We all reacted the same way when super spy James Bond ordered a Mount Gay and Soda at the One & Only Ocean Club (Bahamas) in Casino Royale. Yes! Not only have we got him off the Vodka Martini’s, we’ve got him on to the Rum! Rummies enjoyed a fist pump or two with that one I can assure you.
With that in mind, we’ve pulled together ten movie moments when a Rum or Rum cocktail hit the big screen. I’m sure there are many, many more, so please do share your favourite in the comments below.
007 (Nobody Does It Better – Right?)James Bond’s Mount Gay and Soda may be our first moment, but it’s not the only time that Bond, James Bond enjoyed a popular serve.
Our second moment appears in Die Another Day, where Bond as played by Pierce Brosnan, is seen to be sipping a Mojito at the beach bar at the El Gran Palacio Hotel on the fictitious island Los Organos (we are led to believe is near Cuba).
Poorly delivered innuendo and a lousy script can’t hide the fact that Bond was tapping into the Mojito craze that was huge, and whilst the dust may have settled a bit on this minty wonder, the serve is still a personal favourite and a thing of joy when done well.
CubaWe’re staying with Cuba for my third moment, pre-revolution Cuba that is. One of my all-time favourite series of films has to be The Godfather trilogy, and it’s in the second film we get a hint of the splendour of old Havana, back in the days when it was ‘The’ centre of cocktail culture – thanks in the main to America’s failed Prohibition experiment, and the advent of the original cocktail tourist.
The Banana Daiquiri might not be height of sophisticated drinking, but every time I hear Fredo Corleone utter the immortal lines “How do you say Banana Daiquiri?” (with Michael’s deadpan response of ‘Banana Daiquiri’), I get a pang for one myself! Ah well…
My fourth moment see’s us stay in Cuba, fast forwarding to the modern era and the beautiful filmed 7 Days in Havana, a collaboration with Havana Club Rum. Seven different directors offer slices of life in modern day Cuba.
It’s both funny and achingly sad at times, but the reality of Rum as a core component of everyday life in Cuba can’t be denied, and if I had to pick just one moment, I guess I’d throw my hands up and make my excuses.
It’s a must watch, although perhaps you should just be warned that it’s more ‘arthouse’ than ‘all action’. And for those that need a further clarification, the Cuba in a Bottle film leaves no doubt that Rum is woven in the to very fabric of Cuban life. Both films are well worth seeking out.
A Seasonal Classic & A Glimpse At ParadiseThe sixth moment comes to us fleetingly via It’s a Wonderful Life, when Clarence (who is George’s Guardian Angel) is asked what he’d like to drink. A Flaming Rum Punch is his response, which immediately makes me think that this Angel is a top chap indeed. Clarence may have the IQ of a rabbit, but we can’t fault his drinking, which certainly has a touch of tiki-inspired theatre about it.
Our seventh moment equally lacks anything in the way of specific detail, but the notion of Elvis drinking Mai Tai in Blue Hawaii also fills me with joy. I’ve yet to make it out to Hawaii, but if, (and when) I make it out there, I’ll be channelling my inner Elvis for sure, although my expectation for the quality of the serve isn’t particularly high.
Mai Tai might literally means ‘out of this world’ in Tahitian, but modern mass-market serves are a million miles away from the delights of the Trader Vic's original.
The Rum DiaryOur eighth moment comes via Hunter S. Thompson and his loosely biographical novel: The Rum Diary. When I first heard that this book was being made into a film, I could hardly contain myself – I thought that Rum's moment in the sun was finally here, but of course that’s not exactly the reality.
Rum is poorly portrayed, as is the drinking culture around it. Cheap, harsh spirit, drunk in shots and by drunkards. Of course, I’ve watched The Rum Diary a few times, and there’s something endearing about the main characters search to find himself, which in a shamanic way he probably finds via the power of Rum.
My favourite ‘Rum’ moment comes when Moberg successfully returns with filters from going over the wall at the Bacardi plant. He claims that the Rum they extract from the filter is 470 proof, to which “There’s no such thing as 470 proof alcohol” Kemp quite rightly responds, provoking the sort of fire breathing from Moberg that I may have seen repeated in bars from time to time.
I feel I probably shouldn’t laugh when an exceptionally drunk Kemp claims to be seeing a double ashtray (The classic Moberg bi-focal according to Sala), but I guess we’ve all been there…
It’s Not Really a Moment But…I’m going to take a moment to acknowledge the film Hori Smoku. It’s the film about Norman ‘Sailor Jerry’ Collins, whom some erroneously believe created the popular Spiced Rum of the same name.
He didn’t of course and in fact the company formed long after his passing to sell t-shirts featuring Sailor Jerry’s unique style of artwork were the ones to first go about putting together a brand that ‘fit’ within the popular image of the famous tattoo artist. So, Hori Smoku isn’t a moment, but a film worth watching all the same – especially if you’re into the whole tattoo scene.
The Original Rum Running Gentleman!Alternatively, one film that definitely has Rum running right through it is The Real McCoy: The Legend of Bill McCoy and The Rum War at Sea, and for that it’s our ninth movie moment. It’s easy to look back on the whole Noble Experiment and wonder if anyone really did think that Prohibition was going to do any good. For my part, it seemed to ultimately do far more harm than good, but I’ve got 20-20 hindsight of course.
The story of Bill McCoy, and his desire to never water down, or adulterate the booze makes him stand out as one of the good guy Rum runners and it was during his research into this anti-hero that the documentary’s director and filmmaker Bailey Prior hit on to the notion to release a brand of Rum inspired by him The Real McCoy. Not many films can claim to actually end up with such a rummy conclusion of course.
You can watch The Real McCoy documentary here.
🐟🍴 #BillMcCoy and his goons ate #raw before it was even cool... For those who eat to live, there's the #HandToMouth lifestyle ( pictured here ). For those who live to eat, there's our #SeaToTable cuisine ( pictured @burlockcoast ). So join us at #BurlockCoast this weekend via @OpenTable. We saved a seat for 'ya. #FarmToTable #TheRealMcCoy #ThickAsThieves #VintageFlorida #RumRunners #Broward #954 #SoFlo #WholeFish #FortLauderdale #FLL #Seafare #BocaRaton #Seaworthy
The Pirate Connection!My tenth and final film moment features the irrepressible Captain Jack Sparrow, the hero of the Pirates of the Caribbean series of films. Rum moments are too many to mention, but the line “But why is the Rum gone” will be forever immortalised in a million and one memes and GIFs.
The constant connection of pirates and Rum is one that will continue to hold Rum down from being taken as seriously as I’d like, BUT I can’t help but admit I’ve a soft spot for the irreproachable, rascally Captain Jack, because as much as I’d like Rum to be taken seriously, I’d rather people were happy – and if being happy means indulging in a little pirate inspired fun, then so be it!
What’s your favourite Rum moment in the movies? Please do share!