made with the health-conscious consumer in mind, Mocktails contain no high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives or artificial flavors or colors, and they’re allergen-, gluten-, and BPA-free. Best of all, they come in a variety of fun flavors, including Karma Sucra Cosmopolitan, The Vida Loca Margarita, Sevilla Red Sangria, and Scottish Lemonade Whiskey Sour. Serve them chilled straight from their own shaker bottles or add your favorite spirit for a more traditional boozy drink.
$39.95/4 pack (serves 16 drinks)
mocktails.com


 

Slingshot Cold Brew Coffee


Slingshot Coffeesby Slingshot Coffee Co.
Mr. Wanderlush is a huge fan of cold-brewed coffee, and Slingshot offers one of the best. Hand-brewed and bottled in small batches using only two ingredients—quality, in-season, single-origin, organic coffee beans roasted by North Carolina roasters Counter Culture Coffee, and filtered tap water—Slingshot’s cold-brewed coffee is available in a 16-ounce concentrate (four servings) and a 16-ounce ready-to-drink version (two servings). Savor alone or add whiskey, vodka, or chocolate liqueur for a festive coffee tipple.
$17/1 ready-to-drink + 1 concentrate
slingshotcoffeecompany.com


 

V/No


V/NoDoes someone on your gift list love wine but not the alcohol? Give them V/No premium alcohol-removed wines. These aren’t just wine-flavored beverages. Made like traditional wines, with pressed and fermented fruit, V/No removes the alcohol prior to bottling through a process known as cold filtration. Less than 0.5 percent alcohol remains. Individually packaged in single-serve bottles (that open to create a serving flute), V/No de-alcoholized wines are available in Red, White, and Rose.
$299/bottle; $29.99/12 pack
vinobev.com


 

Thé N°25 Cannelle & Orange Tea


Palais des Thes No25by Palais des Thes
Parisian tea company, Palais des Thes, known for its premium all-natural teas, offers its 2014 holiday limited edition flavor: Thé N°25 Cannelle & Orange. This delicious brew, which combines green tea with cinnamon, orange peel, almond, ginger, lemon zest and vanilla pods, is the perfect pairing for those scrumptious holiday desserts. The N°25 Cannelle & Orange, along with the other N°25 holiday teas (black, green, white, and rooibos blend), is packaged in a gift-ready metal canister (3.5 ounces of whole-leaf loose tea).
$21
us.palaisdesthes.com


 

Ritual Juice


Ritual Juiceby Ritual Wellness
Enhance your diet with the pure goodness of nature’s best fruits and vegetables. Each 16-ounce bottle of raw organic Ritual Juice is bursting with flavor and vitamins. Meant to be enjoyed on their own, Ritual Juices can also be paired with alcohol for unique, premium organic cocktails (special “mixer labels” are attached to the bottles). Try such bold flavors as Spicy Cucumber (with cucumber, lime, raw agave, and jalapeno), Pineapple Mint (with pineapple, young coconut, mint, and apple), Spicy Lemonade (with raw agave, lemon, and cayenne), or Almond Mylk (with almond, cinnamon, vanilla, and raw agave). Then there’s the Greens: Green Lemon, Sweet Green, and Green Ginger, featuring such healthy ingredients as kale, spinach, romaine, celery, cucumber, and parsley. Greens pack the equivalent of up to four pounds of veggies in each bottle.
$12/bottle
ritualwellness.com


 

Veni, Vidi, Bibi!


—Rebecca

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